I’ve had this conversation far more often than I would have liked to in the past few years but it’s a conversation that should be shared.
I think it should be shared so that women who can relate to one of these struggles feel validated. I also think it should be shared so that women who can’t relate to one of these struggles don’t forget that these are real struggles
I’ve found that when I am sharing about infertility or a friend is sharing about singleness, we end up being able to relate with identical emotions despite our circumstances being different.
Here in this post I want to explore why it is that us infertile and single gals are carrying very similar crosses.
1. Hope deferred
Proverbs 13:12 says:
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a wish fulfilled is a tree of life.”
While a woman is single or infertile, there are seasons where it feels like this “deferred hope” is the only constant in their life. That it defines everything. That life is on hold while this hope of something more is seemingly “put off” by God.
This proverb says that when hopes are deferred, the heart is made sick. That is the overall emotion that can consume the interior of a woman waiting for a desire to be fulfilled. And the desire to find ones vocation or to be married and bearing children are particularly deep desires.
See that other half of the verse?
“A wish fulfilled is a tree of life.”
It’s tempting to look at other women who have found their vocations/had children and feel like they are eating from a tree of life while we wait in the distance…sick to the very core of our beings with nothing but a hope for what they have.
All the while these women, often unaware of the blessings they do have, flaunt their “tree of life” all over Facebook/Instagram making social media a source of pain. Or worse…they complain openly to those of us with deferred hopes instead of to those in similar situations.
2. Guarded Hearts
Let’s go back to the book of Proverbs.
“With all vigilance guard your heart, for in it are the sources of life.”
This verse applies to all of us, no matter what state of life we find ourselves in. However, in a particular way, it can feel like the mantra of a single or infertile woman.
It feels like we are constantly fighting to guard our hearts against what is not yet reality.
All those fun things women talk/read about – wedding board on Pinterest, mommy blogs, baby showers, summer date ideas on Huffpost, nursery themes, honeymoon ideas, etc. are off-limits for us while we are actively “guarding our hearts.” To engage in these conversations or activities would inevitably be a source of extreme pain for us since we are not free and available to act upon these interests.
3. Feeling Alone
There wasn’t a Proverb for this one…but it reminds me of a certain Celine Dion chorus:
“All by myself…don’t wanna be….all by myself, anymore.”
Despite the knowledge that there are in fact several other women in very similar situations as us (single or infertile) there are moments on the journey where we feel completely and utterly alone.
We feel like we don’t “fit” anywhere. Our friends get married one by one…then start having kids ten seconds later and the relationship just changes. Since we don’t fit into the married with kids crowd, its easy to feel like we are on the outside.
I have yet to hear a woman say that she LOVES her infertility or singleness off the bat. If she is in a place of loving it, that often took years of abandoning to God’s grace. That’s a great place.
But long before ever reaching that state of peace and acceptance is usually a season of intense distrust in God’s will.
These thoughts creep in:
“Doesn’t God KNOW my desires? And that by willfully delaying them is causing my heart to be SICK?!?!? Why does everything I want seem to constantly be at odds with what God wants…while it looks like other people’s desires line up perfectly with God’s will. Could God actually be good since he’s allowing this much pain and suffering in my life?”
“Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God’s command. This is what man’s first sin consisted of. All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness.” CCC 397
This is a dangerous place to be on the journey of singleness/infertility. It can breed further separation from God…since why would we keep following and loving a God who we lack trust in?
Battling through this emotion is one of the most arduous but crossing over to the “other side” is a huge milestone. Coming to a place of abandonment and surrender to God’s will and choosing to trust it, despite our ability to understand it, is where massive amounts of spiritual growth are found while facing singleness/infertility.
5. Hope/Despair Cycle
Oh the old hope/despair cycle.
As a single woman it typically manifests itself with a potential love interest. The hope begins to creep in and grow….only to die when things fizzle out and it’s back to ground zero AKA despair. Then a little time passes and a new interest enters the picture…hope springs forth all over again.
