Don’t Ignore Your Support System – My Thank You Notes

The 2012 theme for National Infertility Awareness Week, “Don’t Ignore,” first caused me to look back on the wounds of infertility, the times when I felt ignored in my condition, stung by the words and actions or inactions of people in their ignorance.  However, it didn’t take long for me to also reflect on the people who did not ignore me.  We all have a system of support, if we will avail ourselves to it.  I am thankful we didn’t go through this trial of infertility alone.  Thank you, my support system, the wonderful people and resources God has brought into my life in my time of need.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your omnipresence and your Word. 

For the times when I felt alone, You were always there.  When my heart was feeling overwhelmed, You comforted me through Psalms and other Scripture.  When I felt like no one understood, You preserved examples in the Bible we could learn from, like Sarah and Hannah, who also experienced barrenness.

Thank you for my husband.

You were and still are my protector and greatest source of strength and faith.  Thank you that we went through this trial together and came out of it with our faith and marriage still strong. 

Thank you for our loving parents, who hurt when we hurt and rejoiced when we rejoiced. 

In addition to being there to give hugs when we needed them, you prayed for us.  You sent cards and shared songs that were meaningful on this journey.  Mom, you helped me see God’s purposes in my trial of infertility.  Mom (in-law), you gave me my favorite written resource besides the Bible, my first copy of Streams in the Desert – a godsend!

Thank you for our loving family. 

Our brothers and sisters, your love and support with your prayers, phone calls, notes of encouragement, and thoughtfulness meant so much.  You also exhibited faith by saving all those baby things to pass on to me, generosity when turning your home into a bed and breakfast for me during my stays for IVF, empathy when experiencing secondary infertility and loss, and compassion in trying to be a part of the solution.  Our aunts and uncles, your notes and prayers encouraged us, as well as your efforts to help us find solutions to build our family.

Thank you for the spiritual authority you placed in our lives.

My pastor and his wife:  You loved us and prayed for us.  I am especially grateful you preached about joy from the Book of Philippians, the first series of messages God used for good in my trial of infertility.  You shared personal experiences and later caused me to face the difficult questions, like making sure God didn’t want us to have just one child.

After our preacher retired from the pastoral ministry, I became equally thankful for our new pastor and his wife:  Even though (or perhaps because) you were blessed seven children, you showed compassion for us.  God gave us peace and direction through you when we turned to you for counsel.  And most recently, I am thankful for your messages, the current series on the Life of Joseph – God Meant It For Good.  My pastor’s wife: You also shared godly wisdom in teaching me to think about different aspects concerning infertility and the treatment of it.  You offered hugs and a listening ear when I needed them most.  Thank you for your prayers on our behalf.

Thank you for the women who shared their stories of infertility with me and gave me hope. 

You gave me hope that I would also experience what it was like to be a mommy someday.  You remembered me on Mother’s Day, took me to doctor appointments, asked how things were going, listened to the Lord’s prompting to pray over us, hugged me, cried with me, sent cards, helped me realize I could be thankful I experienced infertility in a time when fertility treatment options like IVF were available.  You showed me I could stay encouraged, stay in His Word, and praise Him.

Thank you for the women who encouraged me while also going through struggles of infertility.

It was hard because some of you got pregnant before me.  But even harder was when I got pregnant and some of you were still barren.  I am blessed with friends like you who shared what helped you, like the website Hannah’s Prayer (http://www.hannah.org/).  You helped me realize secondary infertility was difficult, too.  You offered prayers, hugs, a listening ear, positively uplifting encouragement, and helped me see it is about trusting God and His plan for our lives, though it may not mirror the plan we had envisioned.

Thank you for the people we were privileged to teach.

It warmed our hearts when we heard some of our four-year old boys in Sunday school were praying for us to have a baby.  You heard it from your parents and that was special.  When we started teaching young-married couples, a few young moms gave me precious cards on Mother’s Day.  I saw God had given me children in that you considered me a spiritual mom.  Several of you encouraged me in my own trial even though you had gone through different but very difficult trials in your own pregnancies and deliveries.  One of you even wrote a poem for me on Mother’s Day, “What Makes A Mother.”  I am thankful for each of your testimonies during your difficult trials.

