It’s Infertility Awareness Week. It is one of those crosses that many couples face, some soon after marriage and for others it comes after one or two children. It often goes unseen, unnoticed and unacknowledged. While it may not be talked about, the thought never leaves the mind. The longing, desire and heartache often becomes all consuming.
They are perceived by many as the couple choosing not to have kids or waiting until they are older. Labels are put on them and questions are asked. Often leading to the feeling of more guilt and embarrassment about something completely out of their control. People tell them to buy a dog or just adopt, but it’s not that easy.
The emptiness leaving an eternal void. Longing for life where only the barren is known. Left feeling hollow inside and incomplete. Thinking and dreaming of a growing belly and buying baby clothes. Picking out names and decorating a nursery, become only a figment of the imagination.
The waiting causing a new grief all of it’s own. Loneliness and abandonment begin to grip the heart as it seems prayer after prayer are going unanswered. Wondering where God is and why He would deny one such a good gift. Faith wavering, discouragement settling in and at times even turning to anger.
Uncertainty of the future as month after month, year after year passes. Each Mother’s Day, Christmas and birthday is a sting to the soul. Just another reminder of what one is lacking. A reminder of another year gone by, of the dream slipping further and further away.
Watching friends expecting their third child and feeling like the window is closing. The flicker of light is diminishing. Holding on to a thread of hope as even that seems to unravel. Appointments, surgeries, shots all taking a physical and emotional toll. What is suppose to provide answers only leaves more questions.
Brought to one’s knees time and again, but unable to surrender. Clinging so tightly to our own will, because surely that is best. At the same time faith has taught us that God has a plan, He is good and will not abandon us at the cross. Learning to embrace that cross with every tear shed and prayer whispered, even in the face of uncertainty of what the future will bring.
I wish I could go back in time and tell myself at 23 to trust and to not worry. The journey of infertility and loss will be long and painful, but you are not forgotten. To tell myself at 25 to not lose hope, God sees you and you are incredibly loved by your Creator. To continue to pray despite the discouragement and constant heartache.
To tell myself at 27 that infertility does not define you. You are not less, because of what you perceive to be lacking. You are whole, complete and beautiful with or without a baby on your hip. To tell myself at 30 that God’s timing is not ours and He has an incredible plan. A plan to fulfill your heart’s desires. A plan far greater than your timeline. The wait is never wasted.