As an infertile woman this cycle typically occurs more frequently. During the first two weeks of a woman’s cycle, hope enters in. This could be “the” cycle!!! The last two weeks are ones of anguish, battling hope and despair…hoping against hope that this is “the” cycle. Then that one day that friggin period arrives is like a death AKA despair. Then a couple days later, right back to hoping.
6. Waiting and waiting and waiting some more
This about sums up how well waiting goes when you are single/infertile.
During a season of singleness or infertility, it seems like waiting is all you do. Always waiting to meet someone, go on a date, get engaged, etc. Or always waiting to take a pregnancy test, try a new treatment, adopt, etc.
There is a temptation to feel like “life” is passing by while we are simply stuck waiting for “life” to begin. The scary part of waiting is actually starting to live one’s life while still waiting. That takes courage, vulnerability, and perseverance. God can make one’s life very fruitful in these circumstances…though often not the fruitful ways we had imagined or wanted.
Waiting, waiting, and waiting again is what it feels like we do best as single/infertile ladies. We watch friends enter vocations (either marriage or religious life) and they start taking vows or having children straight away…like life is rapidly happening to them and they don’t have to wait around for anything. If anything, they are probably praying for God to slow down on them a bit since life is a whirlwind. In our eyes? It’s a fabulous whirlwind we’d give anything to get swept into.
That’s all the similarities I’ve got here today, friends. If you can think of more, please share below in the comments section! I would love to hear from you!
One last note – to all you ladies who do NOT battle with singleness and infertility:
I know that you experience suffering and hardship. I know that you have a lot to offer up. I know that you likely still feel the above emotions. In no way am I sitting here is disillusionment that your life is perfect, as tempting that may be to believe. This is simply a post from the angle of singleness/infertility and how it can feel on the journey. God-willing, one day, I will be able to write a blog post about how hard being a mommy is but that’s just not the reality so that is why I am not writing about that today. Please don’t take offense to this post.
However – I would like to hear about how you relate to the above emotions, if ever at all…as it’s always good to hear about how just because circumstances change, struggles don’t.
Yep. Of all those who are not infertile, it is my single friends who “get it” the most.
Oh, and I love your last paragraph – spot. on.
Hello! I found my way here through Blessed to Be’s blog! I really enjoyed this post. Funny thing, I just wrote a post similar to this about waiting (for me, it’s singleness, but it applies to my friends who are experiencing infertility right now). Check it out!
Thank you for this post. I can’t imagine what those who are infertile are going through, but these 6 feelings you mentioned – spot. on. 🙂
Amanda, so spot on! My sister in law is single and so badly wants to be married. I think and pray for her so often and it just seems so unfair. I too am suffering terribly through infertility. It is the greatest pain so far in my life. I have a NaPro doctor who has been a huge blessing for us. A few weeks ago I had laparoscopic sugary done to remove endometriosis. I just found out that I am not pregnant this cycle. I am so crushed! Some days the grief and pain overwhelm me and I wonder how I will make it through. Thank you for your posts. It makes me feel less alone. God Bless.
Megan, are you working with a NaPro Technology doctor? I will be praying for you. I’m a single one, committing to serving Him in what I thought was to be marriage, but He has me doing a few different things — still, perfect cycle, but no teammate/spouse to share life with. Let us pray for each other. All the best, blessings!
Megan, thanks for writing. I am sorry to hear you are feeling crushed with sadness right now. I really hope the surgery helps with quality of life AND improving fertility. You and I will make it through this and we are so not alone in the journey. The dark days are lower than I could have ever imagined but do know they begin to be farther and fewer with time. My lowest of lows was about a year ago and so if you are anywhere close to as low as I was, please know that God does have a plan for you and it’s for your good even if things don’t feel that way currently. Hold to that truth more than the lies from the enemy whose goal is for us to despair under the weight of the cross.
Thanks for writing this! What I am struggling with my is that I do trust God, but I fear that His will and my desire to be a parent do not align, and it feels like grief that never ends because of the hope/despair cycle.