Thank you for showing me others who were hurting.

I am thankful for you who I felt suffered and sacrificed more than I, but through you I saw God uses the difficulties of others to teach us the same lessons and to have compassion.  My Streams in the Desert helped me so much that I wanted to give a copy to everyone who was hurting.  One of you shared with me that devotional and my gesture in giving it helped you make sense of your own trial.

Thank you for my friends and my church – the people I consider my family and my friends.

You gave me continuous support, a listening ear, cards and notes of encouragement, and fervent prayers.

Thank you…

To my friend who prayed God would give me the desire of my heart.  He did!

To my friend who did make eye contact with me while you opened gifts at your baby shower – I didn’t have to ask why, for I saw the compassion in your eyes and knew you were hoping I could experience this one day, too.

To my friend who mailed me a care package when you knew I had experienced disappointment in fertility treatments.

To my friend who was concerned enough about my struggle to ask someone who had experienced infertility to help me.

To my friend who realized I had a difficult time at that one particular ladies meeting in your home and you encouraged me with a sweet note instead of ignoring my pain.

To my friend who offered a big hug and a listening ear when I lost it in the choir one day.

To my friend who prayed for a bundle of joy for us, and knowing you’re a prayer warrior that meant a lot.

To my friend who made me a JOY bookmark for me when the Lord prompted you to think of me.

To my friend who prayed and wanted me to be pregnant almost as badly as I wanted to.

To my friend who gave me a sweet kiss on the cheek and a hug when you noticed my tears in church one day.

To my friends who sent cards and prayed after my surgeries for endometriosis.

To my friend who wrote me a sweet note of compassion when you noticed my sorrow in church one day.

To my friend who took an interest in our desire to add to our family while I was trying to encourage you in your journey.

To my friend who confirmed God allows different trials of infertility in our lives and knows what each of us can handle.

To my friend who prayed for that baby girl; for all I know, you haven’t stopped.

Thank you for helpful online resources, like  RESOLVE (http://www.resolve.org/) and the many websites and blogs devoted to helping those who are experiencing infertility. 

You offer support and a voice for us.  You are a place we turn to when we need or want to keep things private.

Thank you, all of you, for bringing me joy in my journey.

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Aramelle {One Wheeler's World}
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 13:27:28

    The tears poured down my cheeks as I read this. Absolutely beautiful! This journey can be so isolating feeling, that I think many of us become guilty of ignoring the people who are right there, doing everything they can to support us as we struggle. It is so incredibly important to remain thankful for that. Thank you for sharing your words of thanks!

    Reply

    • joyinmyjourney
      May 02, 2012 @ 15:27:09

      You are right. They may feel helpless because they can’t change our circumstances, but they do find ways to support us. Thank you for taking the time to write. God bless you.

      Reply

  2. Krissi McVicker (@stressfreeIF)
    May 01, 2012 @ 19:34:47

    This is such a beautiful post! Isn’t is so nice to recognize those that have helped you? This was very touching.

    Reply

  3. Yun Wiley
    May 02, 2012 @ 16:33:31

    Seeing picture of your little one always makes me smile because I know how much happiness he brings to you. As I will see my oldest, walking across the platform in couple of weeks to graduate, I am glad that you will share that same experience with me someday. Thank you for thinking of us. 🙂

    Reply

    • joyinmyjourney
      May 03, 2012 @ 07:46:10

      Thanks, Yun. It’s hard to believe it was your oldest who prayed for us 14 or 15 years ago! Time flies, but it seems like yesterday. God bless you and your family.

      Reply

  4. Jeanette Tunnell
    May 08, 2012 @ 17:25:39

    Thanks for sharing that, Joy. God has graciously answered so many of our prayers, but I have to say, Grant is one of our favorite answered prayers! With each new picture I see of that beautiful little boy, my heart rejoices with you in the goodness of our Heavenly Father.

    Reply

  5. Cherish
    May 14, 2012 @ 22:52:22

    Here from NIAW. What a touching post. I too am grateful for my support system.

    Reply

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