Written by: Laura Rouse-DeVore
Valentine’s Day is always a very special day in our home. There are the obvious expressions of love between each member of our family – husband and wife, son and mom, son and dad, brother and brother; the list goes on. We are grateful to experience so much love in our lives from family, friends, and especially from our Heavenly Father. Valentine’s Day is very special in our home for other reasons as well. You see, eleven years ago this week, I received a very special revelation that was an unimaginable gift in the midst of some extremely painful circumstances.
I have never before written about this subject or shared my full testimony—which I intend to do in the weeks and months to come. But bear with me, as I share these personal and sometimes TMI moments and reflections with you from the most vulnerable places of my heart.
You see, I am an infertile woman; even though I did carry and give birth to three healthy, and very big, boys. If you are currently experiencing infertility or walking through the journey of infertility, please don’t discount my testimony based upon the fact that I am now a mother. You must know that our journey was painful and full of uncertainty… just like yours.
Like so many couples struggling with infertility, we felt alone and isolated. We felt like we were separated from the rest of the world, marked as childless, and subject to experience the pain of the process and the hurt of the social stigma alone while the rest of the world watched. I, especially, carried the weight of loneliness and isolation. I felt guilty and ashamed when someone would announce their pregnancy as I struggled to muster enough joy to congratulate them. We made a deliberate choice not to tell a lot of friends and family because we didn’t want the constant pressure of questions and advice…it was just too painful.
So we struggled through the journey…very isolated and very alone.
Enter Valentine’s Week 2002. For women who have tried to conceive, you will understand when I say this was the week we were waiting for that ”visitor”; hopeful that she would “delay her appearance” so that our dreams of being parents would be fulfilled.
It was a Saturday morning and my husband was scheduled to be gone all day helping some friends move into a new house. Right before he was to leave that “visitor” made her most unwelcome appearance. I was an emotional wreck! My hopes had been so high this month because we knew the medication had worked and that I had ovulated. My husband, poor guy had no idea how to console his emotional wreck of a wife, urged me to come with him to help our friends move. Wondering how much actual “help” I could be in my current state, I reluctantly agreed. I was especially nervous because I would have to drive separate from him because we were loaning them our truck for moving.
I had all of the face puffiness that goes along with crying the “ugly cry” and I was still sobbing tears of devastation as I backed our car out of our driveway…totally oblivious to the neighbor’s car which was parked at the end of our driveway. So over course, I ended up smashing his car door in! If that wasn’t enough, to add insult to injury, I had to present my puffy, tear-stained face to my neighbor and tell him I just damaged his car…
It was the lowest of lows for a girl who was desperately trying to remain positive and optimistic as her world crumbled around her.
After the painful and awkward “I hit your parked car, here is my insurance information” talk with my very gracious neighbor, we finally left to help our friends move. Little did I know this was a divine appointment God had set for me for that very day.
After sharing the devastation of my day; our friends were able to pour into my broken heart and soul words of comfort and encouragement. Unbeknownst to me, they had lost a son to birth defects when he was just 14 months old. They knew and understood grief and loss which was exactly what I was experiencing. Arguably, not to the same degree as them, but grief and loss of any sort is still valid and painful.
Later that day, my husband, who was trying his best to “fix” the situation for his broken, puffy-faced, grieving-wife; presented me with my Valentine’s gift. It was so simple, yet one of the most poignant and cherished gifts he has given me to date. It was a book “Empty Womb, Aching Heart” by Marlo Schalesky which was one of the few Christian books out at the time to deal with the topic of infertility.
Such a simple gift, yet it so profoundly impacted me.
I sobbed as I read through the stories about other women’s infertility journeys. I related to so many of the stories; it was such a cathartic experience for me. It took me a couple days to finish the book and when I was done I passed it along to my husband to read. When he was done I read it again. It wasn’t that the book provided some new, profound revelation that would change the strategy of our infertility journey. It was the stories. Stories from real women that God used to heal my heart and let me know that I was NOT ALONE in my infertility journey.
As alone and isolated as I felt – I realized I wasn’t alone. God was there with me. My husband was there with me. And my friend, who we helped move, was there with me too…
The reason I have begun to write this series and the reason that I want to be so vulnerable is to encourage you that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. If you are walking through the journey of infertility now or if there is any uncertainty about your ability to conceive in the future be encouraged that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. If you have struggled trying to conceive or if you remain childless, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. God loves you deeply, intimately and through all of your struggles He sets encouragement before you and allows you to find deep revelation and healing in the simplicity of fellowship with others.
It is my prayer for each and every one of you today, that you would receive a greater revelation of the Heavenly Father’s love, that He would light your path with encouragement, and that you would remember, today and everyday you begin to feel isolated and lonely that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
As we embark on this journey together. I encourage you to contact me privately or publicly, so that I can be praying for you. I encourage you to share your experiences here. I encourage you to be vulnerable, as I share with you my testimonies of our own faith journey. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read MORE from Not aLone Mom click HERE.