I wanted to share a few things that have been ministering to me from our Thursday Bible Study on transforming our speech. We meet every Thursday and inbetween, we have five days worth of studies to work through. I am so enjoying this study!
Here's a few passages that ministered to me during my devotional time today:
"When I look at my heart, I see all the spiritual features that identify who I am. My heart reflects my character, my thoughts, my desires, my emotions, my motivations, and the decisions I make. My face speak of who I am physically just as my heart speaks of who I am spiritually. My words merely give an external voice to the internal speech of my heart.
The image that comes to my mind is the water gurgling up from various underground mineral springs in the beautiful Canadian Rocky Mountains, our summer vacation spot. The water normally stays hidden underground, as part of the water table. But in certain areas it bubbles to the surface and overflows. In each case, the overflow reveals what is hidden. The water comes up hot, cold, or stained depending on conditions below the surface. Our hearts represent the ground from our words spring (Proverbs 4:25)."
I hope to continue to share various things that I am learning during this study so that you can benefit from it as well.
Today I went to MOPs. I am enjoying it more and more every week. The opportunity to be with other women in the same place as I am in my life seems to become more and more important to me the older my boys gets. I feel I need growing support.
At the same time, my heart has really been pricked to the fact that just two years ago, this group was not somewhere I could have been. I would have found so much of it painful. So many things too difficult to bear. I attended yet another baby shower this past weekend. What a wonderful time hanging out with fellow women, some mothers and some not. But how hard it would be to go if I were still barren.
I am also reading the Firstborn series of Karen Kingsbury's books. In it, the topic of singleness is discussed in detail. That longing for a mate. The wonder concerning whether it will ever be your turn? Will you be left behind?
I believe there are moments in life where being single is okay. A certain age bracket. But once you leave that age bracket, you find yourself feeling like you no longer fit in. Everyone who is your age has moved into marriage. Those of you who have shared this pain with me, know exactly what I am talking about. I am sure the rest of you can at least imagine it.
The same goes for infertility. There is a period where being married without children is expected and accepted. You have many friends who do not have children. And you fit in just fine. But one by one, all of your friends are having children. And then they are having their second and third child. And you aren't there. And as a result, you feel different. You feel like you don't fit in. When I sit around with women at MOPs, my friends in wifia, or I attend a baby shower, I am reminded how much these activities would be necessary and yet painful. I would need to attend because I wanted to have girlfriends. I needed friends. But they were all moms. And I wasn't. And that, in and of itself, hurt.
As a result, I was forced to ask those who loved me to "edit" their discussions. Please avoid certain conversations if you could when you are around me. Please act this way. Please do this. I don't regret asking for these things. I needed to ask for them in order to be able to function properly. But so much was so painful. I have realized how much people loved me to help me in the way that they did during those years.
Recently, my heart has been pricked to what I can do with this weight I will always carry with me. I was speaking to a gal I am friends with who recently found out she was pregnant after a journey through a year of infertility. How does she transition? It's difficult. She will, forever, have her heart pricked toward the world of the barren. And that isn't necessarily a bad thing. It is something I am glad that I have had pricked. I am glad I carry this weight. I am so much more aware of those that are different than I am. Of those that are hurting. Of those that might be pained by something I say or share. I am thankful for that constant reminder.
And I really want to try to "give" some of my "pricking" to those who have never been pricked. The Lord has been laying on my heart the desire to share with "non-infertiles" how they can help those they love maneuver through this difficult valley. What can they say? What can they do? I have already done a post on this in the past but I want to do more. I am not sure where the Lord will take this. A book? Speaking? Or just continuing to help via email and phone. I don't know, but I am trying to be cognisant of the Lord's leading.
Thank you to all of you out there who have contacted me to say that a past post helped you -- either in dealing with infertility or supporting someone who was going through. Or to ask me what you should say to someone you know. How you can support them. Thank you to those of you who have met infertility head-on and shared your journey with me. Many people feel guilty. They feel guilty sharing their pain when it is only a year old and mine was five years old. PLEASE do not feel guilty. Please share. This helps make me feel that those five years were worth something. That I went through them for a reason.
Elijah will be one year old in just a few days. I have no idea at which point I crossed over from one world to the next. John saw a patient the other day dealing with infertility, and, as he usually does, he shared his story. He came home and looked at Elijah. How did he get here? How, after all of the money and tears and months and months and months, did this little boy get here? We know of course. But it doesn't feel real.
The journey was so hard. And now it is over. And somehow, I want it to continue. Not that journey specifically but the journey through helping others heal and help. Please pray for the Lord to use my life in the way HE has intended. I look forward to watching him move.