On My Mind: Something to Add to the List
I know that Thanksgiving is over a week in our past, but I have still been thinking about about the things that fill me with gratitude. In fact, since I have ldsInfertility.org on the brain, I have been thinking specifically about what I am grateful for, using my infertility eyes (keep in mind this list is not exhaustive…just a little peek).
I am grateful for moments of contentment. Although I wish they would be more numerous, more frequent, and they would last far longer, I am grateful for every moment when I feel at peace with my life as it is. In these moments, I feel like my life is acceptable and that where I am is where I need to be.
I am grateful for options. I am grateful that I live in a day when I have choices to resolve my childlessness. Sure, some I want to entertain, and some I don’t. Some I have already tried, and some I haven’t. I think of life during biblical times and I am glad that I am not like Rachel where hope and mandrakes seemed to be the options available (see Genesis 30). I am also glad that I am not living in a day where giving my maid (how I wish I had one!!) to my husband is considered a way to offer posterity to him (see Genesis 16). We live in such a wonderful age of great advancement and opportunity.
I am grateful for opportunities to share. Sometimes it is the hardest thing to open up and share with others the sorrow I am feeling; even admitting to dealing with infertility is a HUGE commitment. I have found greater peace in talking about my infertility rather than keeping it to myself. When I share my burden rather than try to shoulder it alone, my strength to endure increases. I am particularly grateful for opportunities to share my listening ears and my comforting arms–which come in handy quite often…as you might relate.
I am grateful that infertility is not a reason to have “reproach among men” (see Luke 1:25). In the days of Elizabeth, when a woman was not able to conceive, the fault was hers and she was disapproved of by friends, family, and the community. Sure, I will admit that I often feel as though my childbearing situation does not fit into the norm of our religious culture (meaning I do not have a large gathering of children), and that others judge me because of it, BUT, the good news is, it is not my fault and those who truly know and care will understand and will not shun.
Which leads perfectly into the next one on the list…I am grateful for friends and family who know and acknowledge my circumstance. I have many friends and family who know of my struggle. Many also recognize it as a reason for great sorrow. Is it always the topic of conversation between us? Nope. But, because of their awareness they provide me with a comfortable place to talk and to be heard. That is a priceless gift!
I am grateful that I am not alone. It brings great comfort to know that I am not the only person who has found infertility to be a part of her individualized plan. I find strength in those who have paved the path before me as well as in those who follow behind me. Although it is a path of discouragement and sorrow, it is not a path of isolation…it is peopled with so many couples who know and feel the pangs of both betrayal and desire.
I am grateful that I am able to find joy in using my God-given gifts and talents in other parts of my life. Mothering, nurturing, creating, and teaching are not only accomplished within the walls of my home with bunches of children all around. Additionally, I can acquire patience, perseverance, and selflessness in more realms than in the playroom of a child. And, of course I can demonstrate faithfulness, love, and diligence (and MUCH more) every day. I have found many places that Heavenly Father has needed my specific abilities and my capacities, places I never expected to be. I am grateful that Heavenly Father, with His all-seeing vision, has put me in those places at just the right time, so that I could share, that I could learn, and that I could feel needed.
I am grateful for my husband. He is a true companion! Oh, how I am grateful that I have not experienced and endured this trial alone. His kindness, goodness, and wisdom are unparalleled. And, although his perspective is so different than my own, it has brought great balance and harmony to every decision. Let’s not forget his patience…I think this is Heavenly Father’s way of teaching him to be truly patient!
Some of you might think I am crazy to say that there are so many things to be grateful for, even among infertility. In moments when all that seems to be ahead of us is a foreboding darkness, it is wonderful to be reminded that there are glimpses of light which can be magnified by our attentiveness to them and can provide light to our path. What glimpses of light can you see? What are you truly grateful for? Even one thing can bring an abundance of joy!
7 December 2009