Friends, for the next few minutes, I want you to loosen that label. Step out from under that dark cloud raining pain and loneliness on you. Go ahead. Just for a minute. You can have it back if you want.
I want to speak into those deep recesses of your soul that no one gets to see, that makes you feel desperately alone and feels as though your femininity is being compromised.
Women have enough trouble looking themselves in the mirror sometimes, facing the comparisons of Hollywood and walking in the shadows of their peers. Throw in a healthy dose of infertility and that is a nasty mixture and the outcome just tastes bitter.
Walk into a baby shower, through the aisles of Target or past the nursery at church where all of your peers have at least a baby on the way if not a couple children tugging on their skirt. You put on that really brave smile which you’ve learned to fasten all too well by this point, while the self-hatred sinks in and your soul cracks under the pressure.
You go to your doctor and they begin talking about your misshapen uterus, your dysfunctional ovaries, or how the system overall is a broken machine. Does that still make me a woman? You start tossing around the idea of a hysterectomy, surgery or reproductive technology and your feminine identity seems to slip out of your fingers. Reality tries to contradict what your your tears are speaking for you, but to no avail.
If you’ve struggled for infertility for any length of time, chances are you empathize with one of these painful scenarios or one like them. I know I have. My list of what I’ve learned to protect myself from is long. Otherwise, well, it’ just gets ugly.
Can I tell you a secret?
You, my broken sister, are still a woman. You do not pale in comparison to the rest. Your life has purpose. Things may not be turning out exactly how you had expectantly planned once upon a time; BUT, there is hope for your future.
Your heart may break but you are no less of a woman than all those trying to surround you and comfort you. It can be a tough pill to swallow when mom’s tell you that there’s nothing wrong with you; but, from one infertile woman (and a fertility professional) to another…There’s nothing wrong with who YOU are!
There is still a reason for your husband to chose you and love you. You may doubt if you’re still lovable because your body can’t fulfill his dreams for him. Chances are, the only one doubting you is you.
My challenge to you (and to myself) is to stop letting lies take up residence in your heart. Stop believing these painful lies, threatening your tender womanhood, and paralyzing any sense of hope that we you have. This is a season of life that you are in and not something that is taking root in your identity. Your name tag doesn’t say, hello my name is infertile or hello my name is barren. That’s a lie straight from the pit of hell.
The truth is, is that you are:
That’s what you are, sweet friend.
Go ahead and seal your heart back up. Fasten up your self-protection. But, while you do, allow truth to stay in. Don’t let the lies of the infertility marinate in your brokenness. Instead, let the truth of who you are heal what infertility has tried to steal from you.
Go confidently knowing who you are!