A few days ago, I heard a woman in a radio commercial say:
“I can’t afford pride. I’ve got bills to pay and obligations to meet….”
I started thinking, what price do we pay for pride? And why do we do it? As we’re going through infertility, what does it cost us – and is it worth it?
Every year, advertisers spend billions trying to convince us that if we don’t buy what they’re selling, we risk becoming social outcasts – judged by the world, and found lacking. It’s easy enough to see through the strategy, but there are times when it’s difficult to resist the underlying message. Essentially, that message is: “you are the star in the only story that matters. The one everyone is watching. If you don’t meet or exceed expectations, instead of feeling proud of all the attention, you are going to feel shame.”
That’s a very toxic message, and one we receive hundreds of times a day. Without realizing it, with enough exposure, we start to believe it’s the truth. Our egos only serve to confirm it: yes, I’m important. It’s all about me.
So, to avoid public humiliation, we focus our attention on protecting the secret that, for some reason, we can’t have a baby. This choice adds tremendous pressure to the already-stressful infertility experience. It enables us to avoid the imaginary spotlight – but at the cost of separation, isolation, and the loss of support and encouragement we so desperately need.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
God says the opposite of pride isn’t shame; it’s humility. It’s acknowledging that we aren’t the center of the universe, and life isn’t all about us. Although that realization may be a slight bruise to the ego, it’s also a great relief. It means we don’t have to be perfect; God already knows we’re flawed. We don’t have to earn our blessings; God already intends to give them to us. We don’t have to explain our childlessness; God has a plan and a purpose for this journey. All we need to do is trust Him.
“To you, O Lord, I life up my soul; in you I trust, O my God. No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame….” [Psalm 25:1-3].
Find more resources and cause for hope at PregnantWithHope.com