Chella, I hear you. I have feared the same thing. What IF I am actually never supposed to be a parent?!?!?! Scary to consider…and trust if that is what happens. I try to take comfort knowing that God’s will is not to make me suffer all my lifelong but to be happy and content with His will for my life. Somehow, someway, someday….we will get to that place of being content as long as we stay close to Jesus. Fearing God’s will is also one of the most anxiety filling activities I’ve ever done, LOL. Have you read “Searching for and Maintaining Peace?” or “Abandonment to Divine Providence?”
I would have to say that this is pretty spot on. I absolutely agree that marriage and babies right away has its own struggles, but I can’t speak to those struggles. I don’t know those struggles. I know these, and you are exactly right.
Thank you for posting! I can 100% relate to all of these in regards to singleness. I recently shared this struggle in a talk I gave for Totus Tuus. I didn’t know where it was going to go but as I prayed about it I realized that I feel this way (lonely, struggle with waiting) when I take my eyes off of Christ. We were discussing the four levels of happiness (pleasure, achievement, good beyond self – people, and ultimate good – Christ). So often I fall into the trap of thinking I will be fulfilled if I only had a boyfriend, etc. but I will only be completely fulfilled in Christ. The one place where I know without a doubt that I am loved perfectly and fully is when I receive Him in the Eucharist! He loves us so much and I cling to that as I am in that waiting period of my life! Thanks for sharing and know that you will be in my prayers!
Amen. Amen. Amen. It always comes back to the Eucharist.
You’re completely right about the “whirlwind” effect for those of us who had these things happen quickly. In my case, I got so used to the excitement of the “whirlwind” of falling in love and getting married (all within a year and a half at a time in my life when I specifically said I didn’t want it to happen) that about 5 months into marriage–when things started to get boring–I desperately wanted to conceive. And why? Because it would bring back the excitement and the attention that was so common place for a year and a half as I fell in love and got married.
TERRIBLE TERRIBLE TERRIBLE reason to want to get pregnant (though at what point during marriage prep did they discuss the terrible reasons to *want* to get pregnant? Oh that’s right, they didn’t…), and thank God we didn’t conceive, and I ended up realizing my true motives. We ended up actively waiting and avoiding pregnancy until 15 months into marriage so that we could learn to live out some of our “boringness” and to enjoy being boring together. (In fact, we would have gone longer, but had one of those days of spontaneity and thus a positive test later, haha!) Now my kid is out and about, and guess what? It just got boring again.
Point being, I feel like the boring times, the times of waiting, the times where we’re just sitting in Egypt with the blessed Mother waiting for the word from God that it’s time to get out, are where real, enduring love and faith are born. And like you pointed out, if we spend them wishing for something else and just looking at how fruitful life could be if *only* we could have a child, if *only* we could still be pursuing that career that has now passed us by, if *only* we could be married or at least pursuing marriage with someone, if *only* we could skip the baby years and move on to the years where kiddo will stop being so darn needy, we miss out on everything God has to give.
I also wanted to add, it’s completely understandable to not want to have certain conversations with people who have the things that we want in life, but that’s not an okay place to remain either. Any single, infertile, married, parenting person who finds themselves unable to listen to the joys and plights of someone else simply because they want what that person has needs to seek counseling, both psychological and spiritual, for the deep hurt they are feeling. I don’t think avoiding those conversations is what the Psalmist meant at all by “guard your heart,” and it is a testament to the limit of our ability to love if we cannot share in one another’s lives due to our own jealousy. I’ve been there, I completely get it, but it’s not the right place to remain.
To clarify what I meant by that last part, yes, certainly looking at wedding ideas on pinterest for a single person for 3 hours is not good, but that’s mostly because it’s a waste of time. Avoiding those conversations simply because they are painful is what I mean as being wrong or being not the emotional and psychological state to remain in.
“Guard your heart” really refers to guarding it from what is sinful, and there is an entire spirituality centered on that principle in Eastern Christian theology. It in no way implies avoiding what is painful; in fact, I think as Christians, that’s exactly where we are called to go in order to learn how to love.
