Sign up for Meridian’s Free Newsletter, please CLICK HERE
My most painful experiences so far in mortality are centered around the struggle to grow my family. All the feelings rush in when I think about it—images of the horrific testing with hopeless results, the battle to fit in at family and church gatherings, burying the dream of feeling a baby grow inside me and the nightmare of adoptions that didn’t work out.
I remember asking my father-in-law for a priesthood blessing, just a few weeks after initially learning we were sterile. I listened with my heart wide open to the words he shared. Among other very sacred things, he told me that I needed to be prepared when I walked into church meetings, as there would be people who would say insensitive things. He encouraged me to forgive them as quickly as I could because they simply didn’t understand and couldn’t comprehend the agony we were in. He reminded me that I have a choice as to whether or not I would be offended.
That was a decade ago and I have not forgotten that powerful message. As hard as it is for me to admit, I still prepare myself before I go to church. It’s been a long process, but gone are the days when I want to run from a meeting and sob in the bathroom stall. Don’t get me wrong, there are still words that sting, but I am in a brighter place now. Through the reality of the Atonement and a lot of hard work, I am no longer in the dark fog of grief, actively mourning my infertility.
Did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 8 couples deal with infertility? It’s probably more common in your ward family than you think. But, it’s so personal and so painful that most folks aren’t super open about it. And although it can feel like you’re wearing a “scarlet letter” of infertility if you don’t have a child entourage walking in with you to sacrament meeting, it’s not always obvious. I’m hoping that by sharing a sprinkle of information and a dash of context, you’ll understand this painful part of our journey a little more.
In the dark, isolating hopelessness of infertility, sometimes what you say to us isn’t what we hear. Sometimes what someone might say, with the intention of helping, can actually hurt. Here are five common conversations that occur within the Church and how they can sometimes be misinterpreted, along with a few ways you can show more love to families working through infertility issues.
To read the full article on LDS Living, CLICK HERE.