So following this latest loss I submitted a prayer request to the prayer team at my church and I basically asked how can I serve God through all of this. I didn't realize that the request would actually be answered.
God has put it on my heart to start a new ministry at my church - a support group for those struggling with infertility. Berilac and I have prayed about it and we are ablaze with excitement and passion (ok, mostly I am ... but he hasn't got a lot of spare time having just started graduate school).
Here are some of the ideas we're building off of:
1. Meets weekly at our church (4 times per month - 3 of those times, ladies only. 1 of those times couples gather)
2. Structure the meeting similar to Celebrate Recovery.
3. Open to all who are:
a. currently struggling with infertility or
b. those who have struggled in the past
c. dealing with primary infertility
d. dealing with secondary infertility
e. those who struggle with getting pregnant
f. those who struggle with staying pregnant
4. Limit (or prohibit?) discussions about current living children.
5. Initiate invitations (via informational flyers) at local fertility clinics and perhaps OB/GYN offices.
But there are some questions that we're trying to answer:
1. What do you do when a member becomes successfully pregnant (besides celebrate of course!)
2. Is childcare provided? (for those who aren't infertile and reading this - know that babies are not allowed at fertility clinics)
3. Is it permissible to discuss the clinical aspects of our struggles? Do we encourage people to share infertility ideas/suggestions ("have you tried this test?" ... "my doctor does this protocol for someone with your issues", etc.)
We are just starting to develop this whole thing. I will definitely share more later as the details unfold ... but I wanted to ask anyone out there who is struggling with infertility or loss to leave a comment sharing about something specific that they benefitted from in a support group that they participated in or an idea that they would appreciate if they were in a support group. I'd love to hear people's opinions/suggestions on the ideas we've already started forming and questions we're already asking.
Honestly, it scares me that I'm prayerfully responding to this call. To me it SCREAMS that God has plans, that if I start something like this, I will need to be infertile for years to come (just so I could facilitate such a ministry) ... like any good infertile, "I hope to be successfully pregnant in a few short months" (*said with gritted teeth and much forced enthusiasm and optimism*) ... "I" do not plan to be struggling with an empty womb for many months, and certainly not for many years. But who knows what God has planned for me. It does make me wonder - if God is putting this on my heart - then surely I can't start it only to step down a few months later. Yikes
... But I move forward as I can't deny this tugging on my heart.