Apr 25, 2012

Conquering Jealousy

Over the past few months I have spent a lot of time reading infertility blogs and chatting on twitter with other infertile ladies (and a few men!).  It is so comforting to hear their words of encouragement, to celebrate their successes, and to commiserate in their difficulties.  The infertile bloggers I have found are refreshingly honest about their feelings, frustrations, and inadequacies.  In an effort to be just as honest, I am going to post this, even though I know it might upset some of my other infertile readers.

Last night, Casey and I took dinner to sweet friends who are home from the hospital with a beautiful little girl.  Afterwards, we went to the hospital to visit other sweet friends who just delivered twins who are so small and so adorable.  They are currently in the NICU because they are so small, but they are little fighters.

Both of these couples are blessed with perfect little babies.  And I feel nothing but pure, unadulterated joy for them.  God chose to bless them at this time.  And I couldn't be happier for them.  I have been asked how I manage to go to Target, a store filled with babies.  I have been asked how I attend (and host) baby showers.  I have been asked how I continue to work in the children's program at my church.  I do all of these things because they bring me joy. 

Every baby, every child is a gift.  I don't understand allowing infertility frustrations to jade you from the miracle that is a child.  I am frustrated that I am infertile.  I have been angry with God.  I have been jealous when people announce pregnancy six on facebook (seriously six?!? I'd love to have just one!!).  I have cried out with injustice when I learned that a friend aborted her "oops" pregnancy (Didn't she know that I would take that child and love it?  If she could have made it through the nine months...)  I have cried many many nights wondering why me.  I am far from perfect.  I feel the same jealousy and the same sting as other women.  But I don't understand why so many infertile women allow their sadness to overtake their lives. 

When a friend has a baby it is a joy!  When you can be around a child and make a difference in their life it is a joy!  (Or as said in church on Sunday: "it's crack for Christians").  I don't know or even understand God's plan for me right now.  But I know He doesn't plan for me to sit around and be jealous.  Or bitter. He wants me to recognize the joy in everything around me.  He wants me to see His miracles.  He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. (Job 5:9)  One of those miracles is the addition of a child to the family of God.  The more I learn about the necessary steps towards pregnancy the more aware I am of the true majesty of the act.  It truly is a miracle. 

I hope you can pray with me:
Father in Heaven,
I need You in my life.  It is so easy to fall into the trap of jealousy and bitterness.  It is easy to become so wrapped in my own pain that I don't see Your work around me.  I know that children are the greatest gift.  Children are a blessing.  I should celebrate every child in Your kingdom.  Jesus said,  Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me (Mark 9:34-37).  Walk beside me and help me receive Your children and minister to them and their families in Your name.  For, You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples  (Psalm 77:14).  Help me to recognize the joy in your miracles.  Prepare my heart for whatever you have in store for me.  Help me overcome my envy and bitterness to recognize and celebrate in the joy of another couple.   Walk beside me and guide me towards Your will for my life.  Wether that will is a biological child or a different path, let Your will be done. 

Many infertiles feel that joy for another, but only when the other is also infertile.  One of the couples we visited last night struggled with infertility.  But it doesn't matter which one.  All three babies were beautiful and I am so glad we were able to see them.,  So many people talk about the jealousy and the bitterness of infertility.  Start talking about the joy around you instead.


  1. I cant believe no onr has commented on this beautiful post. It just goes to show that misery loves company. As I was reading your beautiful words, I thought about how proud your husband must be of you. You are a light to others and have said "I will be who God wants me to be even in times of trial" so many people, infertile and not, choose to become their best selves only after the trial, or as an attempt to bargain with God. My sister is infertile with no children and I finally had my 3rd child after 4 years of trying. My sister has become bitter and I feel sad for her that she is choosing to let this illness destroy her marriage, her friendships, and her relationship with God. I found your post due to searching for even one infertile woman who had not chosen bitterness. Im glad to know there are some out there. Because, infertility is not a choice but how you choose to conduct yourself certainly is.

  2. Very moving. Definately makes me think. As an infertile for many years I have allowed myself to get bitter. I do not want to be jealous of other couples blessed with children, but it is a natural human feeling. I have to learn to not live by my feelings but Gods words and His love. I too have been involved in childrens ministry, seen many infertiles get pregnant and prayed for everyone of those couples to be blessed with Gods biggest blessing to conceive a child. That doesn't mean with every one of the baby annoucements I haven't cried, asked God why not me and even allowed myself depressed moments because I have. I am trying to do the best I can to just get through this but obviously I am failing at it.

  3. Crying doesn't mean you are failing! Hiding on the floor of your closet wailing is totally normal! But, once the crying is over you get to choose if you will get up and continue living or stay in the closet and be angry.

    Sometimes you have to protect your own heart and cut people out of your life who don't get it and don't support you. That's okay! Sometimes you just can't celebrate baby number six or the teen mom down the street. That's okay! Be kind to yourself because you are living in one of Dante's Levels of Hell right now. Give yourself permission to grieve, to cry, to yell, and then to pull up your bootstraps and live life in the moment!