I have learned over the years that everyone has a story to tell; some trial that they have dealt with or one they are presently facing. Whether, it is infertility, money issues, loss of a dream or so forth; the main difference in how the story ends is attitude and wisdom. When I was leading an infertility support group in Johnson City, one question I got asked, was why do some people get so many children (like the ones on welfare) while others who are good people and have money to support them cannot have them! Isn’t that the question of the year, for people going through infertility! As I went further through my journey of infertility, I began to see that I was not the only one going down this path or the only one who has ever experienced loss, disappointment, anger, rejection and so forth. That all I needed to do was to take my eyes off myself and put them on God and He would show me the truth.
One of the lessons I learned, was that woman in the checkout lane with five kids and food stamps may also be hurting, but in a different way. That I needed to do what I could to help others and not let the seed of bitterness and anger grow in me, which it so easily could do after eight years of infertility. My dad used to say, “It is not what happens to you in life that defines you, but how you handle it.” This coming from a man who was physically and mentally abused as a child speaks volumes. He understood disappointment, pain, rejection and sorrow. Unfortunately, I did not know my father for very long, since he died when I was six, but others told me so much about him. The statements I remember most, was from a stranger or mere acquaintance not from my family. A man in my church, Mr. Asbury, told me when I was in high school, that my father was the best man he had ever met. A Godly man saying this about another speaks volumes. Another lady, who figured out who my dad was by my last name, when we were first introduced, told me that my father was a man of integrity. These people knew my father at different stages in his life, at one point while he was facing his trial and another when it was over. Yet, the statements showed the same he was the same person throughout what he was enduring.
I wrote this before church today and while I was in Sunday school, I learned what my father must have had was joy since it is unaffected by circumstances. I realize now that is my goal in life is to have that joy no matter what is happening around you. I wish I could say that during my most horrific times in my life that I kept the faith or joy and did not waiver. But there were many times, I just wanted to give up trying to have a baby and I was not joyous during all of my struggles. I did not want to deal with doctors, shots, tests, but most of all loss.
I am now so thankful for the wisdom God gave me to keep trying and not give up. Everyone’s story is different, even in infertility, but God showed me that I would not be less of a mother if my children did not look like me or have my blood running through them. Ironically, I think Natalie and Julian do look like me and while in utero, they had my blood running through them. With God’s grace I pray they will also have their Grandfather’s joy, which can only come from God.