My friend Rebecca wrote a great post about infertility that has me thinking.
One of the hardest parts about infertility for me are the feelings of shame and inadequacy I struggled with. Children are (rightly) viewed as a blessing by the Christian community. It is easy to talk about how wonderful kids are, and how happy you are to be pregnant. These are all true and good things.
What doesn't get talked about nearly as much in church is the pain and sadness that comes along with not getting children. Obviously, it's a touchy subject since it involves the most private parts of marriage. But when we were in the midst of our struggle to get pregnant, deep down I just felt ashamed and sorrowful. I feel that it's likely that these feelings were mostly coming from me and the way that I often forget that I am valued because I was made in God's image. Because I have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus.
And not, as I am prone to believe, because of something I have done or not done.
But it wasn't until after we told people that we were having a hard time getting pregnant that slowly, out of the woodwork, I'd hear from other women who had struggled with the same issues. It's like there was a secret club and I'd finally been allowed in. I know that it is hard to talk about it. It is not fun to revisit those painful feelings. But I also know that no matter what happens in our child-bearing future, I want God to use the pain and sadness for his glory. I think for me, in the midst of my struggle, that is what encouraged me - that somehow this would all be for his glory and for my good. Even fairly early on, I could already see the good that God was doing with our sorrow. I am a better wife because of what we have gone through. A better mother. A better doctor. I do not want other people to feel alone and ashamed in their struggle.
Rebecca put it well, and bluntly, when she wrote that infertility sucks. Thankfully, we serve a God who takes the, um, sucky and makes it lovely, who takes the ugly and makes it beautiful.
There is this Buechner quote I had forgotten about until I spent some time reading some old posts about infertility - about how we all need to tell our stories, that stories that can call us like a beacon to the safe harbor that is life in Christ. For the fertile and the infertile.