Treading Lightly

Thursday, August 30, 2007 17 Comments A+ a-

It is with a heavy heart that I begin this post. It’s a post that has been brewing for some time and I am now at the point where the words are building up, demanding to be given a voice. I’ve been on my knees, begging for the right words, the right attitude, and the right tone. I placed a call to a special woman, asking for her permission to write this post. And so, with the understanding that my sister gets full editing rights, I will attempt to tackle a subject that is heavy on my heart right now.

Whenever someone confides in me that they’re having a hard time getting pregnant, or have recently experienced a miscarriage, I feel at a loss for words. I tread carefully when broaching this subject; I tiptoe through a mine field of wrong words, no matter how well-intentioned they are, because I have no idea how they’re going to be taken.

My sister, Christine, and her husband have been trying to get pregnant for almost a year now. A year is short by most women’s standards, however, Christine suffers from a disease call Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome, also known PCOS, and does not ovulate. She is currently on her second cycle of Clomid (an infertility drug to help her ovulate) because the first cycle on Clomid did not even work. It has been an incredible opportunity to travel this journey with her. She has been transparent in most of her struggles with her body; laying bare her most fervent desire to be a mother; feelings of betrayal by her body; being afraid that her prayer requests will never be answered; to finally laying down the thermometer and laying it all at God’s feet. It has broken my heart to see the fear and pain in her eyes, each time her hope has risen that maybe, just maybe, her body has life growing inside, to those hopes dashed when it turns out that ovulation did not even occur. It is so hard to see my sister struggle with something that is so dear to her heart, to the point that I would take this struggle upon myself if I could.

Currently, she is doing well, she is at peace. She has laid this struggle, this fight, at God’s feet. She and her husband have sought counsel with pastors and their wives; they’ve been prayed over and anointed with oil. She is calm in what could be a very vicious struggle for faith and I’m amazed at her ability to keep looking to our Lord, not always understanding His ways but having assurance that He has her best interests at heart. Even now, she is playing the waiting game, waiting to see which path God has chosen for her.

Oh my friends, I have no answers for you; I only have one thing to offer you. Hope. While it may feel that your body has failed you, take heart that nothing can happen without permission from God. For whatever reason, whether that reason may or may not be revealed to you, God has chosen you for this journey. He has placed you on this path and He is not resistant to your fear, your pain, or your anger. He is walking beside you and holding your hand through each disappointment and trial and rejoices with you in each triumph. When you sit on the bathroom floor, mourning the loss of your baby, know that He is sitting there with you, His heart is breaking with yours. He longs to hold you in His embrace; He wants to help ease your hurt. When you feel your prayers are going unanswered or unheard, take heart that God is there, He is listening, He will answer in due time. When you feel the anger is going to overtake your soul, He sits by patiently, allowing your emotions their course, understanding, and hoping for your return to His feet.

You are not broken; God creates all things in His image. You are not being punished, for His son has already paid the cost for your sins. Your desires are not being ignored; God hears even the most soft-spoken whispers of our heart. You are a child of God, a princess in His Kingdom, and you are most precious to Him. My prayer, including that God will bless your womb with life, is that even in your darkest moments, you will turn and seek solace from Him. And please know, while I might not understand your struggles, I am here, hurting with you, praying with you and over you, and as a friend, I will be there whenever you may need me.

I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

17 comments

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HappyMama
AUTHOR
12:07 PM delete

Oh Jenn, please give Christine a hug from me. I cannot imagine how difficult this struggle is for her. I have always thought she would make an amazing mother as she is such a caring, nuturing person. I will join you in prayer for her and for all the other women out there that are struggling with conceiving a child that the Lord would grant them His peace.

Love you, Missy

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LPDraper
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12:30 PM delete

Jenn-- your words are so true. Thank you for sharing this-- and thank your sister for being willing to share her journey. There are so many women who have walked this road (a good friend of mine is one of them) and your words bring light to God's truth. There is always hope in Christ.
Thank you again!
Lindsey

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Christine
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12:38 PM delete

How meaningful for you to write this post to encourage others struggling with these heartbreaking problems. I will say a prayer for your sister.

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crystal
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1:04 PM delete

All I can say is I have been in your shoes...watching my sister (we are so close we could be twins) struggle with this and the hurt everytime someone else got pregnant or everytime someone asked her when she was going to have a baby...and the hurt when I ended up pregnant not long after she miscarried yet again.. I hated it, I wanted it to be her, it should have been her..but God had his plan and My oldest Kylie is as much hers today as she is mine and her daddy's. And now she and I have two sets of kids that are almost the same age. My middle one and her first one (she stuggled so with this pregnancy) are three weeks apart and like two peas in a pod..my last one and her last one are two months to the day apart and i am sure they will be just as close...I dont know if there is anything harder than watching someone so close to you hurt and not be able to help except pray and hold them when they cry....

