I was doing a little research to prepare a few resources for National Infertility Awareness Week, and I became frustrated and a little angry.
Nearly the first link I stumbled upon was fear-inducing. "Listen Up," they say! Then halfway down the page I read:
So, for the woman who is still looking for Mr. Right, for the woman who is not ready for children, for the woman who is going through a divorce, for the woman who just had her 3rd miscarriage and wants another child, for the woman who knew nothing about infertility before...
She's now terrified.
Oh no. They say I need to see a specialist. What's a Reproductive Endocrinologist? I need one! They said, "listen up."
Well she's listening now.
Next there's a Personal Assessment Tool. So I take it. I answer based on what I think the average, healthy woman without children would answer. And I submit my response. Then, I'm told that based on some of my responses, I may want to seek the advice of a fertility specialist.
Okay... bummer. So now that average healthy woman without kids is freaking out.
And this is my frustration with Infertility Awareness. Yes, I want to make people aware that those who go through this are experiencing a horrible thing. I want people to be aware that most likely a friend or family member is or has gone through this– and how HARD it is. I want people to pay attention. But here's why... because I want them to love on their friends and be compassionate and provide a safe place for the 1-in-8. And I want to give them tools and resources and support so they can impact their friends and family in a meaningful way!
But let's not raise awareness to throw a pity-party or to bread fear in those who weren't fearful in the first place. Let's raise awareness to build hope and to gather a community of people who otherwise would not have know how to support the 1-in-8.
So, I'm absolutely on board for National Infertility Awareness Week. I'm on board 100%. But I'm on board to raise awareness so that we will be the hands and feet of Jesus in a way (and to a group of people) that maybe we weren't yesterday.
I simply won't settle for a watered down NIAW which breeds fear and insecurity.
The enemy is sneaky. And I see what looks like fear breading itself in the #ttc community. Let's be careful together, as a group of Christ-following women, when we raise awareness. Let's be mindful of WHY we're doing it. Let's create an atmosphere for miracles by sharing testimonies of God's faithfulness! When the world is raising awareness for a condition, a problem, a hopeless situation... let's raise awareness for our Healer. Let's raise awareness for our miracle-working Father, for our Provider. Let's raise awareness for our Comforter who walks with us through the darkness.
Here's my challenge to this gorgeous community of Christian women:
Share something vulnerable this week. Share a fear and then the truth that God is showing you. Share a loss but then how the Lord carried you through it. Share that time when you wandered off from the flock and how your Shepherd led you back. Share about that day God, in His goodness, carried you. Share about the friends who have supported you and the family who has prayed for you and share something uplifting! Remind the ladies who don't know our Savior- that THERE IS HOPE.
So, I'll end this post by reminding you that God loves you!! He deeply cares for you. And if one person in your world is made aware of infertility this week, great. But if not, God is still there. He's good. And He'll be good in your life too.
Let's allow our struggle with infertility to look a little... no... a LOT different from the world's. Let's show them why we keep hoping and WHO we're hoping in.
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