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Recently, I wrote a post about arrows that distract us on our journey to parenthood.

There is no easy solution or answer to the pain, frustration, and confusion that comes along with infertility.  Oh how I wish that there were!  Over the past 12 years, I have discovered some things that helped me persevere through it all.  None of these ideas are perfect or foolproof, but they did help me. 

 

Focus: It is so easy to get distracted…so easy to focus on what you do not have.  I want to encourage you to focus on what you DO have:

God

Relationships

Career

Church

Neighbors

Don’t buy into the lie (like I did) that you don’t have a purpose unless you are a mom! 

Visualize blinders on your face...blinders that block the distractions and allow you to focus on what God has placed in front of you. 

Live with intention.  Go after the relationships and ministries in your life with everything you’ve got! 

Journaling Scripture:  I am super analytical.  When I found myself not pregnant month after month, my mind would kick into high gear.  What was wrong with me?  Why wasn’t the medicine working?  Would I ever be a mom?  Around and around the thoughts would go.  The BEST thing I found to steady my mind and my heart was to write a verse from the Psalms out in my journal and personalize it.  Looking back, I wish I had done this more consistently.  The Word of God truly is food for the soul!

“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
Psalm 119:103

Group Exercise: I have never been athletic.  In high school and college, I hated the aches and sweat that came along with exercise.  In the beginning of our journey to parenthood, we joined a gym.  I started taking group exercise classes and was HOOKED!  The music and energy I got from the instructor motivated me.  I found myself challenging myself and pushing myself to do things I never thought I could do.  In a weight class, I remember thinking, “Wow, if I can make it through this class, I can handle the challenge of infertility!”  Pushing myself physically made me stronger mentally.

Bounce” your eyes: When you are walking through the mall and pass by the Motherhood Maternity store, quickly look at something else.  Don’t allow your eyes to linger on those cute pregnancy clothes.  Don’t give your mind a chance to start envisioning how you would look in that outfit in the window. 

Filter Facebook:  Manage your social media wisely!  If a friend of yours is pregnant and posts often to social media, consider “unfollowing” them for a time.  This way, you won’t be bombarded by baby stuff every time you get on social media, but you can choose to check out their page when you feel like it.  Some days are better than others.  Some days you can handle the baby pics and some days you cannot.  This is simply a way of guarding your heart.   

Just Say No to baby showers:  This is so tricky.  On the one hand, you want to be excited for your friend and celebrate with them.  But on the other hand, being at a party watching your dream come true for someone else while all the while wondering why it wasn’t happening for you hardly seems like a wise idea.  So, I am here to say that it is ok to NOT attend a baby shower.  And you need to give yourself permission to decline an invitation.  Infertility is an emotional roller coaster with potentially deep lows.  If you are in the midst of a low, why pour more salt into the wound?  Plan a date day/night with your hubby instead!  Your friend will certainly understand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Arrows: Handling Distractions that Threaten to Steal Your Joy

 

I am walking through the mall, and pass the Motherhood Maternity store. 

I am on Facebook, and a video pops up of a friend announcing the sex of their baby in a really fun way.

I am in Target shopping for things to decorate my home, and I pass by the baby section.

Suddenly, I am thinking about all the dreams that haven’t come true for me.  I am fantasizing about the “cute” maternity clothes that I have never been able to wear.  The sight of a cute set of sleepers has brought me to tears. 

I have been shot by an arrow.

They come out of nowhere.  I am going about my day, feeling content, focused, accomplished.   Those feelings are replaced by sorrow, fear, frustration, and anger.    I feel like my world has been turned upside down.  I am distracted.  All I can think about are babies and how my life has not turned out the way I had hoped and planned.  My heart aches. 

Years into our journey to parenthood, those arrows still pierce my heart.  And honestly, I get annoyed with myself.  After all this time, shouldn’t I be immune to the distraction that these things create?  Shouldn’t I be strong enough by now? 

No!

I am not immune.

I am not strong enough…

On my own, that is…

 

While I still deal with the negative emotions/distractions, I have learned to handle them better.  Instead of consuming me and ruining my whole day (or week if I am to be completely honest), I have learned to remove the arrows and allow God to heal my heart.

God has taken me on a journey that has resulted in a deeper relationship with Him.  He is healing wounds inside me that I never thought would heal.  He is giving me an eternal perspective.

It has been a process...a long process. Oh, how I longed for it to happen fast!  I wanted to be strong.  I wanted the sadness to disappear.  I wanted to be spiritually mature.

But growth does not happen overnight.

For me, the key to growth has been consistency in the Word.  The only way to maintain an eternal perspective is to fill our minds with the words of our Lord.

Scripture has the power to change us-to make us more like Christ!

 

"…let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."  Hebrew 12:2

 

I am so much stronger when I am in the Word!  When envy threatens to steal my joy, I am able to resist that temptation and regain my focus on the Lord and on eternal things.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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