The struggle is real…
by: Arianna Suddreth
I’ve sat down to write this post several times over the last year, and have considered putting it on my own blog, but it’s a difficult topic for me to talk about – even among my family and friends, so putting it out on the internet is a scary thing. It’s even scarier to share it with strangers.
But, I decided that it is worth it. Because if even one person reads this and is helped in some way, then I will feel…. better, I guess.
When I finally did sit down to write this I popped in my headphones and turned on Pandora’s contemporary Christian station for some music that wouldn’t be distracting but would keep me focused on my words.
God has a funny sense of humor and the timeliness of his messages and reassurances never cease to amaze me.
The first song that played as I started to write about the pain of faith was by Building 429 – We Won’t be Shaken.
A post that was going to focus on the struggle and helplessness of infertility and the pain that faithful prayer and trust brings month after month was disrupted by these words: “whatever will come our way/through fire and pouring rain/we won’t be shaken.”
That song was followed by a Brandon Heath song – I’m Not Who I Was.
“I used to be mad at you/a little on the hurt side too/but I’m not who I was.”
And then, as if to drive the point home, Jeremy Camp – He Knows.
“let your burdens come undone/lift your eyes up to the one/who knows/he knows/every time that you feel forsaken/every time that you feel alone/he is near to the brokenhearted/every tear/he knows.”
I could write out the whole song because every word spoke volumes to me.
My husband and I have been trying to create a family for a year. I want to create a family so badly. I’ve been through several different tests, multiple rounds of fertility treatments, and still don’t have answers. My heart breaks month after month. I spend hours in tears, crying in my husband’s arms and asking “what’s wrong with me?” Terrified that I’m never going to be able to create and grow a life; wondering if I’m too old. Too broken. Defective.
I asked my husband how many times can your heart break? How can I possibly be emotionally strong enough to handle this type of pain, disappointment, and failure, month after month after month? How can we possibly keep going through this heartache?
I wonder about the possibility of our family tree never adding branches. What if our dog Murphy is the only baby we ever have? And our sweet Bogey? A part of us died with Bogey – how could we possibly go through that pain again? Alone?
The pain of prayer is that it feels like a one-sided conversation. Even with timely songs. Faith is hard for someone like me. I need answers that prayer doesn’t provide.
And that’s where the pain lies; The pain of not knowing if what I want is ever going to happen.
But maybe that’s where you find faith – within the pain of prayer.
And that’s my struggle. Laid out for the world to read. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced.
But, before I finish this off, allow me to give you, dear reader, a final bit of advice. While I am struggling, and there are many women like me, please do not pity me. Don’t stop inviting me to events for your child(ren). Don’t stop including me because you’re afraid it will be uncomfortable or painful for me. Please give me the option to make that decision for myself.
And finally, while I appreciate that you are trying to find a way to understand and connect, please don’t tell me “it’ll happen when it’s supposed to.” Or that “God has a plan.” Or “don’t stress about it.”
That advice isn’t actually helpful. And I do appreciate the help that you’re trying to offer. But, my doctors and I are working on it. I’m working on trying to relax and not
“stress about it.” But when you live in the struggle every. single. day. that advice comes across as hallow and disconnected. I know you don’t mean it that way.
Really, the best thing you can say, is nothing. Because there is nothing you can tell me that is going to make my struggle any less painful.
Because no matter how much I pray, or you pray, for me – the struggle is real.