The Not So Fertile Road (#4)

December 6, 2010 — 3 Comments

I’ve had a friend ask how she can love a friend on this journey. So here are some thoughts on that (and this was not an easy one to write. I think I’ve edited it over and over and over again. I fear not being helpful or sounding like an ass but here it is anyway. I hope it’s helpful in some way.)

I have had people minister to my soul by just being there and saying nothing. I have had words aptly spoken that ministered to my soul and I have also felt stuck down and defeated by words numerous times as well. I’m sure that I’ve done the same to others without knowing it. I think I’m helping and I want to say something wise and I say the wrong thing.

These things may not be helpful for everyone because everyone is different but here are some things I think were helpful for me, encouraged me, helped me feel loved or things to avoid:

  • Listen without judgment
  • Don’t pretend my pain and infertility is not happening, but don’t feel the need to talk about it every time we’re together either.
  • Don’t be weird about it. I honestly don’t know how to explain this. I just know what it feels like when someone acts strangely around me when it comes to this topic. Probably not helpful at all. Sorry.
  • Don’t stop talking when I come into a room because you think I’m too fragile to handle the joy. That only makes me feel more isolated. I want others to have a family and experience the blessings children bring.
  • If I don’t come to your baby shower don’t assume I don’t care. I’m truly happy for you it may just be too much to attend at that time.
  • Don’t delay in telling me you’re pregnant or tell me in such a way that you expect me to fall apart. I want to rejoice with you even if it’s hard.
  • Please don’t say “at least you know you can get pregnant.” It’s not helpful to know that. It may never happen again (and didn’t).
  • Please don’t remind me how I should be thankful for the child(ren) I have. I already know that. It doesn’t take away from the pain that a dream I had for my family is not the way I thought it would be.
  • Keep in mind that a woman struggling with infertility will be reminded EVERY month that her dream is not coming true. This may happen for years and that’s hard and takes a toll.
  • Send a card telling me that you’re praying for me.
  • Sometimes a hug is all I needed. No words at all are sometimes better.

I realize that everyone is different. These are just some things that I think are helpful to know. Try to put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel? What would be helpful to you?

We all will experience pain and the loss of a dream in our life. We may not understand someone’s pain or even agree with how they handle it but we can love them, extend grace and gently give Truth when they need it, or just hold their hand. I think that when someone is on a painful journey they just need to be loved gently and pointed toward Christ.

What is helpful for you when you’re experiencing a painful situation? Any helpful thoughts?

*photo courtesy of lonesome:cycler’s

Jody

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3 responses to The Not So Fertile Road (#4)

  1. It breaks my heart that you have had to go down this road. I can’t even imagine what that must be like. I have so much respect for you and your faith in the Lord. I pray He will continue to bless you for it!

  2. That is an awesome post, very from the heart. It’s hard to show people our heart sometimes and to share in words what we are feeling, but you’ve helped us not to tiptoe on ice so much and just bear the burden. Love u

  3. I was referred to your blog by a sweet friend who knows that we share some of the same hardship. My husband and I lost our first child at 21 weeks in January of this year and the grief has been unbearable. I read all your posts of Not so fertile Road and cried so hard (I am thankful no one is home right now). I related so much to you and to your list of things to help friends who have someone going through this. I know that no situation is the same but we both know what it is like to have lost. I also felt the same way that I feel like my husband is stuck with a wife that can’t carry a baby and if only he knew that before we were married he could have chose someone else. Satan has attacked me so hard with these thoughts. But God is winning and I will always turn to Him through this storm. I want you to know your story is encouraging to me the infertility, your pergnancy, your adoption, and how God is shaped you through this storm. Thank you for your testimony!

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