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Friday, November 21, 2008

"Rejoice with them that do rejoice"

Back in March when I found out I was so unexpectedly pregnant, it was incredibly hard to share the news. Having been down the painful path of infertility, I knew our news would be received with mixed emotions by some of our friends who have walked that painful pathway with us. I felt so blessed beyond measure, and even undeserving. There was a very real internal battle between feeling joy for our gift and sorrow for those who were still waiting. I wanted so badly to somehow pass out fertility passes to every infertile couple we know.

I found myself thinking of the scriptures that command us to "mourn with those that mourn" and "comfort those who stand in need of comfort." After sharing our news and getting some mixed responses, I wanted there to be a phrase that included something like "rejoice with those who are rejoicing." Since I was the one rejoicing, it seemed like the best idea around. C'mon, everyone, rejoice with me!

Don't you think it fits?

Well, apparently it really does fit. I came across this verse in Romans 12:15: Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

Now, that our greatest grief has replaced our greatest joy, and we're back on the other side of feeling pain and uncertainty of infertility, I've struggled with these feelings. Why is it so much easier to mourn with those who are mourning? Why is it not just as easy to rejoice with those who are rejoicing?

I wish it wasn't so hard. I wish I didn't have worries about when and if it'll ever happen for us. I wish I understood why it has been so hard for us. I wish I didn't worry about heaven running out of children to send to our home.

It's a struggle, and I know it isn't something that will come quickly or easily. But, I know there are great things to be gained from making an honest effort to get my heart to that place of rejoicing, even if it's rejoicing over someone else receiving the one gift I would give anything for.

I'm a bit overwhelmed with challenges like this that take such serious self-mastery of pride, of jealousy, of entitlement, of bitterness, of frustration, of any other number of vices you can imagine. But, those are things I want and need to purge anyway. There's no doubt that this refiner's fire I've found myself in is my chance to do some serious purging.

This is my chance. My opportunity. And, possibly the greatest challenge of my entire life.

(With that said, don't be surprised if it takes me my entire life to get to that ideal point. And, if you're one that is rejoicing, please understand that I'm trying. I really, really am.)


Kaylee said...

Megan, I have loved reading your blog and you inspire me so much with your positive attitude. My husband and I have also been going through the infertility battle. I think that is one of the hardest challeneges to deal with in life. Especially for someone who wants it so bad and would give anything for that blessing in their life. I can't imagine the pain you have gone through struggling to get pregnant and then loosing your sweet girls. I feel so many of the same feelings that you talked about in your post. It is so hard for me to rejoice for people I know who are on their 2nd and 3rd pregnancy's. I hate that infertility consumes my whole life, and I think it is part of the healing process to feel some of those feelings. But I pray that if I stay faithful that my Heavenly Father will bless me when the time is right.

Amanda said...

Again - I have said this before, but you are amazing at expressing your feelings AND applying the gospel to them. You better watch out, or your going to be called to be the next General Relief Society me, you are that amazing!

Allred Fam said...

:) :) :) :)

:( :( :( :(

It's ok that it changes frequently.... we (I at least) understand.......

My Favorite Things said...

Megan, Interestingly enough I have had those same feelings some times about people finding their spouse so quickly and with so much ease.

I have neices and newphews getting married, having babies and I've handled it pretty well, but receintly I've been angry at others that have begun dating, because I know it will change the relationship, and once again I was not the one picked.

I have been at the place where I can rejoice with them, but sometimes I revert back to the yucky place.

Thank you for your words of wisdom.

Jen said...

You have said that so well Megan! Even when we were waiting for Zack and friends who were on the list after us and then getting their babies before us it was so hard, but I really wanted to be happy for them. I really did after awhile, but it was hard. You are amazing to me!

Leslie said...

we didn't go through what you have gone through to try to have a child and of course, we didn't go through the heartache that you are going through at having lost your children... but i do know how difficult it is to 'rejoice with those that are rejoicing'. when we were struggling to get pregnant, when i heard someone else was pregnant, i was happy for them, but had the hardest time showing it. i was bitter, and i was jealous, and i felt cheated. those who were able to get pregnant so easily just didn't understand how someone could possibly react in any way other than TOTAL and COMPLETE happiness and joy for them. that is when true compassion can be shown to those who are hurting... some people get it and some people don't. it is one of those struggles in life to try to put yourself in the other person's shoes... even though that is impossible.
aaron jr came to us through artificial insemination. we were so blessed and now... i can't imagine going through the loss of my spouse without this sweet child here with me. i am so glad you have each other to lean on... that is such a blessing in these times of trial.
unless someone has gone through a degree of infertility themselves... they cannot possibly understand the heartache that it brings. it is a real heartache just as if you had lost someone special each month. you go through the roller coaster of emotions every single month. you are on a high of hope at one point during the month... then comes the worry and then comes the heartache when it doesn't happen... then it starts all over again.
i am so sorry. your loss of losing children is such a gigantic loss and very painful... and not being able to get pregnant... that one hurts so much as you wait for the blessings to come.
i am so sorry. i will mourn with you and when it happens again for you to be blessed with some good news... i will rejoice with you as well.
you are amazing and i admire your strength.

Open your Eyes. said...

I loved your point at the end of the post...that your trying. The fact that your embracing, not giving up and trying to open new doors for yourselves is inspiring and I am rejoincing with you in that...thank you for the post on my blog the other day. It meant a lot. You and your partner are a beautiful couple xxx.

Mama said...

I love your blog and thoughts. Thank you for sharing them!

I have never lost twins. I cannot say I know what you are going through. But I do know that time does make it easier to rejoice again. It seems that some of my hardest hurts, as they get more distant (and I'm talking years here), help me appreciate some of my friends' greatest joys now. I appreciate for them how good life is to them. But only after my own pain is very far removed.

Until that happened, I had to fake it a lot. :)

Someday.....I bet you'll be just ecstatic about things that right now are still painful.

Kudos to you for your wisdom and faith. Many best wishes for peace and comfort to you!!!

Mindy said...

I love that you found a scripture that tells us to rejoice with those who rejoice! I know this might not be helpful ... but in my situation (which is obviously entirely different from yours, *yet* I often times find myself feeling almost everything you expres feeling, if that makes sense), something that helps me is thinking it through this way: I truly do want everyone to be happily married. EVERYONE. If I look at that as my goal, then when one of my friends gets married who is six or seven years younger than me, or when my EFY participants are getting married before me, or even my seminary students getting married before me ... I am happy that we all are one step closer into getting what I really do want - everyone to be happily married. :) If the goal isn't just about me and my status, I see a lot more success. :) :) I am not sure that helps, if not, throw rocks in my general direction. :)

Head Nurse or Patient- you be the judge said...

I think one of the hardest trials I have had to bear, was infertility. I experienced secondary infertility, which makes you even more isolated. The people who haven't had any children can't understand why you can't just be happy you even have a child (which you are, but it isn't what you desire) and the people who have children, wonder why you haven't had any more- especially in our religion's culture. The 8 years between our first born, who was not all that easy to get here, and our second child whom we were blessed to adopt, were very long and frustating years.

When your desires are righteous, marriage, children, etc., I think it can make it harder for us to- hum- not sure the right word, but,accept.

Please know that although I do not know you personally, I am here- in Vernal, praying for you.

Have a good week!

Kim said...

I love your thoughts. And the scripture which is so fitting. I understand the words you wrote of today. It is so hard to be on both sides, wanting that so badly for your friends, and now wanting it so badly for yourself. Very confusing trials. You are doing just fine. :)