Tag Archives: misery

A Pre-Mother’s Day Pep Talk

Have you ever had a day that’s so bad you want to spread some misery around?

Not long ago, I had a horrible stomach bug.  I struggled with raging fevers that left me alternately freezing and melting.  The trashcans were overflowing with Kleenex, and I couldn’t even muster the energy to empty them.  What a perfect time to write a Misery Loves Company post… just in time for Mother’s Day!

Don’t worry.

I didn’t.

But it was tempting.

Lots of internet writers seem to think spreading misery is a great idea.  A quick online search found loads of despair waiting to be shared on blogs and in tweets posted in the last 24 hours.  There’s something about Mother’s Day approaching that tips infertile women over emotionally, making a difficult struggle suddenly feel impossibly unmanageable.  And sharing some misery with the world is so cathartic:  Come bond with me!  We’ll be miserable together!

It’s a trap.  Don’t fall in.

The temptation to wallow in self-pity is a powerful one.  We tell ourselves it doesn’t hurt anyone – and believe it can actually help.  But really, it doesn’t.

Dwelling on despair makes hope feel much further away than it actually is.  It makes God’s purposefulness seem veiled and impenetrable.  It gives us an ever-expanding laundry list of reasons to grieve, resent, and give up.  None of which makes this journey any easier.

“Our lives are the expression of the thoughts that lie behind them, and of the thoughts that inspire them.”  – Marjorie Jackson

Especially now, as Mother’s Day approaches, it matters what you feed your mind and spirit.  A steady diet of hopeless messages may seem to satisfy your hunger, but it will actually starve you of the strength you need for the journey.

Unless you’ve chosen to give up on the dream of parenthood – deciding it’s too arduous a journey and no longer worth the effort – you need to FOCUS:

– On why you are doing this:  God planted a seed of hope in your heart.  And He did it for a reason.

– On why you have hope:  “All things work together for good for those who love God, and are called according to His purpose” {Romans 8:28].

– On where you find your strength:  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” [Ephesians 4:13].

– On how you resist self-pity:  “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure” [I Corinthians 10:13].

– On how your story will end:  “I (God) will pour out My spirit on your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants” [Isaiah 44:34].

God has given you the power to alter the course of your journey with your thoughts.  They will express themselves in the life that unfolds before you.  You are certainly justified in thinking thoughts of failure and defeat.  But, you are also justified in thinking thoughts of strength, sufficiency and victory.  Which will it be?

Use your power wisely.  And be thankful for this Mother’s Day gift.

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For inspiration, cause for hope, and useful resources, click this link.

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Infertility, Meet Thanksgiving

My nasty cold has morphed into a wicked case of bronchitis.  My froggy voice is sooooo deep – except when I have no voice at all.  I’m alternately freezing and melting.  The trashcans are overflowing with Kleenex, and I don’t think I’ve got the energy to empty them.  What a perfect time to write a Misery Loves Company post… just in time for Thanksgiving!

Don’t worry.

I won’t.

But it’s tempting.

Lots of internet writers seem to think it’s a great idea.  A quick online search found loads of misery waiting to be shared on blogs and in tweets posted in the last 24 hours.  There’s something about the holidays approaching that tips people over emotionally, making difficult struggles suddenly feel impossibly unmanageable.  And sharing some misery with the world is so cathartic:  Come bond with me!  We’ll be miserable together!

It’s a trap.  Don’t fall in.

The temptation to wallow in self-pity is a powerful one for infertile couples.  We tell ourselves it doesn’t hurt anyone – and believe it can actually help.  But really, it doesn’t.

Dwelling on despair makes hope feel much further away than it actually is.  It makes God’s purposefulness seem veiled and impenetrable.  It gives us an ever-expanding laundry list of reasons to grieve, resent, and give up.  None of which makes this journey any easier.

“Our lives are the expression of the thoughts that lie behind them, and of the thoughts that inspire them.”  – Marjorie Jackson

Especially now, as the holiday season approaches, it matters what you “feed” your mind and spirit.  A steady diet of hopeless messages may seem to satisfy your hunger, but it will actually starve you of the strength you need for the journey.

