Each month, after we find out that we are not pregnant, we have a bit of a ritual. We keep ourselves busy and distracted for three whole days. We “relax” and take a break from thinking about treatments, shots, medicine, doctor’s appointments and hormones. During these three days I allow myself to eat what I want and drink what I want and not adhere to my strict fertility diet.
Also, admittedly during this three-day period, I try to avoid any and all conversations with those that are close to me. I tend to (or purposely) avoid people who have kids, are pregnant or have babies. I put myself in a “baby-free” bubble and the only way I get out of it is by force or by choice. Life almost feels “normal.”
Then comes day four. At this point we either have to begin our next treatment or make a decision as to what our next step will be. We talk with the nurses and the doctors, get their advice and then pray. This month, Day. Four. Was. Tough.
Depending on my mood, any one of my close friends or family could get a day four call or text message indicating my lack of hope at the moment and this time, it was my older sister.
For a little background, my sister has two beautiful children, a son in the thick of potty training and a two-month-old baby girl. As you can imagine, she has a lot going on but she always makes time for her baby sister. She is a loving wife, amazing mom and the best friend anyone could ask for. She knows quite a few people who are walking through some pretty deep valleys in their lives so when I talk to her, I am always provided great perspective.
Because of the fact that she has so many friends going through so many things, I hate to “complain” about my circumstances. You see, I am one of those people who rates struggles. I put things on a scale and try to gauge what everyone must be going through. Most of the time, I think that other peoples’ battles are a lot harder than mine and I mentioned this to Jess. I told her that I feel guilty being sad or disappointed because my battle can’t be nearly as hard as theirs.
Her response to that statement has been on my heart for a week now and I asked her if she would allow me to share it with all of you. She said, “Dane, there are things that happen in everyones life that are not anticipated. Things that we wouldn’t have “planned” or asked for ourselves. Nonetheless, they happen. It is through these unexpected events that God shows us that His plan is so much better than our own. It is through these things that God gives us our platform. Some people who have gone through infertility don’t share their story; they go through it but it’s not their platform. This struggle is your platform.”
The platform concept is what hit me the hardest. I realize that while I sometimes think that one struggle outweighs another, the people going through that other thing may not be called to use it as their way to reach others. God may have a different platform in mind for them. As for me, I know that God has laid it upon my heart to share our story in hopes that we will someday be able to help others who walk through infertility. Just like He has called people who have survived cancer to bring awareness to others. Or, the way he calls former alcoholics to sponsor those that need help. Or, the way He calls on a mom whose kids have had behavioral problems in the past to be there for a young mom experiencing the same thing. The examples are endless.
It is through that conversation with my sister that God gave me a glimpse of groundwork that He is laying in our life and that is why I share my sister’s wisdom with you.
The Holy Spirit wants someone else to hear this and know that their struggle is not for nothing but rather it is a platform in which to glorify God in the hard times. You may not think that your problems are as hard as someone else’s but your actions as a result of those problems could have eternal impacts.
What is your struggle? More importantly, what is your platform?
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. ...