I watched an old Oprah tonight about a woman facing her 4th year of infertility--and it hit me much harder than I thought it would. As this precious guest, Jenna, was talking about how she felt using words like bruised, ashamed, disappointed and frustrated I just wanted to hug her and say, "I know." It brought all the tears I shed and desperate prayers I prayed right back to the surface.
At one point Jenna said she feels so ashamed because 'having babies is what a woman is supposed to be able to do--it is the one function a woman's body is designed to do that a man's is not.' I can remember saying that exact thing. I felt like I owed my husband, especially, a huge apology. He was never anything short of supportive, but I felt terrible that he had unknowingly married a reproductive lemon.
I remember well-intentioned, kind people making ill-informed statements that were supposed to make me feel better--but wound up making me feel more alone and misunderstood. No one could 'fix' me except God and He was choosing not to intervene in the way I desperately wanted Him to.
I rarely talk about my infertility because I am not a wallower. I don't advocate living in the past. I like to move on. I do, however, think it is necessary to periodically revisit the places where God has delivered you from, if for no other reason than to fully appreciate the gifts we have been given. God eventually answered my prayer for offspring--and He answered it abundantly. This family that exhausts me and pushes me to my limits is nothing short of a God-given miracle.
But what if He hadn't answered me the way I wanted? God does not answer every prayer specifically as requested like some sort of Divine short order cook. I must be careful to not equate His goodness with how large my bank account of blessings is (or isn't). He is who He is. He does what He does and He is the same God in times of plenty and in times of want.
I am in the middle of reading Job in my quiet times. It is a poignant reminder of God's ability to give lavish gifts and allow times of pain and agony in our lives. Do we understand His methods or His purposes? Not always.
All I know is that the fire He has brought me through so far has been for His glory and my refinement...and tonight that is enough for me.