Seekingtobehuman, as you can see your comments above hit the crowd this blog post was intended for a bit directly, myself included. I do not assume ill will on your behalf but found it tough to read your comment about, “In fact, we would have gone longer, but had one of those days of spontaneity and thus a positive test later, haha!” since that has not happened to me even once. I don’t know what “those days of spontaneity” means really. We don’t have that luxury. We have to be crazy intentional about “timing” and so if we have a “day of spontaneity” it’s usually post peak when I couldn’t even possibly get pregnant anyhow. So that was a hard comment to process.
Secondly, as stated below, there is a huge difference between boredom and waiting. Iv’e heard it said that “boredom is a problem with the soul.” If you are genuinely bored with your vocation, that is something that really should be addressed. I am here, waiting for kiddos, but Jonathan and I are not bored by any sense of the word. We really do try to be adventurous in the midst of heartache. I love my vocation and am anything but bored.
Lastly, it felt like you assumed that I am a jealous person who can’t talk to people who have things I don’t have. That’s is so not the case. I have many friends who are mommies. Many of them even tell me about their struggles from time to time and it doesn’t even hurt, because we are either family or great friends and we are simply sharing life. I was referring mostly to people that aren’t particularly close to my life or circumstances. Those conversations are usually the ones that hurt the most, since there isn’t the relationship present. AND I stand by the “guard your heart” phrase since by actively avoiding “trigger conversations” that could really upset me, I am avoiding sin – greed, envy, jealousy, anger, etc. I am taking myself from a place of genuine temptation. As the years go by, these inevitably will lessen, the wounds just happen to be fresh at this season of life. I will not likely need to actively guard my heart from infertility when I am 95 years like I do right now in the middle of the battle. I don’t need counseling about that. Other things, sure. But not since I intentionally avoid things that will set me off into a sad/angry place.
Well said, Amanda. There is no way I would have been able to offer a rebuttal nearly as elegant as that. I think most (read: all) of the infertile women reading this just stared at the screen and found it hard to type anything charitable. My red flag always goes up when someone starts diagnosing me on the internet in the comment section with the skill of their superiority complex…
Amanda, I’m sorry if it wasn’t clear that my intention was to answer the question that you posed of how a married person relates to this and that I was relating to your sixth point of “waiting and waiting and waiting.”
Forgive me for sharing my experience of boredom and waiting and how my experience of waiting was dependent upon the factor that I wanted a child for the wrong reasons. And just to clarify, I assure you that I meant no implication of anyone else’s reasons for wanting a child but merely to share my experience. Even though you made no comment to that effect, it appears 10000 spoons is really pissed off, so I thought I’d make sure this was clarified, because otherwise I don’t know why this is so upsetting.
It seems I was also not clear that, after realizing my poor motives for wanting to have a child, I was very much waiting for the green light from the Holy Spirit that we could start trying to conceive. Is my experience exactly the same as trying to conceive time and time again and not achieving that? No, of course not, and I never pretended that it was. But it nevertheless felt applicable to the 6th point you made about waiting and waiting because my husband and I *were* actively waiting for the Holy Spirit to point out to us that it was an okay time to stop avoiding pregnancy. It’s very difficult to want something like a child and avoid it simply because God keeps telling you you’re not ready.
At the same time, yes, we DID come to a point where I realized I was living in the future and we learned how to enjoy the present. I’m sorry, is it not acceptable for me to express that we came out of that period of “waiting and waiting and waiting”? Is it not acceptable for me to express that I found healing from that specific circumstance prior to the conception of our first child? Does that somehow invalidate the fact that I went through those feelings at all? Does it invalidate the fact that the temptation to re-enter that mode of needing to move on to “the next thing” continually presents itself, whether it’s over career choices, more children, money, etc., and we continually battle that temptation?
For us, waiting and boring went together, and perhaps in a more obvious way than it does for other people. At the same time, I think we all have to admit that those times that we get lost in constantly looking toward the future (my life will FINALLY be complete once I get married, have a child, have another child, etc) really is an expression of boredom with what we have in the present, that what we have in the present is somehow not enough even though it may be all that God will ever give to us. That feeling of “waiting and waiting and waiting” does point to a certain amount of boredom, I think, by its very essence.
