So I just got back from my 7th infertility support group meeting ... I can't believe how quickly the weeks have flown by since my last miscarriage.
I'm really in two separate support groups - one is a set number of weeks in duration and is focused on dealing with the stress of infertility and going through fertility cycles, the other is an ongoing group for those that have suffered with recurrent miscarriage. I've spent a majority of those weeks meeting with the group focusing on stress reduction ... and I'm loving it.
We have learned techniques like: meditation and qi-gong and have discussed the destressing nature of doing yoga, exercise, and healthy eating. Typically we start the meetings off by going around the room and sharing how our weeks have been and sometimes our leader suggests a topic to include like "how has communicating this with friends/family worked out for you". Once we're done circling the group we usually move into the second part of the night where we learn a new technique (usually presented by an outsider, an expert in the topic).
Tonight it was so great to hear almost half of us share this evening that this group has been so healing - having a place to go share our fears, burdens, anxieties, and heartbreak - and to get the support that we need to get through it. Even though we all don't get to talk and share for hours on end about how difficult our week was ... we do get to share for a few minutes. I don't think the advantage is in being the center of attention, getting endless support ... but we do get to go to a place where others understand us. And you don't have to say a lot to "get" that you understand each other. Just knowing that you're not totally crazy and that there are others out there (real people you can touch!) that are struggling in the ways that you are - the isolation starts to melt away.
I'd call it: Community. Something that we as American's struggle with, something that those of us who know the Lord have been called to be apart of. I can't wait to do my next post ... where I talk about starting a community like this at my church. The ball is rolling on that front too ... and I can't wait to extend this community experience into the church as something that it offers for those who are suffering with infertility.
This week at church we were encouraged to respond to the message about the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), indicating how we were becoming part of the remedy to the problem that we are not "loving our neighbors" as God has called us - we need to be the Samaritan who helped up the one who was beaten, robbed, and left for dead on the road to Jericho. And in filling out my sermon response card ... it was so confirming to know that God is using me in this infertility group to show His love to others and He will use me in the infertility group that we pray will get started at our church soon. I am so excited to be part of the solution. It's my way of fulfilling Jesus' request that we: "Go and do likewise."
For anyone who is reading this, that is currently struggling with infertility and is feeling overwhelmingly heartbroken - I highly encourage you to find an infertility support group - you can find them at your local churches, hospitals, and sometimes at fertility clinics. Being a part of a community will really support your emotional health during this painful, isolating process. And if you are that person (whether or not you can get to a support group) - big hugs to you ... I'm so sorry you're going through this.