to feel protective of my suffering

As I’ve thought about my time of infertility now that it has passed (and yet knowing I’ll mostly likely face it again), I feel a sense of ownership of that suffering. When others talk about their infertility with anger and disdain, I understand it, but I also feel a little protective of that struggle.

Infertility is what brought about the most dramatic and important changes in my life and character. I truly am grateful for it. It may sound easy to say that now that it’s over, but I felt it even when I was in the midst of it. It’s a strange feeling, to long for it to be over, but also to be appreciate of what it’s done for me.

I’ve heard people use the phrase “battling infertility” and that just doesn’t sit right with me anymore. I don’t believe these trials are random, so I don’t like the idea of fighting against the very thing that is special for us, sent for our development of understanding, compassion, empathy, patience, and whatever else God wants for us in that time.

I know there are more struggles of many kinds ahead of me and I hope to remember this when facing them. Instead of feeling resistant, angry, and frustrated with the struggle, could I instead welcome it, take care of it, be gentle and kind to it? Take a step back and let it work its change in me?

I read a passage in a book recently that linked sorrow and joy (and therefore suffering and its end) in a way I haven’t been able to articulate:

“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit the very wood that was hollowed with knives? When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”

-Kahlil Gibran

Aubrey HolmgrenOctober 2, 2015 - 12:50 pm

I can’t even tell you how many times I have read something you’ve blogged about and been like, I was JUST thinking about this! Also, I have to tell you that quite often I’ve referenced something you’ve said because you just say it so well. I just love your life story and how you write it out.

Lindsay KayJuly 12, 2016 - 7:41 am

I’m going to have to copy and paste that quote, what a beautiful thought. It all rings true. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Kristin. I agree, though I haven’t dealt with infertility myself, I too feel that the struggles and hurdles we face are catered to us and ultimately result in a more polished version of ourselves. Love you! And I’m so glad you have your babies.

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