Have you ever felt like you just got a hug from God? I have.
The week before last was really hard. I have shared before that when it comes to infertility, there are good days and bad days. I have found that sometimes there is absolutely nothing that triggers the pain. One minute you're laughing with your coworkers, the next you are locking yourself in a bathroom stall so you can let out the tears. I often describe the pain of infertility as feeling like a person sitting on my chest. It just feels like a heavy weight is on top of my heart all of the time.
Two weeks ago on Tuesday, I had dinner with a friend, and told her that I didn't know how I would survive this, that I didn't think people knew just how devastating infertility really is, and that I felt like it has scarred me for life. That sounds a bit dramatic but it's true... I see everything differently now. In good ways and bad. That Wednesday I cried myself to sleep. That Thursday I had an old boss of mine ask me how my kids were doing. When I told her I didn't have any kids, she said she thought for sure I had told her I had one. When I said no, she asked how long I've been married. When I said "7 years", she replied, "It's time for kids." Conversations like these happen pretty regularly and they are painful, to say the least. I know they aren't intending to be hurtful, but it hurts anyway. Believe me, I know it's time for kids. This is beyond my control.
Also on last Thursday I started a blog post that went like this:
I am hurting.
I am broken.
My heart feels shattered.
My heart is aching so bad that I can actually feel the pain. I can physically feel it. I guess that is hard to understand unless you have grieved a loss.
I am sometimes angry.
I do not understand.
I am crying, a lot.
I am pretending to be okay a lot. Not because I like to pretend, but because I am pretty sure people don't want to hear about infertility anymore.
I am worried people think I talk about it too much.
I am worried people think I just need to relax. (Relaxing does not cure infertility.)
I know people think if I would just do this or that then I would conceive.
I am failing at trusting God, and I am starting to struggle with believing Him.
I don't know why He is doing this.
I don't know why He is allowing me to go through this for so long.
Nice, right? I put all that here, not for sympathy, but just so you can see where my head has been. Mean whispers in my head that can't possibly be from the Lord. Is He punishing me for some reason? Does he think I would be a bad mom? What if He never answers? And then I have revisited the WHY question, even though I thought I was long past that. Why, God? Why? Why are you doing this to us? Why are you blessing everyone with children except for us? Why won't you answer our prayers? Why why WHY! These are thoughts that I used to have but overcame, but suddenly here they are again. Maybe it's because we are at almost 5 years of trying, and I am still going through this. Maybe it's because I am turning 38 in a few days. Or maybe it's because two years ago today, I was actually pregnant.
That Friday was a better day, and that Saturday was wonderful. I went to Woman's Hospital to take pictures of my husband's cousin's brand new baby girl. I didn't know how I would handle it after a week like that, but it was a wonderful session. The room was quiet, I had good lighting, I got to see some family, AND I got baby snuggles! Some people worry about babies making my heart hurt more, but I honestly feel a little bit of healing when I get some baby love. Saturday my heart felt full all day. Last Sunday was filled with some very painful cramps, thanks to that time of month, but thankfully, emotionally-speaking, I was okay.
Monday came and went, and then there was Tuesday. Tuesday was kind of crazy because schools were canceled due to the weather, and lots of businesses were closing early too. We weren't busy and I was bored, so I took a little break and went to the gift shop at work. I was just browsing when I heard, "Excuse me?" I turned around and another employee who I do not know but see in passing all the time was approaching me.
She put her hand out and introduced herself, saying she wanted to meet me. I was confused, but I shook her hand in return and gave her my name. Then she said, "You are going to think I'm crazy, but I just wanted to tell you: I was driving the other day, and I was just asking the Lord, "Who can I be a blessing to today? Who can I be praying for today?" And your face kept coming to my mind." We were both quiet for a minute, as I took that in. All I could do was stare at her, and try not to break down right there in the gift shop! She teared up a little and said, "And I mean, I know it's crazy, but I could cry right now. I don't even know what it is [that you're going through], but - "
I was struggling, because while I am pretty open about what we are going through, how do you just open up to a stranger about such a personal thing...and at work! I know nothing about this woman. What if she has kids? What if kids came easily to her? What if she doesn't have kids and never wanted them? And what if I do share but end up doing the ugly cry?! Ha. At the same time I wanted to tell her. This woman had listened to His voice, and I'm sure she wanted to know how she could pray for me. So I managed to respond by saying, "I can tell you what it is, but that's probably all I will be able to say, or I will cry...". She waited. "It's infertility, almost 5 years now." She nodded. And then she said, "Well, I just think God would want me to tell you that He loves you." I nodded and thanked her, and she gave me a hug. And then a few minutes later, as I was leaving the store, she said, "Nice to meet you, Melissa. Please let me know if I can do anything for you."
And that's it. And I don't really know what else to say, but I wanted to share that story, and I want to remember it. He knows what I am going through, and because He is a God of compassion, I believe He understands. I don't know why He won't give us our miracle right now, I really don't. And trust me, this hurts far more than you could possibly imagine, unless you have gone through it yourself. However, even in the midst of my pain, I am so thankful for moments like last Tuesday where God reminds me that I am not forgotten. I am so thankful for a God that sees the days where I am angry and frustrated. I am so thankful that I serve a God who He sees me when I am overcome with sadness. And I am so thankful that when He sees how weary I am, how absolutely tired of infertility I am, He is moved with compassion. I left the gift shop that day feeling like God had given me the strength to keep the faith a little longer. For that I am thankful.
That isn't the first time God has done something like that for me. And I can't tell you what it does to my soul. I texted my friend afterwards, and her response was, "That was like a hug from the Lord!!!!" And that is exactly what it felt like. Not just when she hugged me, but the whole thing, felt like God was reaching down and giving me a big hug. Reminding me that He loves me and that He sees me. I am not forgotten. I am loved.