Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cave Dweller....

I have been a bit lighthearted in my posts lately.  Perhaps because I have avoided the depth of my feelings regarding some parts of my life these days.  Some are still too tender, too real to share on the internet.  Some things are meant to be simply pondered.  However, a fragment of it all is something, unfortunately, all too many women are sharing. 
 The dreaded infertility.  
There are so many questions in my mind as to the whys.  However, my forte is not science or research so I will hold my guesses as to why my generation is seeing such an influx of infertility.  What a lonely journey.  I am sharing this because, chances are, you have someone in your life facing this hideous adversary.  Before my dance with it, I had many authentic friends share the pain and feelings accompanying it.  I had incredible empathy.  I can now transfer that to my own struggle and see why it deserves all you have and more to give to a friend facing it.
I am in a smaller boat.  I have a child.  So many facing this struggle are longing to experience pregnancy, hold a child in her arms that resembles her beloved and maybe a pinch of herself.  Though the pain I feel is maybe diminished a bit, there is still the knowledge of how great it can be.  And that adds salt.  My body longs for pregnancy.  To see my stomach swell.  To fill my milk come in.  To feel the sweet kicks of my child.  To be able to rest my hand on my stomach and pray for what will be.  I long to hold that precious child and to nurse and kiss and tell stories.  To see Abby Kate become a sister.  To watch her grow.  To see her learn to share her time and energy.  I feel so ready. 
 Perhaps the best description of this time is the verse, "hope deferred makes a heart sick."  The most dreaded day for those facing infertility is when the period comes, the test has no positive line, no symptoms appear.  And the worry and stress they tell you not to feel comes forth in barrels and you may dwell in it for a few days, or push it back or both.  But it is no fun.  I have many friends sharing this with me and to hear those few words, "I started." evokes such pain, sadness and hurt for my friend...sometimes I can barely stand it.  It is such a strange commonality to share.  However, it is strange that though there is comfort in the sharing, not much buoying.  Thus my previous statement, it is a lonely journey.   
So here are a few words of wisdom for you that have loved ones in your life facing this giant...
1.  PRAY.  Don't just say you will.  Please be on your knees for these precious women.  Pray for a product of the desire of their hearts.  But what is more, pray for His precious peace, for strength, for intimacy with HIM, for the abundant blessings of healing.  Pray for the protection of her marriage (it can get hard).  Pray for wisdom.  
2.  Don't fear sharing your joys.  I know how hard it is to share with a friend that is struggling that you are pregnant.  You want so badly to be sensitive.  To show you care.  But though it is hard to hear, we would not wish this struggle on our worst enemy.  We want to rejoice with you.  Be sensitive but not apologetic.
3.  Don't complain about your children or how easy it is for you to get pregnant.  This is a hard one.  We don't want you walking on eggshells but it is hard to hear when you are desperate for what they are complaining about.  I got pregnant with Abby Kate unexpectedly.  It was so easy.  I laugh now thinking of all the crazy things that have to be in place for us to think it will work.  What about all the girls getting pregnant in the back seat?  Ironic but still reality.  These realities play over and over in our minds so be sensitive.
4.  Encourage.  Show you are interested.  Ask good questions.  I know many are not as transparent as I am (I am TOO much) so know your friend as well.  But for me, I feel loved when others ask and are willing to talk about it.  Or simply write a note saying you are praying.  Just knowing your heart it touched by what we are going through is huge. 
Finally and personally, we are still clinging to a greater purpose.  I have been doing Beth Moore's A Heart Like His in my personal quiet times and it is a study about David.  One thing that hit me last night was that David spent years hiding in caves, trying to escape Saul's insane jealousy and desire to have him killed.  He sat for days at time in these dark, damp, cavernous caves, waiting.  But God etched HIS character upon David in those caves.  David waited patiently, obediently for God to show Himself strong on his behalf.  He knew God had better things for his life.  He knew there would be beauty from ashes.  So he waited and allowed God to shape him in the meantime.  I want to be just like him.  A modern day cave dweller.  Please pray as I wait.

7 comments:

Katie O said...

Thank you Stephanie, for sharing your heart. And for the wonderful, much needed advice.

I pray God fills you with His peace in the waiting, and that He will soon give you the desire of your heart.

You're a wonderful Mommy!

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic post. Oh, it is so hard . . . I think of you often, and know that you will find peace in building your family in some way soon. Let me know if you want to talk.

Love,
Erin

G Brown said...

Stephanie-

My heart breaks for you, but I know you are fulfilling the plan God has for you. Don't lose heart, and remember that "He will give you the desires of your heart." Just remember all the lives you are touching each and every day. So many people are going to see the miracle that comes in His perfect time.

Gloria

Rachel said...

hey steph!
it's rachel stockdale.
you... are an amazing writer. truly. seriously. no, i'm not dealing with infertility. i'm not pregnant, etc. etc. but... i was able to connect with your post in an amazing way that as c.s. lewis says, "we read to know we are not alone." we're not alone as we all deal with life's disappointments, whatever they may be. well, i'm glad i stumbled upon your lil' blog. :) i feel like you are a sister!!! i will be praying for you and bobbie and little abbykate. we all share in your grief.
love you so much!
Rachel

Laura said...

Wow, sweet girl, I WILL pray for you. I love you

Anonymous said...

Stephanie-
I happened on to your blog reading over Molly's (shockley). As i read my eyes welled up with tears...I SO KNOW and have lived every single feeling you expressed so perfectly and tenderly. When going through fertility treatment, I had a huge list of verses that I would pray while David gave me shots, while I waited in the dr's room, and repeated as they drew blood...hold tight to your faith, and remember he does have a bigger plan. Continue to speak out, there are very few of us "infertile" ones willing to put a face on it...and wether you know it or not, you ARE helping other women...you are helping them feel normal...you are an amazing woman of faith, cling to this through your pain, there is an end in sight...can't wait to hear what it is. Your tips were great...and just so you know, you are on my "nightly" prayer list....I assure you I won't stop until you have a new little "Qualls" in your arms....Becki (Murphy) Francy

Cat said...

Thanks for your beautiful transparency. Your post really touched me as I have seen several friends struggle with this... I am praying for you.

"For I plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans for a hope and future..."

Love you, dear friend.
Cat