Monday, August 4, 2014

Not Bitter

I'm not bitter over the fact that I'm struggling with infertility. There, I said it. And I feel kind of odd because a lot of the blogs I read on this subject sound so bitter. I can't report on their actual feelings, since, you know, I'm not them, but that is the general vibe I get: one of bitterness and anger.


And truly, I can understand why someone going through this might feel that way. It isn't fair when you are finally in a position where financially and emotionally and physically you are ready to become a mom and it seems like the entire universe and your own body is suddenly against you. It isn't fair or fun when everyone around you is having their second or third baby and you are still waiting for your first. And it hurts when well meaning people who don't understand or know ask you when you are going to start popping them out.

But bitterness destroys.

Truly, I hurt and grieve over my unfulfilled dreams and the miscarriages I have suffered. But I'm not bitter.

I've been bitter before. I've been so bitter I've hated myself and others. I've almost destroyed my life, and bitterness has lead to the destruction of a previous relationship I was in. When I gained some distance from that relationship and realized the state of my own heart, I resolved never to give into the lies of bitterness. Because it takes away all the happiness in my life and causes me to only focus on the one thing that I don't have, when I have so much.

The lies of bitterness tell me: I'm hurting, no sense in trying to even have a good day. Why is everyone smiling when I'm hurting so much? I hate my body, it won't do what I want. I can never be a good wife if I can't give my husband a kid. I can't do anything today because everything is worthless without kids. They have it, so I deserve it as well. If I can't have it, I'll never be happy.

Bitterness sows hate into my heart. With God, there is no room for this kind of hate. You know what, I do hurt. And that's okay. But I still have good days. And people smile because they are happy! I can still be happy too even if I don't ever become pregnant. People deserve their own happiness, they don't need to be a sad just because I am. And their joy is not a slap in my face.


If my body has a medical problem, well, that's no reason to hate it! I love my body and the way I look. I enjoy having sex with my husband and dressing up. I don't need to feel shame or guilt over the fact that I have a medical problem. Sure, I'm sad. I'll probably always mourn. But I don't hate myself. There is still beauty in my body even if it is broken.

And lastly, a life without kids is far from worthless. This is a lie society tells us--that marriage without kids is somehow sub-par. Yes, children are wonderful and amazing gifts from God. But they are not the only gift God gives, nor the greatest. God has given me so many great gifts, and I am so thankful to him. The role of marriage and kids is one that fits many people. But not every person is called to have kids. For some, life has just worked out that way and the kids come easily. But for others this is not the case and that is where grief and bitterness can come in. I don't think grief is a sign of faithlessness, but instead the collision of a good desire with a broken world. Bitterness is just a choice I am choosing not to make.

Yes, God calls us to live obediently in our brokenness, but I know his heart is aching right along with mine. And I will honor him with my desires, unmet or otherwise.

I've learned so much in the wonderful motherhood grief support meetings I've been attending in my town.  It's been a true blessing to see each woman grapple with infertility, miscarriage and child loss and to know that I am not alone. I see strength and determination in these women, along with sadness and mourning. Sometimes this road we ride is a roller coaster of emotions. The things we struggle with are hard. But you know what I don't see? Bitterness and anger.  Oh, I'm sure we've all dealt with it. But it's so amazing when we can all come together in fellowship and grieve together. I hope I can one day be there for them the way they are here for me.

15 comments:

  1. I don't want to give you hope when you're trying to come to terms with such a sensitive issue, but my best friend and her husband were told it was IMPOSSIBLE for them to have children (because both of them, not just one, couldn't make children). She got pregnant, and miscarried and it devastated her, because she thought of the baby as her miracle child. She started fertility treatments and got very, very ill and was hospitalized. Then... after the had discontinued the treatments, she got pregnant. Her little boy is healthy and strong. She considered doing the treatments again, to try for number 2... before she even did, she conceived again. Now she has two wonderful, strong sons. God may have a miracle for you just yet. I hope this is okay. Hugs.

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  2. thanks for the story :) I've heard a lot of similar ones! I do yearn fora child of my own one day, but what I want more then that is to be content where I am. But I do have hope :)

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  3. I'm glad you're able to have this grace-filled perspective on a tough life situation. Bitterness can be a result of all sorts of struggles and hardships in life--but it doesn't have to be. I think some of the greatest people I've ever known are those who have faced extremely tough, extremely bad situations, but still are not bitter as a result of those situations. It takes strength of character, for sure.

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  4. Dear madame,
    You are not the only one battling the horrible spirit of infertility. I have been going through it for 4yrs with no victory. My infertility is unexplained by doctors . I have prayed and prayed for a break through but to no avail. I am a born again christian and married. Sometimes i don't understand why this is happening especially when my unmarried friends and family get pregnant so easily. Hopefully your hubby will comfort you through this horrible trial. My hubby did not support in deed or action and its too much to bear. I am now leaving my marriage because of this and much bigger issues. But i know there is hope for you. Just maybe have the elders at your church pray for your womb and anoint you with oil according to scripture james ch 5 vs 14.
    blessings.

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  5. "But they are not the only gift God gives, nor the greatest." I wish more people would realize this. A more appropriate thing to say would be that God's greatest earthly gift is fulfillment, which might come in the form of children for some, but is different for everybody.

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  6. Our journeys were written way before we were even born by our Heavenly Father. Through hardships in my life, that’s brought me comfort. I know God is beside me, and has written a plan for my life. You’re a mom whose lost 3 sweet angels, and I simply adore you for sharing your story – and sharing it with such a uplifting heart. God Bless <3.

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  7. I love your honest and pure heart, Carolynn. The Lord has blessed you with his insight. You have such a mature outlook on your situation. I have enjoyed getting to know you in the last few months!

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  8. I shared your post to my Facebook wall, and it really resonated with some of my friends and family. Your words are so honest and beautiful. Thank you sharing your journey.

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  9. Yes! I want this in my life. (fulfillment) I think daily it is a choice I make, sometimes.

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  10. I am so sorry! I can't imagine how I would cope or grieve with a husband

    who didn't support me. It would be doubly emotionally traumatizing. I am so sorry. I hope you have friends and family that can be there for you and make up for your husbands lack of understanding (to put it lightly, I'm sure). I wish you peace as I am sure you are hurting!

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  11. Thank you so much Brita. You have no idea how much that means to me!

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  12. I have loved getting to know you! Thank you for letting me into your life in lots of different ways!

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  13. That is amazing that you are bitter about it. I have decided not to have children. I had a really rough childhood so there are many things I need to work. I don't think a child would make "adult" up either. If anything, I think it would make me worse. I understand how society can make it feel that marriages need babies but not always. Besides, you have no idea where life will take you.

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  14. hugs! I'm glad you know yourself so well. I've met many people who don't wish to have children, you are not alone! I hope youdon't have any pain and that you also don't feel jaded or lacking. There are so many life choices and I try to let others have their and focus on my own side! Hugs girl and be strong!!

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  15. Awe thank you so much. hugs. So far I haven't felt like I am lacking but I am still pretty young yet so maybe it hasn't hit me. I also don't have alot of friends so that probably helps too.
    Be strong too. If you need someone to talk to, Im here.

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Thank you so much for commenting! Your thoughts bring smiles to my face :)