Unless you’ve chosen to give up on the dream of parenthood – deciding it’s too arduous a journey and no longer worth the effort – you need to FOCUS:

On why you are doing this:  God planted a seed of hope in your heart.  And He did it for a reason.

On why you have hope:  “All things work together for good for those who love God, and are called according to His purpose” {Romans 8:28].

On where you find your strength:  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” [Ephesians 4:13].

On how you resist self-pity:  “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure” [I Corinthians 10:13].

On how your story will end:  “I (God) will pour out My spirit on your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants” [Isaiah 44:34].

God has given you the power to alter the course of your journey with your thoughts.  They will express themselves in the life that unfolds before you.  You are certainly justified in thinking thoughts of failure and defeat.  But, you are also justified in thinking thoughts of strength, sufficiency and victory.  Which will it be?

Use your power wisely.

And let’s be thankful for the gift.

=====================================================

For inspiration, cause for hope, and useful resources, click this link.

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Filed under Battles, Perspective

Misery is Optional

If you were asked to draw a Venn diagram of aspiring parents, you’d probably sort your two groups into those who get pregnant easily, and those who struggle to conceive.  The Fertile, and the Infertile.  Lucky, and Unlucky.  Blessed, and Cursed.  Happy, and Miserable.

That’s the way the world looks when you’re struggling through infertility.  Blissful pregnant women are everywhere – at work, in stores, on magazine covers – radiating joy and the confidence that goes with effortless success. Meanwhile, you are at the opposite end of the emotional spectrum – fighting tears, suppressing grief, suffering silently.

What if I told you that, as always, there is an area of overlap in this Venn diagram?  That it is possible to be infertile, and yet radiate confidence.  To hear the statistics for infertility, and yet anticipate joy.  To know the truth of your situation, and yet feel peaceful, hopeful and grateful.

How would you find your way to that “sweet spot?”

First, acknowledge that it feels virtually impossible to focus on anything but Now in the midst of infertility.  What are my counts now?  Should we have sex now?  What are our odds now?  It’s time for shots now.  We need advice, now.  Why don’t they call now?  I want results now!  I’m gonna cry now.  I need a break – now.  Now, now, now!

Then, realize that underlying all this urgency is the constant worry:  what if I miss it?  The moment, the advice, the appointment, the phone call….  What if I don’t do everything right at just the right moment?  Will we fail?  Will we never have a baby?!

That kind of thinking reveals a complete reliance on Self.  But infertility proves that no one is truly self-sufficient.  No amount of money, effort or determination can force a heartbeat into the womb.  You’ve tried and tried… and failed.

So, now what?  Scripture describes God as the one who “always leads us in triumph.”  What about shifting your focus from self-reliance to God-reliance?

God hasn’t abandoned you or stepped out of your story.  He’s not neglecting your suffering or turning His back on your pain.  In fact, He’s been working behind the scenes, insuring that “all things work together for good….”  He’s been putting solutions in place, so your problems won’t be the end of your story.

He’s been making the crooked places straight, and guiding your steps as He walks with you on this journey.  He’s been fulfilling His promises in ways you may not see or understand — yet.

Want to find the sweet spot where the facts of the moment don’t overwhelm your hope for the future?  Where it’s possible to face infertility head-on and still feel confident there’s a child coming?  If so…

1)  Let God lead.  Loosen your grip on the moment and listen for the whisper of the Holy Spirit, the voice that says, “this is the way… walk in it.”

2) Focus on God’s abundant goodness.   Replace thoughts of lack and failure with memories of God’s faithfulness to those He loves.

3) Trust God’s plan.  He knows the precise moment when you will meet the sweet soul He wants you to love and steward.  He planted the seed of hope in your heart, and He will harvest it at the perfect time.

With infertility, the struggle is a given, but the misery is optional. Recognize that you have a choice about how to make the journey.  Go through it in the sweet spot.

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Want more resources, inspiration and cause for hope?  Click this link

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