A friend I have been praying for over the last year is having her baby today. This friend had struggled with infertility and miscarriages for years. But today will be a very happy answer to so many prayers! It’s an extremely exciting day, and I am thrilled that I got to pray for her along a small part of her journey.
I once struggled with infertility myself. And once you’ve gone through it, it is the biggest honor to get to share in someone else’s journey and be there for them during all of the unsureness, scariness, worries, up and downs, etc. I hated every minute of my infertility journey while I was going through it. But now that I’m through it, I’m honestly glad that I had to go through all of it. Because now I get to connect with more people, and I love that I understand what they are going through and get to let them know that their feelings, frustrations, etc. are perfectly OK! Recently, I had someone who has never gone through infertility come up to me to ask how she should talk to and interact with someone going through infertility, and I was so stoked that this person asked and that I got to share what I learned with her.
I used to have another blog where I posted a few times about my infertility. Below is a post I wrote about what I learned from that experience:
The biggest thing I learned through this process was how to deal with people in grief…any kind of grief. Here’s what I learned regarding people in grief:
- Don’t offer advice. Just listen! Everyone wants to help others when they are struggling. It’s human nature. We hate to see others suffering. But most of the time, advice is not what the grieving person needs or wants. So many well-meaning people offered up advice to me, and I know they were doing it out of love. But the thing is, you hear the same advice over and over and over. Really, all I wanted someone to do is listen to me. I needed to vent and get things off my chest. If I got advice instead, there were many times that I would be really annoyed.
- Ask them about it! After I finally came out and told people what we were going through, there were really only 2 or 3 people that would ask me how I was doing and want to be updated on what was happening. I can’t tell you how much I LOVE those few people!! It made me feel great that they cared enough to ask, cry with me, etc. I have one sweet, sweet friend that even to this day, when she sees me starts tearing up. (There was even one time where she was with me when it was announced that someone was pregnant. I was fine and not feeling too bad until I looked over and tears were running down her face. It touched me so much that this friend understood what I was going through and cared for me that much!) These days it’s because she is so joyful for us. And every time I see her and these tears, I feel such great love for this friend. I want to be that kind of friend. I pray that if I know someone is struggling with ANYTHING, that I will be the friend that asks how they are doing, is not afraid to listen and help bear the burden with that person. Because really, isn’t that what Christ does for us?
- Pray for them and let them know that you are praying. We first announced our struggle to our LIFE Group at church, and I knew that they were immediately praying for us. Then a few weeks later, we did Cardboard Testimonies at church where we shared with the church on a simple piece of cardboard what we were going through. After this, I knew that the church was praying for us. I would have people tell me all the time that they were praying and thinking of us, and I can’t tell you how much that meant to me. Then the Sunday after everyone found out that we were having twins, it was like a huge party! People that I had no clue that were praying for us, came up saying they had been. It was wonderful! And honestly, this is an area where I need some work. I tend to easily forget to pray for others, and I am going to make this better because I know how great it was when others were praying for us.