Friday, April 27, 2012

Don't Ignore...

...those going through infertility.

If that's you, be sure to find a community that will support you 100%! And if you're not infertile, please don't ignore those that are.


Our church's newsletter recently did a "spotlight on infertility," sharing the story of 4 different couples that have either gone through infertility or are still going through it (one of the couples being us). The reason they did that is that Dave and I have started a ministry called Isaac's Prayer at our church for those going through infertility or pregnancy loss. We really felt there was a need, but unfortunately the ministry has kind of flopped. :/ It's interesting because we knew we needed community and wanted to reach out to others WHILE also wanting to be more connected ourselves, but no one has been coming to the support meetings. :/ We don't know what the future is of the ministry, but we felt called to it, the name means a lot to us, and so we're going to keep praying about how God wants us to proceed. We know there are people dealing with infertility in Nashville. They just must not know about our group! If you or anyone you know is looking for various kinds of support (we're thinking of transitioning the ministry to be an online prayer ministry), please email isaacsprayer@gmail.com.

ANYWAY, all that to say, infertility is pretty isolating. It's hard to feel connected to the world when you seem so left out of it. Here is a simplified list of ways to support those going through infertility that that our church leaders put together based on what the 4 couples contributed.

1. Be mindful of being overly optimistic. Sometimes that can be perceived as minimizing the pain. Avoid offering advice, random verses of scripture or words that minimize like, "Just relax, it will happen." Validate their experience and feelings. It's ok to not know what to say. Instead, show that you love and care.

2. Infertility is a loss. Sending cards, making meals, being present, giving a call, shooting an email, going for coffee or checking in are all great ways of support.

3. Infertility can be isolating. Being present and attentive is perhaps the greatest thing you can do. Ask, "How are you doing this week?" Be mindful that certain occasions, especially Mother's Day can be painful. Pray for those whose grief is heightened on those occasions.

4. Invite those who are childless to parties and activities, including baby showers, baptisms and family picnics. They might come. They might not. But always be inclusive.

5. Ask them what they need. And what might support look like for them? It's different for different people. Don't give up reaching out.

You can find the rest of the article here starting on page 7.We're on page 8!(There are other topics about our church covered as well. :)

And in other exciting news I've been nominated by Courtney at Our Pathway to Parenthood for the Lovely Blog Award! Yay! :-)
It involves writing random things about myself and passing along the award to other bloggers. I'll do that part tomorrow, but for today will still put up this awesome picture. Thanks Courtney!


4 comments:

  1. I am very interested in starting an online prayer ministry. At the moment, Brandon and I are the only ones in our church going through infertility. I've felt God telling me to do something more, but I haven't known what. I would love to help you with this ministry.

    I am so glad to have connected with you!
    courtneyboyington@gmail.com

    Email me more about this ministry outreach, please!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those are really good tips - I wish my parents and inlaws would read them and take them to heart.

    I'd add something to #4:
    "4. Invite those who are childless to parties and activities, including baby showers, baptisms and family picnics. They might come. They might not. But always be inclusive."

    After "they might not," i'd add, but don't hold that against them. I'm really upset with my MIL still over a statement she made at Thanksgiving when I wasn't sure I participate in something baby related for my SIL. She thought I should just move on and get over things, and it really hurt. To this day, I'm still hurt about it. It's absolutely nothing personal to either her or my SIL, but I feel she made it so. :(

    I think my commenting is working now! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have been loving your blog this past week or so!!! Keep it up! Your post yesterday about identity was amazing. What a transformative journey you've been on. God is seriously working and I am so, so, so, happy to see you finding your place and your voice! You're an inspiration! Love you lots.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey Liz, one idea about your support group ministry: have you tried advertising it beyond your church? Like to other churches near you? You could reach out to people other than just the congregation.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are the online version of a hug! Thanks for showing the love by commenting! :-)