In the struggle with infertility, we, the infertile/subfertile are not across a divide from our sisters with large families or abundant fertility. The line is a mental and emotional construct, and it can be deconstructed if only we stop, identify it, and pray for the grace to let any negative thoughts or feelings go.
Here's the real truth, we share more with each other when we are united in faith and open hearts than we could through life circumstance.
It is my life circumstance that I have a small (to me; society thinks I'm perfecto) family and the education and means to have a comfortable life that includes extras many moms of many have to do without.
All the trappings might look different, our crosses look different, but at the heart of it, we're walking in the same direction. All of us, all of us faithful women trying to live out God's will in our lives are heading towards heaven to the best of our ability. Whether we're walking that walk with 0, 2, or 10 kids, it's the same goal.
I don't know why my sanctification includes the loss of a child in utero, the loss of a toddler, and secondary infertility. I don't know. Any more than you know why your sanctification includes any of the crosses you're carrying....and one of those crosses might be the sheer weight of caring for all the children with whom God has entrusted you.
Here we are, all sisters in Christ. When struggling with infertility, it can be so tempting to step away from our sisters with large families and abundant fertility. Because they have what we want and we just can't grasp how to bridge that divide or reconcile our aching hearts with our love for them.
Here's how; walk next to them. Get to know their heart. My two biggest supports, my two best cheerleaders in my struggle with infertility have 7 and 10 children.
They have lost children in miscarriage, they have suffered other crosses, they carry heavy burdens in the care of their family.
One of those moms was the only person to bring me a meal after we lost Mara in an ectopic rupture. She didn't even know me at the time really, we just belonged to the same homeschool group. But, she had lost babies, and she reached out.
Those big family mamas, with their eyes fixed on Jesus have much more in common with the infertile mother struggling to remain open to God's will in her life than the childless woman closed to the gift of life. Our outsides might look more the same, but our interior life is where the richness of friendship and support comes from.
Infertility is such an isolating cross. If we're not speaking about it openly, there are many assumptions about how we must be living in ways counter to our faith. If we are speaking about it openly, it can be difficult for our friends and family to know how to love us and share their happy news.
But all of this, the difficulty in relationship between the fertile and the infertile, this difficulty is from the devil. Satan is attacking life from every angle he can. Don't think he's not trying to harden your heart in your infertility. He is. He's after you, because you're already vulnerable and exposed. He's trying to kick you when you're down.
This separation of fertile and infertile women is not of God. God doesn't share in teaching or tradition that we are to be separate in our communities and lives; the fertile on one island, the infertile on another.
It can be painful on both sides, to see friends struggling with large families when we'd take on that burden without blinking. But it's also hard for them to see us struggle while they yearn for a fraction of the down time we might have.
We are not called to be comfortable in our relationship with each other on this path to heaven. We are called to embrace each other, lift each other back up, and encourage each other.
And there is blessing in doing it. Those friendships are precious, and it has nothing to do with the numbers in our vehicles, and everything to do with the love in our hearts, for God and each other.
|Our most recent playdate with those big families was blissfully exhausting :)|