Child of Mine, my heart is on a roller coaster every time I go on Facebook. The truth is, I’m probably on Facebook far more than I should be. The truth is, even though I know I’m going to see 90% of my newsfeed overflowing with beautiful babies and ultrasounds and birthday parties, I can’t seem to look away.
Perhaps it’s because I want to share in the joy of my friends. I am truly thrilled for the new life that is springing up so frequently in the stage my friends are in. You can’t deny these child-bearing-years. I haven’t struggled with hearing pregnancy reveals or baby shower invitations or receiving those adorable factoid cards in the mail after the birth. It can only be credited to God’s grace that my heart hasn’t become entangled in these moments.
But my voluntary exposure to the baby craze is perhaps a little too risky. I am in a very vulnerable place right now, hoping beyond hope that this surgery is the solution to our barrenness. Praying that our years of waiting will soon be over.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone tell me, “Oh! as soon as so-and-so adopted they got pregnant!!” I would seriously have a few hundred bucks. I’ve heard all these accolades and more: “It’s all in God’s time.” “You’re going to be a wonderful mother.” “I just know you’re going to have children of your own someday.” “Now that you’ve moved in that big home and settled into life, it’s got to be the right time.” “Just relax and it’ll happen.” “I got pregnant right away after we did such-and-such.”
And typically I can stop the emotional upheaval in time to recognize the sincere concern each of these people is trying to show by their words. I feel the love, I really do. But the words? They’re just empty. There’s nothing I can say, nothing my husband can say, nothing our families or friends can say that will make this better.
The only fullness left is Jesus.
He’s not my magic wand or the whisperer of answers. But He is my peace, my burden-bearer, my ever present help in times of trouble (Ps 46:1).
The truth is, I’m not all that shaken up right now. I’m not angry or inconsolable. I’m just over it. I’m tired of the jealousy I battle every time I see another one of my dear friends’ beautiful children. I’m tired of the hopelessness I’ve sunken into over the past 52 months. I’m tired of being poked and prodded. I’m tired of answering the same questions. I’m tired of updating the people who want to know the latest scoop. I’m tired of my loss of privacy, albeit voluntary. I’m tired of it all.
More and more frequently women I meet ask right away if I have children. And perhaps my response is too much, too fast, but I’ve become accustomed to honestly sharing our infertility. Just get it all out on the table. More often than not, these ladies share their own journey with endometriosis or trouble conceiving. Child, this is a rampant problem that’s kept a secret by so many. It’s so private, so painful. But in sharing my own story, others are released to share theirs and we both leave encouraged. It’s just good to look someone in the eye and know they get it. The interesting pattern I’m discovering is how removed these women have become from their days of infertility. And I wonder what I will be like if and when we have our own children. How quickly will I move on from this pain, this thing that’s become my identity? I don’t want to leave these stage unchanged. I don’t want to forget what it was like.
Barrenness is a scary, dry, lonely place to live. And it has left me with only Jesus.
And I don’t ever want to forget.