The Weird Tension of Infertility : A Confession

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If there is anything the infertility journey has taught me, it's that I have a lot of emotions - and learning how to navigate them without allowing them to rule my life or wound those around me, has been a really interesting battle.

There is a tension I never realized I would feel, and it's created this anxiousness for a miracle. Confession: I am absolutely terrified to get pregnant.

So many on this journey may understand - fear of getting pregnant only to lose the baby, either early or late term, is a valid anxiety. However, that's not the fear that worries me the most. I have become so deep-rooted in the trying to conceive (TTC) community, and I have sat back and watched how many women handle the news of a fellow sister on this journey getting pregnant. In a moment that should bring us hope and excitement watching someone who has walked through their own personal hell to become a mama is filled with jealousy, bitterness, and a "why her" mentality.

I see women who have struggled for years to get pregnant, and once they do, feel guilty. GUILTY. God has opened their womb and allowed this pregnancy to happen, this gift of life to be conceived in her body, and guilt consumes a happy moment. Wanting to be sensitive is a noble and loving thing, but to feel like you can't post a photo because your bump will ruin someone's day, or not share your news of becoming pregnant because you know the turmoil that will happen in your group's heart -- what is wrong with us, friends?

This isn't unique to the TTC community - this is life. We commiserate with someone, anyone, who is walking a journey with us, and the second they are able to break free from the bondage of said journey, they're outcasted - we want nothing to do with them anymore, and we don't want to celebrate their successes with them. We want them to keep all their goodness to themselves because of our selfishness and jealousy.

I don't want to be like this. I want to celebrate my people. I want to celebrate my barren sisters who are no longer barren. I want to champion my people who no longer feel the ache of the wait while I still wait. I want to create such a safe space between the two of us that they can come to me for prayer because something doesn't feel right -- because they know I love them.

My best friend got pregnant without trying. The first 6 months after their wedding I made jokes the entire time that she was going to get pregnant (she had a 5 year plan and it didn't involve kids. LOL at plans, right?), and she was pretty adamant that wouldn't happen. Until the phone call that happened at work and text messages of positive pregnancy tests - she was devastated. A pregnancy isn't what they anticipated at all, and how could this be happening? My friend was crying to me, not worried about how I would feel - praise Jesus! She came to me, knowing I love her more than my circumstances, and she let me walk her through this. She apologized later and said "I know you want a baby more than anything, and here I am complaining about an unplanned pregnancy". What a beautiful opportunity for me to remind the both of us that God's timing is a REAL and IMPORTANT thing - He is the only one who opened her womb, and this baby is here for a reason, and that she will be okay. Another big thing I have learned: God doesn't make mistakes. Sweet baby girl is now 11 months old, fierce as all get-out, and I love her so much it hurts.

Sisters in the TTC community - can your friends run to you in pain like this, or do they have to tip-toe around you? Surely I haven't always gotten this right, and there is always the grace to grow. Romans 12:15 says "Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep". It doesn't say "rejoice with only those who are going through the same thing as you". No, it's rejoice with those who rejoice - despite your own sadness, anger, frustration. Those things? We get to give them to Jesus, the one who has the shoulders big enough to bear them! Doing this frees us up for the love and grace and mercy and kindness for our friends who are no longer walking the infertility road.

Imagine this: you've been trying to conceive for 5 years, and it finally happens. Your miracle! You want to shout from the rooftops and scream praises and hallelujah's to our sweet Jesus because you KNOW it was only from Him that life is created!... except, you can't, because half of your friends in your world are still not pregnant, and the rants you read on social media are full of "why her" and "I'm happy for her and sad for me". What God wants you to proclaim (His glory and goodness), is stalled because of the enemy's schemes of bitterness and jealousy rooted in our hearts. FLUSH. IT. OUT. Our hearts are Spirit-filled and have no room for these ploys. You can be happy for someone without being sad for yourself, because it has nothing to do with you! I say that with all the love and grace possible, and I know tone isn't conveyed well through text - but the reality is, we get to celebrate and champion our TTC sisters in their pregnancies because their pregnancy has absolutely nothing to do with us. We know we can't earn God's grace - so let's stand firm in this grace, and in His love, and wait well.

When I do get pregnant, I will be sharing the news with joy, because Jesus deserves the praise. 

And I know I will be labeled insensitive by some of my sisters, even for sharing the news one time, and for that, I am so sorry. But God is going to do a miracle, and when this miracle happens, the gates of hell will not shut me up. I sing His praises in the middle of the wait, and I will sing His praises after the wait. It doesn't mean I won't forget the journey, but infertility does not serve us, friends. We need to stop serving it.

I want to be so known for my crazy love that at the end of my days, the people around me will say I never let the ache of this world make me bitter. It has before, and I was miserable - I don't want to live that way anymore, and I don't have to. You don't have to live in that bitter ache, either. Outdo one another in showing honor [Romans 12:10b] -- in doing so, there's not enough room for jealousy. Love and jealousy don't exist well together.

What is Jesus wanting to do for you in this wait? Are you listening to Him? Can you think of times where maybe you got this really wrong and really right? I can, and to be able to sit back and allow Jesus to remind me how much I've grown in this journey, and where He has filled in the gaps between gives me hope for my future. God wouldn't be doing this work if it wasn't for a reason, right?

There is purpose here, sisters. So much purpose.

- Brittney Closner (Promise to the Path) 

Courtney Longnecker