Hi friends. I've been thinking a lot lately about my own personal trials. I've had many ups and downs throughout my life. But there is one trial that I've been working through for many, many years. At times it seems unbearable. At other times I find ways to occupy myself and not think about it as often. Although the intensity is different at different times in my life, this trial is something that I think about daily. On some days it may be a brief thought when I am alone with my thoughts. On other days it may completely consume me. Although I am so ready to be done with this trial, the Lord is not ready for me to be done with this trial. I wish I could say that this trial had taught me more than it has. But I think the biggest thing I have learned from this trial is that life is hard and that you never know what battles those around you are fighting.
My battle is one of loneliness. I grew up in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a church that is centered around the family. From a very young age I was taught that my number one duty is to be a wife and mother. And from a very young age I have longed for that eternal blessing. Some may call me old fashioned, but I have always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. It has been my dream for a very, very long time. I have seen many, many friends and family members receive that blessing that I desire to have in my life. Although I am extremely happy for them that they have found their happiness in that wonderful blessing, I still long to have that blessing for myself. A dear friend of mine posted on Facebook about a trial that she has in her life. Her words state it beautifully. Although her trial is different than mine, the pain and the loss are very similar. With her permission I share her words here:
"It may seem horrible to some but unfortunately those of us who are infertile or have lost a baby really do need sometime to heal after our loss and being around those who are pregnant or have new babies can be extremely hard. Please try not to judge or to be angry if someone reacts to your pregnancy this way. It's really not something we can control. It's not that we begrudge others happiness, in fact we are very happy for them but in our grief we are also so heartbroken and sad for ourselves. It's a very hard thing to express and it can last far longer than you think it should. I was terrified when my niece was born just 1 yr and a month after our baby should have been born, I was afraid that maybe I would be incapable of loving her. That it would be too painful to hold her and be around her. Not long before this I held a baby family member and attempted to sing her to sleep when suddenly I thought of the sweet boy we lost, that I was never able to sing him to sleep, to sooth him when he was sad, to hear his little heart beat as I held him, to see his beautiful eyes look into mine and I began to cry. You never know when or how something will trigger you after a devastating loss. Thankfully when my niece was born I was ok, I loved her as any auntie should. I'm sure there were days that I needed my space and that were hard but I loved her and I was happy she was here. Grief is something we can't control, and it's not just those who have lost a baby. Those who are unable to conceive also grieve, they grieve the babies they so desperately want but may never have. It's a pain so excruciating it can crush you. It seems everywhere you look you see a perfectly round belly full of life or a new baby crying to be fed. Everywhere you go there are reminders of the very thing you so desperately want but no matter how hard you try, how many excruciating treatments you put you body through, or how much money you spend you simply can not make it happen. So don't judge when it's too hard for them to come around. Try not to be hurt if they need a break from your friendship. Remember they need to grieve in their own way. Be kind. Be loving. Be forgiving. Be patient. They need you. They will get through it and one day their hearts will mend."
I don't share all of this with you so that you'll feel bad for me. I share this so that you'll be aware of what others around you may be feeling. I hope that in some way I have touched someone's heart. I've been thinking a lot about this personal trial lately. There seem to be more reminders of my singleness than there have been in the recent past. There seem to be less reassurances that I will not be alone forever. But I've also become more aware of others' trials lately as well. I have many friends who suffer with infertility to various degrees. I see the the hardships they go through. Although I long for sweet babies of my own as well, I long more (right now) for the eternal companion. And my longing is different than theirs, so I don't completely understand. But I do understand the pain that they feel. I do understand that when you don't receive a blessing that you have longed for for a very long time, the pain can get pretty deep and intense at times. So I am trying a little hard to be a little more compassionate toward others in my life.
I long to find my eternal companion for a number of reasons. But without him, I will survive. I've been doing it for 35 years. I will be okay. I am okay. I'm happy. I have a good life and I am extremely blessed. Although I get down at times, I'm still doing okay. I have good people in my life.
I am extremely blessed in many other ways. For one, I get to spend my days with sassy fifth graders, who are full of spunk. They make my life more full and more complete. They are very perceptive and know when I'm feeling down. Although I'm supposed to be their teacher, they teach me so much more than I could ever teach them! I also have the sweetest nieces and nephews in the world! I'm sad that I don't live very close to any of them. But they send me sweet notes in the mail. When I do see them, they give me the biggest hug ever and tell me that they love me. I love each of them so much!! With as much love as I feel for them, I can't even imagine feeling even more love when I have my very own children. My heart seriously bursts when I think of my nieces and nephews. Anyway, my life is wonderful. I'm not sad. I have sad moments, but definitely not a sad life. So if you are reading this, please don't be sad for me. Just be considerate of me and others like me. You don't know the battle that we are fighting and how difficult it is. Be kind with your words when you speak to us. You may think you are being funny, but sometimes it hurts. We still love you though.