Everyone is dealing with something. It struck me one morning as I was getting off the metro a couple months ago. People were coming and going from all directions. I had just ridden my 5 stops in a bit of a distracted fog. A funk really. But stepping off the metro, I realized that I was bracing myself. Putting on a happy face, ready to walk into work again like everything was wonderful.
And if that’s what I was doing (me, someone who has the strength of positivity) I wondered how many people around me were doing the same thing. Or who didn’t even have the strength that day to try. Everyone is dealing with something.
For us, that “something” has been and continues to be a battle against infertility. There, I said it. Ripped off like a bandaid. We’ve gone public. Completely exposed.
Such a taboo and vulnerable subject. And I’m tired of it being that way. It’s become core to who I am now and no matter our outcome, I think it will always be a piece of me.
I’ve sort of wanted to blog about our journey for the last several months for a couple reasons:
- Infertility actually affects 1 in 8 couples. I want to break the stigma and help people understand how common it is and how many people around you are probably dealing with it too. And possibly help you understand what they’re going through.
- To encourage others who are in the same journey. I’ve heard it said that infertility carries the same weight as a cancer diagnosis, as far as emotional trauma goes. It is a hard and lonely road and I want others to know that they’re not alone. I want to encourage others to reach out to their support networks or others dealing with it too.
- So that God can be glorified. I know that if we have to go through this, that one of the purposes is so that God can use it to His glory. And He can’t be glorified if we don’t share what He has done (& is doing).
- To share (& process) some of the lessons that we’ve been learning through it all that really are applicable to everyone, regardless of your exact circumstances. Like lesson #1: “Everyone is dealing with something”.
I’ve been held back from sharing publicly by fear of being too vulnerable. Not sure if I wanted everyone to know our business. (Our inner circle of friends and family have been journeying with us for months.) But I’m feeling even more compelled by the reasons above and it’s time I give in.
As for our journey, we’ve been “trying” for 2 years. Journeying and struggling through “infertility” (as a label) for the last 9 months or so. Currently going through medical treatment, which is no walk in the park. It has been a roller coaster. So many ups and downs. Sometimes by the hour. Certainly by the day, week, and month. If I’m going to lay it all out there, I’ve struggled with feeling rocked to the core of my identity, with feeling incredibly alone, with feeling traces of hopelessness, and of course, with wondering “why us”. We’ve also been drawn closer to God and to each other. We’ve had the great opportunity to encourage and be encouraged by others we know going through this too. We’ve experienced the tremendous blessing of an amazing support network. We’ve seen God move in some mighty ways and have learned some really valuable lessons.
Everyone is dealing with something – a loved one battling cancer, conflict in a marriage, chronic migraines, feelings of loneliness, a miscarriage, unemployment, a personal financial crisis… something.
A simple, but profound lesson that I’m grateful to have fully realized. It has helped me view people with more kindness and empathy. In a world of social media where we choose which are the best pieces of ourselves to post publicly. Where we constantly compare ourselves to someone else’s highlights (but not the lowlights). And in a society where we put on our happy face and answer “I’m good, how are you?” without thinking twice. We just don’t know what others are struggling with.
It has made me want to be kinder to the cashier at the store, to greet the man always handing out papers at my metro stop, to give drivers on the road the benefit of the doubt (I know that’s a hard one!). To realize and remember that the person next to you is probably dealing with something hard too. We might as well choose joy and try to spread it to others.
As for our current struggle:
“I watch in hope for the Lord. I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.” ~Micah 7:7
More to come soon…