To address the point you made about my comment regarding a moment of spontaneity: it was an aside comment meant to point out that we genuinely perceived the promptings of the Holy Spirit asking as to avoid pregnancy for longer and in that moment felt a call (yes, more than our genitals) to do otherwise. I can see how it may have seemed meant to “rub something in”, but that was not my intention. I simply meant to show that we thought we had a much longer way to go before God let us know we were ready to have children. Incidentally, in trying to avoid pregnancy for every other month of my marriage, I DO know what it’s like to not be allowed those moments of spontaneity.
I’m not sure what you mean to imply by your comment, “if we have a ‘day of spontaneity’ it’s usually post peak when I couldn’t even possibly get pregnant anyhow.” Does sex hold no joy or purpose for you if you can’t get pregnant from it?
I do not assume that you are a jealous person: you point it out for yourself when you say that you need to avoid certain things in order to avoid “greed, envy, jealousy, anger, etc.” And to a certain extent, THAT’S okay, all I’m saying is that it’s not okay place to remain and simply avoiding this or that until the feelings go away is not enough. Guarding one’s heart means so much more. While I don’t understand from experience the pain of infertility and wanting a child, I DO understand the pain of wanting something you simply cannot have, something that feels intrinsic and wholly natural to your well-being. There are things that I currently avoid because I feel similar promptings of anger and jealousy from them, too, but I believe in actively seeking to move beyond the need for avoidance of a-moral things like a stranger telling me about their experience, even to the point of seeking and benefiting from psychological and spiritual counseling. I refuse to wait until I’m 95 for my issues to not bother me anymore because I believe that abundant life means experiencing healing from our deepest wounds *as soon as possible* and continuing through a lifetime.
I hope this helps clarify my points. Even though I fully acknowledge that some of my points were not clear, the offense expressed by you and 10000 Spoons certainly makes it feel like you had far less desire to find common ground with married, parenting couples than you seemed to express originally. I feel like you saw what I was expressing through the lens of someone desperately wanting a child–which is of course, natural and expected and where clarification was absolutely due on my end–but it would have been nice to see at least some attempt at understanding how my experience of “waiting and waiting and waiting” could also be difficult, especially if you’re asking for that to be related. The same would be appreciated from all the comments I now see below. For my experience alone (the “how dare you explain that your pregnancy happened spontaneously!”) to be offensive is absolutely ridiculous. Otherwise, I might as well complain about the number of times I’ve heard infertile couples discuss their freedom to pursue careers, travel, etc., but that, too, would be wrong and ridiculous.
I saw what you said about waiting and letting life pass you by and related to that, and I saw what you said about waiting while *not* letting the rest of life pass by, and I related to that as well. That was the whole point of sharing my experience.
I’m terribly sorry to add this comment and to not simply have said it from the offset, but I did want to acknowledge that I understand you and your husband are not “bored,” and that it is helpful to see you clarify exactly what you are avoiding in guarding your heart. I feel like I have done a poor job expressing an understanding or at least having read what you are saying from the beginning, and I really am trying to see your points here. The barrage of comments in addition to really not having the time to express myself adequately have thrown me.
Just now seeing these comments. I must say, although there is a lot of back and forth here and some miscommunication, I am glad this dialogue is happening.
Seekingtobehuman, I really am open to having people who are married with children (or any other background for that matter) comment on the blog and relate to various posts. You are right – I asked for people in your shoes to let me know how you related to the above emotions, if at all. And that you did. I apologize for not seeing that in your comment. I didn’t put it together that you were relating to the “waiting and waiting” point. Indeed you were though, by waiting on God to give you the green light. That is a wait and I am sure you truly battled in that time. I now see that and thank you for sharing that experience with me. You did experience the same emotion, in a different set of circumstances.
I saw you comment elsewhere below that you also thought women with infertility might be able to relate to poor motives in becoming a parent. I actually have been wanting to write a blog article on THAT issue alone. I have heard women say things like “we are just going to try right away since I want to make sure there isn’t anything wrong with me” etc. And way worse. I know I can even own up to poor motives that first year of trying. The motives have since been purified by time and Jesus and are still being purified. One day, if we become parents, we will be FAR better ones than had we gotten to be parents straight out the gate 9 months after our wedding. I am grateful for that, as you mentioned being grateful you didn’t get pregnant just because you wanted something exciting.
