Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sometimes in the most unlikely circumstances...

This morning, church was slightly more full than usual. We've begun to get used to that, as our congregation seems to grow almost weekly! (Glory be to God!) But today, Palm Sunday, sure seemed to have a little more bustle than usual. We sat in our usual seats, second row back in the center near the aisle. Smiled at Steve who didn't make it quite as early as we did, chatted with the people who always sit near us. Then we stand to begin the worship time, just like normal. As Jeff begins to play the second song on the guitar, in streams a band of small children. I continue singing Hosanna with the rest of the congregation.

As I'm watching the small children all waving their palm branches, parents begin streaming towards the front taking pictures of their children. My heart begins to get heavy and I try to keep singing. Flashes are going off and children are waving at their parents and smiling and forgetting all together that they are supposed to be waving the palm branches in time with the music. My heart completely breaks and I'm overwhelmed. Everyone is happy and singing their heart out and my heart is breaking as I'm crying watching these small children.

I'm not overwhelmed with grief, but it's hard to describe the heartache that can come out of no where, where you least expect it, when you least expect it. I have been preparing my heart for weeks to deal with mother's day that is coming up. I was not prepared for small children traipsing through, looking as precious and adorable as could be, singing and happy. I don't know how to describe what it feels like to have your heart break over infertility. It's hard to put into words what it feels like to be watching these smiling parents as they photograph their children up in front of the congregation. It's hard to watch parents wishing that one day that could be you, or more like you wish it was you right then.

In moments like that, your life sort of flashes before your eyes. How you pictured your life turning out, all the things you believed you would experience, and that meets with the present of all of the things you didn't experience. You picture yourself as one of the parents leaning down and trying to take candid pictures of your child dressed up in a frilly dress, and then the cold reality of the fact that your child is not up there. You have no one to photograph. No small hand is waving at you and no small face is looking for you in the crowd.

I know it's very commonplace for people who have never experienced infertility to say things like, "one day that will be you." Or even if you aren't as bold as to claim to know the future like a lot of people that I have come into contact with, you might even be thinking it. Let me make one thing clear: YOU do NOT know what God has planned. Not for your own life and certainly not for OUR life. So if that's what you're thinking, or if that is what you feel like you need to reply to this post or email me... please think for a minute about the boldness of your statement. "I know this will happen for you." There is no way for you to know. Please, for the sake of Jack and I, and for the sake of anyone out there who knows the pain and hurt that I am describing... Don't ever say this to someone. You are not helping, and again, you can't begin to IMAGINE what specific plans God has for anyone, let alone us. I know you think you are trying to be helpful, but please trust me here, that is not even remotely helpful.

I do need to point out, however, what is great about our lot in life is that no matter how many times I bawl in church, God counts every tear. We are not going through this alone and while Jack and I hold on to each other and cry, we have our Heavenly Father to cry out to. So we may not experience these things in our lifetime, but we are not alone. God DOES have plans for us, that we know not of, but we know there are plans nonetheless. AND from scripture, we know that God works ALL things together for the good of those who love Him. And that He has plans to prosper and not to harm, and to give us hope and a future. Well that, THAT is what I will accept. YES God has plans for us. Does that mean that they will absolutely include becoming parents? No.

The service today, as it always does on days where I feel like I would rather be anywhere else in the world, spoke directly to my heart. Why do we have this blog? Why are we so transparent and open about what infertility is like in the real world? Not the world of celebrities who have endless money to spend on doctors who are literally on call to them 24 hours a day. The real world. What life is really like. What REAL life is like to a couple with infertility.

Pastor Jim preached from John. John 12 starts the day before passover. Jesus is in Bethany with Lazarus, Martha and Mary. They are hanging out and a bunch of Jews hear that Jesus is in Bethany so they start flocking to Bethany. Not only to see Jesus, but to see Lazarus. They all had heard the stories, but wanted to see for themselves if God really did raise Lazarus from the dead as all these Christians had claimed. Well they see Lazarus alive and well, and believe in Jesus. The priests who were plotting to kill Jesus also decided that they need to also kill Lazarus because these Jews are started to believe in Jesus and who He is and that just won't do!

The message was about how the world is watching us as Christians to see if God really DOES work in our lives. We Christians can talk the talk, but are we walking the walk? It felt like the Holy Spirit was talking to my heart about our blog... why on earth would we want the WORLD to know what we are going through? Why would we want the world to be inside our heads and have this picture of our messy and painful situation? And why does the world want to read this? Why do we have nearly 3,500 views after only starting this blog a short while ago? Because the world wants to see if we mean what we say. We sure do talk the talk... but how do we as Christians handle our situations in life differently? Or do we even handle it any differently? Shouldn't we handle it differently?? If our God really is who we say He is... and does what we say He does... We should live our life differently. We should look at our lot in life differently.

So, this long winded post was all to say, we share what we are going through and make it as honest and transparent as possible to show others the Love of our Savior. I hope that by showing the real side of infertility, not the hollywood glitz and glam version, that we can truly portray how our life is lived out and what it's like for us, as followers of Jesus, to struggle with infertility.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks Mrs Irons.
    I totally agree, no matter what our life contains. be it IF, losses, debt, illness and any of those yucky things we face as humans....it needs to visably contain Jesus, and in His rightful place.
    I seem to be reading and talking alot of job lately, but that mans story inspires me so much(to the dismay of many of my christian friends!)
    Even when he had nothing left, not even his health, did he turn from God and Gods glory shone through his life because of it.
    I believe it...do what you say or dont bother saying it....warts and all, because Jesus didnt white wash us and leave all our mess hiden,He rebuked the pharisees for living this way!!!
    He says come as you are, so we need to be the example of living through all trials and successes with Jesus in 1st place, and letting Him show His glory through us. it's a tough place to get to and stay at, but He helps us :) xx

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  2. What a wonderful post! I had a similar heartache in church yesterday as I watched 15 kids in our youth group get baptized. It was amazing to see all those teenagers proclaim their life for the Lord. But it brought me so much sadness, thinking I might not ever get the chance to have a child come to know God. Sometimes you just never know when that heartache is going to come on.

    I think that being a Christian and being transparent about your infertility journey is an amazing thing. It really helps people see how real a hope in God can be. Maybe, by finding your blog, they'll begin their own journey of finding faith through this difficult world of infertility or some other struggle. Thanks for being open and allowing us a peek into your life. Praying for you!

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