I recently purchased a book about dealing with infertility. It isn’t your typical go-to guide about treatments and diagnosis, but instead it is excerpts of people’s lives that have dealt with infertility on some level. The book is called Empty Womb, Aching Heart by Marlo Schalesky.
When I asked my husband to add this book to his order he was pained by the title. Even when he brought it home to me, he was concerned about how hard the book would be to read. As we sat on the couch, him watching TV and me reading this book, he looked over at me and questioned, “Sad?” For me this book isn’t sad, it is real. It is everything that I am dealing with on a daily basis. It is a reminder that better days will come, that we’re not alone and most importantly it is a reminder that while this journey is hard, it will only be harder if we feel sorry for ourselves and stop living our lives because it hurts too much.
I only have had this book in my hot little hands for a little more than 36 hours and I am already halfway through it. The pages are littered with post-it notes and words that I want to remember. Undoubtedly, there will be more posts to come on this topic, but for today let’s start at the beginning….
My first neon green post-it note reads:
“Even Jesus wept.”
As Christians we are taught to be thankful for the blessings that we’ve been given by the grace of God. Sometimes although we are thankful for the blessing we have received, we are pained by the ones that have seemingly gone unnoticed. In these moments I find myself feeling guilty that the gifts that I’ve been given are not enough. Like a spoiled child on Christmas morning, I run to my room sobbing that yet another month has passed and I am still not pregnant.
In this excerpt from the book the woman realizes that she isn’t crying out because she wants something so much it hurts. Instead she is crying out in grief much like Jesus did when Lazerus died. Jesus felt grief and wept even though he knew he would raise Lazerus from the dead, he still grieved the loss.
The tears of infertility are tears of grief. Our hearts are grieving the loss of children that we wanted and prayed for that haven’t come. The pain is not insignificant.
Which brings me to my second post-it note….
“I’ve come to realize that God understands my tears, and that they don’t fall to the ground unnoticed.”
He knows our pain and meets us in the midst of it.