It’s that time of year when everyone is supposed to feel thankful. Full of hope. Gratitude.
But if you’re struggling with infertility, or have ever felt the pain of that longing, this can be the worst time of the year.
You’re surrounded by families at the mall. Christmas songs sung by children haunt the radio. Pregnant women proudly display their rotund bellies adorned by colorful scarves.
The last thing you feel is in the Christmas spirit, let alone thankful, hopeful, or grateful.
You feel… thankless.
I have soaked many pillows with my tears on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. The longing for a child runs deep. It penetrates the interior, and like a cancer, eats away until it captures your soul. Your identity.
If you’re not diligent and on guard, it imprisons your joy.
I’ve been there.
Even after having children, and in many ways, having been delivered from that imprisonment, I still bear the scars.
And for that, I’m thankful.
Infertility has made me a more compassionate person, and not just to others sharing in the same struggle. To others who have broken relationships – with their parents, their children, their siblings. To others who have lost parents, children.
Infertility has also given me a platform that, without experience, I would have no credibility with those who seek my counsel. Just like you wouldn’t want to take marriage advice from someone who has never been married, people don’t want to talk about infertility with someone who has no problem getting pregnant.
In many ways, infertility has been a gift.
Infertility gave me my son. Infertility gave me my daughter.
Infertility has woven a beautiful, painful tapestry in my life.
The effects of infertility have made me thankful.