In the midst of our journey of infertility, my husband prayed with me one night at the altar. He called barrenness “a silent sorrow.”
Why is infertility a silent sorrow? Sorrow is a cause of grief or sadness. Silent means unspoken, making no mention, not widely known or appreciated.
I felt like most people didn’t know we were struggling with infertility, in part because we are private people and didn’t immediately and readily discuss it outside of family and close friends. Some people probably just assumed we weren’t ready for children or thought that I wanted to be a career woman. But I also felt like I was alone. Initially, I wasn’t aware of anyone in my family, church, or workplace that seemed to have any trouble conceiving. But they probably were there, too, in silent sorrow.
With barrenness, you, too, may feel like you’re all alone. Everyone else seems to have no problems “planning” their pregnancies. We feel like no one can identify with us. However, if 7.3 million people of childbearing age in the United States experience infertility, we are definitely not alone! The Lord did bring other women into my life who had experienced barrenness or were currently struggling with infertility, and it helped knowing someone understood. I remember a few websites that helped me; blogs may have been around, but I wasn’t aware of them! Many men and women blog about their current and past experiences with infertility, and we can learn from and empathize with them and vice-versa. I’ve learned infertility doesn’t have to be as silent as it was for me.
Although I felt like no one understood, people did care. They didn’t always know how to help or what to say, but I knew they were praying. When you’re in despair, you don’t always recognize when someone is trying to help. I had a friend once tell me, “I think you need to find a support group.” Boy, did I take that the wrong way! It made me question, was I leaning on her too much, draining her, hurting our friendship? Instead of communicating to find out if I was talking about my problems too much or if she simply cared and was trying to help, I shunned the suggestion and her. (Another reason blogs are beneficial!) Just realize you do have family and friends who care. A friend of mine who is a pastor’s wife recently called me because someone in her church was experiencing infertility and she cared enough to ask someone else who has been through it – not just ask what she could to do help but also what NOT to do! This lady is blessed with a loving and wonderful pastor’s wife!
Infertility is “a” silent sorrow. You may be experiencing a silent sorrow different from infertility. You may feel like no one cares or understands what you go through every day. I have friends and family who are afflicted or care for loved ones who have other physical trials – Chron’s disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, or an incurable and rare condition. Friend, Somebody does care – Jesus Christ! Isaiah 53:3-4 says Christ was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” and that “He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.” Any time I cry out to God, He is there. Turn to Him in the Psalms. Our sorrow isn’t silent with God.
Psalm 61:1-2 “Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Psalm 34:4 “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
Psalm 22:23-24 “…Praise him…glorify him…fear him…For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.”