Lastly, many of us have received counseling for IF emotions. We are works in progress and I am WAY healthier emotionally than I was a year ago. Through avoiding certain things I give my heart a break so God can fill me with my true identity as His daughter, making me stronger in Him. I now can be in situations that would have been triggers a year ago but aren’t today. I suspect a year from now it will be even better. I am absolutely not waiting till I am 95 to be healed, that was just an example. I could have said 35 I guess but I know this hurt of infertility will likely always be present until I am out of the child bearing years to some extent. Time does heal but it’s also a wound that can be ripped open monthly for the next 20 years, which makes it unique when compared to other hurtful events in ones life. At least this cross to me personally has been different to grieve than other ones that were more “concrete.”
I do feel a bit badly that it seems like “the hounds” descended upon you in these comments but I do believe it can be an educational moment for us all. For me? I will try harder to get out of my own perspective and put on the perspective of others commenting so I can see how they are relating their experiences to mine. You have likely learned that language and certain phrases hurt women with infertility deeply. You could have related your experiences waiting on God’s time WITHOUT saying you spontaneously had sex one month and got pregnant. You could have also refrained from comments that insinuated that I myself (or others with infertility who happened to be in a state of avoiding certain convos temporarily) need counseling. if that is true, our spouses or spiritual directors will likely also be able to see that and recommend as a course of action.
Lastly, this isn’t the first place you have (likely unknowingly) said hurtful things to me about infertility. I know you may think I am hypersensitive but your bluntness can be tough to swallow as a woman battling infertility. Please try to be aware of what emotions you might trigger when dealing with this topic with women in the future.
First of all, saying that you “get it” while admitting that you are married and were actively avoiding a pregnancy and then having a really easy time getting pregnant is offensive to those who are struggling with infertility and prolonged singleness! Infertility is no difficult because you are avoiding something for a time for your own good (that is virtuous in many ways). Infertility is so heartbreaking because you are seeking something good, healthy and holy and you are feeling the LACK of it. Infertility is a natural evil, to take it to a philosophical level.
Second of all, there is a huge difference between BORING and WAITING. To be BORED is interior; if you are bored and upset because someone else isn’t bored, that is not healthy. But you can fix this. Go DO something. Bored would be connected to sloth which, your right, you have to overcome to love properly. However, to WAIT is exterior! You are waiting for something good to happen to you. You are not in control. You may be able to take steps towards it happening but it happening is completely out of your control. And to acknowledge to lack, the wait, is important and healthy!
Lasting, I would say that, as an example, it is completely OK, smart and perhaps even virtuous, for someone whose parents just died to be upset when they see others celebrating Mothers or Fathers day. Would I be saying that others shouldn’t celebrate because my parents are dead. NO! But I need to give my heart time and permission to mourn the natural evil of death. I need to feel sad when I am reminded of my loss and lack. “Blessed are those who mourn.” In fact, even St. Thomas Aquinas talks about how tears are a necessary and good response to pain. We need to find ways to guard our hearts against bitterness and allow our hearts to heal.
I’m sure I speak from the entire infertile world when I say that we would give ANYTHING for an ‘oops’ pregnancy. Those of us dealing with lifelong infertility need all the help and encouragement we can get, which is what this blog author is giving. Everyone’s cross is different. Grieve and let grieve.
As someone who has dealt with infertility and was blessed to become a mother (though we weren’t lucky enough to have a “moment of spontaneity and thus a positive test later”…it actually involved 3 years of very exact timing, 2 surgeries, multiple medications, followed by over 30 weeks of injections twice a week to support the pregnancies), I didn’t seek a pregnancy because we were “boring”. I don’t find motherhood boring either. It may be stressful, frustrating, and have moments that drive me crazy, but I can say that I’m not bored. I agree with Michelle that infertility is not something that you can just get over. Even after having children, I still am sensitive about it. It is a wound to your soul to repeatedly deal with the loss of the hope of becoming a parent. The scars are still there even if you are blessed to have your hopes fulfilled. Your personal motives for wanting to get pregnant have absolutely nothing to do with the struggles of those dealing with infertility.
