Infertility, miscarriage, still birth and abortion are hard topics with deep, unique wounds associated with each.
We have experienced infertility and miscarriage and those were difficult days. I had a miscarraige very early in a pregnancy that resulted from IVF. My Doctor explained early on that my HCG levels were not normal and that the pregnancy would end naturally. Instead my HCG levels kept rising after daily checks to the point that we had a valid 8 week ultrasound report. Two weeks later I miscarried. These were painful days.
I can’t begin to imagine the pain related to having a miscarriage later in a pregnancy, having a stillborn child or having an abortion.
By God’s grace in our personal situation of years of infertility we were surrounded by an incredibly loving family and church family. Both sets of our parents prayed for us, encouraged us and supported us in big decisions we had to make. In addition our church family prayed for us and supported us also. God also used his Word and the Holy Spirit to minister to us through this time in some of the most profound ways. This blog is based on a verse that God showed me during those years of pain – Job 2:10 “Shall we accept good from God and not adversity?” So while those years of infertility were so painful we survived without becoming bitter or resentful. We had hope in the painful process.
Recent stats tell us that infertility effects 1 in 7 couples. And 10-20% of women who know they are pregnant have a miscarriage.
This means that if you have any sphere of influence other than your own backyard then you most likely know a woman who is going through infertility, has had a miscarriage or had an abortion.
Maybe she’ll share her struggles with you or maybe you’ll stumble on them.
What will you say? How will you encourage her?
This is where we make things harder than they need to be all because we don’t know what to say.
And I get it. I’ve said untimely strange things to people in an attempt to express my love and concern during difficult times. If we’re honest we’ll admit we’ve all said stupid things before. But can we just put our big girl panties on and acknowledge it, apologize if necessary and do differently next time?
Refuse to let your past awkward words paralyze you in such a way that you decide it’s just better not to get involved at all for fear of saying the wrong thing.
Loving others will be flat out awkward at times. But it’s totally worth the risk. The more we do it the less awkward. Or perhaps the less afraid we become of being awkward in our loving of others.
The other side of this coin is extending grace to others when they say something to us that is well intended but wounded instead. It happens. The quicker we realize this the better we will love each other.
There’s a resource I’d like to tell you about that I have found to be helpful over the past 15 years in dealing with these topics. From receiving personal help to knowing what to say and what not to say to people during times of utter pain.
Caleb Ministries is a Christ centered ministry that addresses what we’re talking about at LIABOW today. Rarely do you find a ministry that deals with all of these issues specifically and in such detail.
One of their many sweet resources is a P.A.T box – Providing A Treasure
It includes a handmade burial gown, knit booties, baby hat, and a baby blanket. Also included is a book called “Morning will Come” by Sandy Day, Founder of Caleb Ministries. It really is a beautiful treasure for a young Mom and Dad who have just lost their baby.
Maybe Caleb Ministries is a resource that could help you or a friend. Being aware of these resources is helpful because we never know when we or someone we know will walk through a journey that involves these painful things.
Have you walked through any of the things we talked about today? If so, how did God meet you in the midst of your pain? I’d love to hear.