Makes me want to honor my sister with a post...maybe in a couple of days..
Give my prayers to your sister...all in Gods precious time.

Thank you for posting this maybe it will bring comfort to someone.

Love and Prayers
Crystal

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2:20 PM delete

Thank you for sharing this, and thank your sister as well. I know so many women who have struggled with infertility, and while I am not able to fully understand their struggle, I hurt for them. May your words bring peace and comfort to many women who are traveling the same road as your sister.

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2:22 PM delete

First of all, My sister is making me cry! I just want to say that I have PCOS and it is a VERY difficult thing to overcome. I still have it, even though I carried two babies to term. You can't say anything that will make it better. Only God can make it better; in his way and in His time. I know, I can say that, it took me 7 years of trying and miscarriage after miscarriage. All you can do is hold her and PRAY. But, you already do that I'm sure. I will pray for her and I am glad that you shared this so I can pray. I didn't know how to ask people to pray for me and I wish that I had. It was a long 7 years and both of my pregnancies were risky; especially the last one(pancreatitis, I almost died). Give my love to your sister and her husband. This is their struggle too. A lot of times the hubbies get over looked but my hubby took it just as hard as me. I am so glad I found your blog, Jenn! This post brought healing that I didn't know I still needed.

Love and Prayers to your family,

Julie

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2:22 PM delete This comment has been removed by the author.
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Amy
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2:42 PM delete

I hear the love you have for your sister and others in your words and sensitivity. Thank you for sharing these things even though it is tough to find the right words sometimes. I can learn a thing or two from you... love, Amy

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5honeybunns
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9:15 PM delete

I will pray for her precious heart. Please God give us comfort and understanding in times like these. We cannot trace your hand, but we can trust your heart. We know that you intend all things for our good, even when we do not see that with our physical sight. Please give us eyes that see your will above all. In Jesus name--Amen

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Susan
AUTHOR
5:21 AM delete

Thank you for your post. I have friends wanting so bad to get pregnant and want so much to encourage them.

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Mike
AUTHOR
1:33 PM delete

Faith. That will lead everyone through.




Mike
http://somethingaboutparenting.typepad.com/

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Stacey
AUTHOR
11:52 AM delete

Oh Jenn,
You know that I have the same disease as Christine? Did you know that? Yeah, so your words pierced my heart today. In a blessing sort of way.... but truly a blessing that kind of cut me to the quick. It is not a place I enjoy going emotionally because it is so raw.

Please, if Christine wants to email with me or IM or something give her my email address. Sometimes it can be refreshing to talk candidly with someone who knows your exact struggles and emotions. This is a complicated disease.


Love to you and her!!

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5:34 AM delete

Dear Jen
I will add Christine to my prayers.
A very close friend went through this struggle with a very happy outcome. I will pray for the same for Christine

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Christina
AUTHOR
6:41 PM delete

I will pray for your sister Christine. I too have PCOS and walked down the long road of infertility. There is always hope in Christ.

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Sam and Brian
AUTHOR
4:39 PM delete

Jenn, your post has touched me so deeply on a very personal level. Infertility is often a very difficult subject to talk about and ask for help with. Thank you. God led me to your blog today and I will be praying for your sister. She is so lucky to have you!

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Liz
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9:39 PM delete

I am so touched by your words. It is something that is hard to talk about especially when you can't relate (I have never had trouble getting pregnant)...you did such a good job expressing your heart. Your love for your sister is so evident. It is so hard to watch someone you love go through something so painful. I am so sorry for the pain your sister is experiencing. My sister in law has been trying for 18 months now. It breaks my heart...I know how badly she wants to have a baby.

Thank you for sharing. I will pray for your sister.

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5:45 AM delete

Jenn,
I stumbled onto your blog last night while I was doing a little "blog surfing." The Lord used this post to speak words of encouragement to my heart that I needed to hear. We have been trying to get pregnant for the past two years and sometimes we feel at a loss as to what our "next step" should be or if there should even be a next step.
The song that was playing on your blog when I came on was "Blessed Be Your Name" which has been my theme song for the past four years in so many different ways. I have no doubt that my husband and I are on the path that the Lord has for us - it's just so good to be reminded of the truth you spoke so gently and graciously in this blog entry. Truly your words reflect the heart of my Lord. Thank you!
Your sister in Christ,
Sharon

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