When you're going through the infertility journey,often times you feel alone.  Of course that's not the case, we are surrounded by family and friends who have the greatest of intentions, but it's so hard to relate to someone sometimes if you're not going through it yourself.  I've been that person on the other side sometimes and I know how it is to try to be there for someone but just feel like I let them down because I wasn't experiencing all the emotions they were.  As a Christian, I strive to be there for my friends.  Even when it's something I've not experienced myself, I try to empathize with them.  In nursing school you learn both sides of this- you learn to sympathize or even empathize with the patient, and then you learn to set those healthy boundaries so you aren't emotionally drained with others' problems and take them upon yourself.   I totally understand the balance and how others don't want to be bogged down with my problems, because we all have heavy b and sometimes our own are just about all we can carry.

With infertility, most friends do a wonderful job with offering sympathy.   They feel sorry for you but they do not necessarily understand what  you are actually feeling, partly because they've never gone through it themselves.  As a result of this they feel sympathetic for you because they do not understand the problem or predicament that you are presently having.    Empathy on the other hand takes a little more work.  It often takes going through a similar situation to gain empathy for someone. Empathy can be described as sharing a feeling with someone.   Sympathy is generally expressed to  a person when they're going through a rough time.  Empathy is generally shared with the person as you walk with them through the problem they are dealing with at that time.  You have the ability to imagine how hard it is to be in their shoes, and you are with them during their time of stress.  

I guess this has been on my mind tonight because I just got back from an infertility seminar at our church.  Thanks to a friend who informed me of it.  Up to this point, I hadn't really known of anything to attend to receive support from others who are walking through the same  journey. I've never been surrounded by so many others all at once that are going through exactly what we're going through.  People that are literally walking through the same process as we are- women that have had the same surgeries, procedures, medications, shots, and received the same bad bad news time and time again.   We're  not alone.  I think tonight I learned that there is support out there.   There are so many other very deserving couples out there who want a child just as badly as Dave and I , and they're not getting pregnant either.  Currently 15% of all childbearing couples in the United States are walking the infertility journey.  That's a good amt of people when you think about it.

The group session tonight was very good.  Probably about 20 of us that met- husbands and wives.  It's such a comfort to know there are others out there that truly do understand the pain, the trials, and the longing that Dave and I have been experiencing the past 2.5 years.   They've walked through it too!  Our church is going to actually start a group that meets regularly for anyone walking the journey to gain support and encouragement.  I think that makes such a difference in any difficult circumstance- having others walking alongside you that know exactly what you're going through.  That's one of the main purposes of church, of course number one is to hear God's word spoken into our lives, but I would say that community is right up there.  He provided us with a group of fellow believers to walk alongside of us when we are going through difficult times.    Not just infertility, but any trial we find ourselves in. 

Dave and I are excited to meet with this group again as we walked away feeling supported, encouraged, and normal.  Normal in a sense that everyone else there shares the same struggle we do.    Some have opted to adopt and have beautiful babies, others may choose to use donor sperm or donor eggs, and yet others are still trying to get a diagnosis from their doctor so they can proceed appropriately.   I think sometimes God allows us to walk through things so we can be of help to others.  I am gaining such a heart for women going through infertility.  My heart weeps for them because I know exactly what they're walking through. I don't know how God will use this in my life, but I know that he's growing a passion in me to help those going through what  I'm going through. 

9/14/2011 10:26:16 pm

Let me know if I can share this! And you're definitely not alone. Love your heart and your willingness to share.

Karen (blogger)
9/14/2011 10:31:01 pm

You are welcome to share this. Who is this by the way?

9/14/2011 10:35:00 pm

Oh, K. I don't understand. I know (we all do) that you and Dave will be such wonderful parents, and so I will keep praying. That IS a great song- so glad that Jesus speaks to you through music. I pray He continues to do so. Plus, it makes for great moments with Him in the car. :) Love you, friend, and know I'm still praying and hoping for you and Dave!!

9/15/2011 09:04:41 pm

Met you in the seminar, sitting in opposite corner by Leah!

3/28/2012 08:10:48 am

THX for info

3/31/2012 05:38:07 pm

nice post

6/1/2012 04:05:44 am

will be restored quickly


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