I gave a clarification to Amanda above that might help explain some things. Mrs. Blondes, if you never find motherhood boring, good for you. I must live in a strange circle of moms, because pretty much every one of them have voiced feeling bored at some point.
Thanks so much for pointing this out. I have sort of experienced both of these crosses, and have often thought how similar they are. I didn’t meet my husband until I was 36, and really thought I would never be married or have children. This, for me, was even harder than dealing with the infertility that I now know is an issue for us. Both situations leave an empty place in our heart for someone we haven’t met and don’t if we ever will meet. Trust is so hard in both cases, but God never did say it would be easy, did He?
I’m loving me this “spot on” phrase from yall! It’s cute so many chose to use that phrase! 🙂 I consider myself to have a PhD in both singleness (pre-marriage) and now infertility so good thing it sounds like I know what I am saying here. Life’s had me in these classrooms long enough to learn a few lessons 🙂
I just want to be clear when I say that I’m seeking to be human with this comment: Infertility is not a choice. It is not something you wake up and think through. It cannot be debated philosophically through the lens of immaturity or impetuousness. Infertility is not something you get over or past like boredom. Every single morning that you wake up breathing, infertility is there to greet you with its ugly, venomous claws. It’s there to remind you that you can’t have the very blessing you and your spouse promised God to create with your marriage. The void it creates in your heart and mind and soul is real. And it aches.
Infertility can never be compared to the likes of boredom with your lot or stage in life. It is not a lack of excitement that drives the perpetuation of the human race and that kind of reductionist thinking frankly has no place in the realm of creating children. Soul assignment is not something God does when you are bored with other things in your life.
I will refrain from trying to twist the words of God to frame my comment here since I see that has been *thoroughly* done by someone on this thread already. I will merely remind everyone with all the charity I possess in my aching infertile heart that we are to suffer WITH each other.
Any judgment of a person suffering a deep, intractable loss has no place in a thread like this. I would heartily recommend everyone who has commented here take an inventory of their conscience and seek God’s mercy accordingly.
Somewhat related: I thought this was otherwise a great post. Thanks! 🙂
I feel like your comment being as thoughtful as it was deserved a more direct reply: I want to clarify that I had no intention of judging anyone, merely of sharing *my* experience, *my* background, why *I* was waiting and waiting impatiently. I don’t understand how that got communicated that this was anything but *my* experience, but that appears to be the case for many people. At the same time, at least one of my infertile friends has admitted to realizing infertility hurt her so deeply because she did have some unholy attachments and wrong motives for having children. So even though I knew there would be many people who could not relate to that point exactly, I thought perhaps it was possible someone out there could relate. It would appear my friend and I are the only ones reading who have ever had poor motives for having children, though. Moreover, I wanted in that first comment to express my feelings of relating to the waiting game, the times when I was (or am currently) not doing it the right way, and the times when I *was* doing it the right way.
Although it may have been unclear, my intention was to attempt to relate in what little way I could as a married parent. I make no pretense that I can relate to the exact pain of infertility, only to seeing the love and faith that is born out of times of having to wait. My friends who are much older and have been through infertility for decades have agreed with me on that point, and so I immediately thought it was something to point out as an area of commonality.
I meant no judgment of anyone by saying that having to avoid certain a-moral situations is not an okay place to remain. Though I haven’t experienced infertility in the same way you all have, I have experienced two *massive* losses in my life and know the hurt and beauty of grieving. I also know that healing is possible and how I wouldn’t have understood the kind of healing possible if it weren’t for someone telling me “You need to be able to face these situations, and you need to get into counseling to heal those wounds.” The fact is, having to avoid those a-moral situations to avoid sin means there are still areas where a person needs to grow. I’m not attributing culpability to anyone, just the simple fact of the matter that those opportunities for growth are present. It was also not clear until Amanda explained it to me in the comments that she’s able to have those conversations in some capacity. I came at the subject very strongly because I was worried any conversation in the categories she listed was off limits.
Saw this post and thought of a conversation we had about Catholic circles.
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