One hundred one days…
I enjoy sharing my heart with people. This may come as a surprise to those who know me only as an acquaintance. I’m shy, and because of my reserved personality, it is not uncommon for me to be misunderstood. There have been people who have deemed me, “stuck up,” or “unapproachable.” I’m guilty of neither of those two accusations. I am to blame for not always knowing what to say, and so I choose to listen rather than talk. I hate the abashed feeling of “sticking my foot in my mouth.” I’ve done it all too often. Yet, when I’m speaking to someone about pregnancy loss, infertility, or what God is doing in my life and the lives of others around me, I can chat all day.
In the not so distant past, I was forced to deal with many topics I considered taboo. If I had to be part of conversations consisting of these topics, I felt it necessary to react one of two ways… I would either excuse myself from the conversation, or I would lie. I’m ashamed of the latter, but it’s the truth, and I can’t change it now. Many women love discussing pregnancy in all its forms: who is pregnant, who is crying because they found out they’re pregnant… again, maternity fashions, breast feeding, baby showers, and the list goes on, and on, and on, and on, until I would want to fall on the floor right in front of everyone while kicking, screaming, and pulling my hair out! I wanted to have a great big freak out fest! (How do you like that terminology?) Thank God I never did. Instead, if I was forced to participate in these conversations, I would lie and say things like, “my son is growing up, and the last thing I want to do is wake up in the middle of the night again,” or “I am SO done with diapers.” I lied, because I was mortified I couldn’t conceive. Instead of having a complete meltdown in front of everyone, I would go straight home and proceed directly to bed, where I would pull the covers over my head and uncontrollably sob myself to sleep. If only every tear shed could somehow release the grief forever. It doesn’t work that way. Tiny tantrums blended with tears do provide small relief for the short term, but when engulfed in so much pain, it never takes long to feel the heavy weight of grief all over again.
I haven’t begun to share the chapters in my book based on infertility; however, after recent exchanges with some amazingly brave women fighting this battle, I felt the need to communicate what I feel is important to keep in mind while dealing with infertility or grief of any kind.
Please remember you are not alone; grief is a process. Interaction with people can sometimes be difficult, but you cannot hide from it. If those people knew your situation, they wouldn’t purposely put you in the position of having to deal with hearing about everyone else’s “fertile Myrtle” moments or whatever other issues you might be facing. I know you don’t want people avoiding certain subjects and acting differently around you, but sometimes a little “tiptoeing” causes people to think before they speak. Trust me when I say, everyone needs an occasional barricade of the dreaded “eggshells” lying around them for protection every now and then.
All of us come from different backgrounds. Our family situations, monetary means, and forms of grief are not all the same. Decorative cut-glass is beautiful because of all the different types of pieces made to fit together. There are dissimilar hues of color, shapes, and sizes; yet, when they are placed specifically to coexist with each other, they form a beautiful work of art. When we unite together as the body of Christ to pray for one another, we encourage each other to find strength in Christ. This will, in turn, help to mend brokenness into a beautiful testimony, and ultimately give all glory to the Father.
The following are a few of the many lessons I have had to learn…
- Allow people to pray for you. (It’s sooooooooo important!)
- Don’t be embarrassed of situations you cannot control. (It’s not your fault!)
- Don’t become angry when people say too much. (Sometimes they just can’t comprehend your pain.)
- Don’t become angry when people say too little. (A few eggshells every now and then are not always a bad thing.)
- Give EVERYTHING to Jesus! (Please.)