I’ve decided that today I want to tell you it’s ok if you’re hurting.
It’s ok if you’re not doing great.
It’s ok if you’re feeling like you can’t handle the cards you’ve been dealt.
And it’s ok if you cry.
You know why?
Because you weren’t designed for this. You weren’t made for sorrows and suffering and crap happening in your life.
All of that stuff–that’s part of this fallen world.
But you weren’t made for this. This isn’t your true home.
You were made for Heaven.
So it’s ok that you’re having a hard time handling all this. It’s ok if you just need to lean your head on your Friend and cry. That’s what He’s there for. And He gets it. Because He made you.
Let me tell you a little story.
Once upon a time….
I forgot that I used to be normal.
I’d been on “infertility island” so long, I’d almost forgotten that I wasn’t born here. I’ve been drinking the water and thought I was a native. Like Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, I’ve forgotten that I had a life before this island.
Then, as with the Lost Boys in Neverland, something triggered an ancient memory.
My mom shared an article on my Facebook page about toys in the 90s, asking if I remember Baby All Gone. Of course I do! She was only the coolest baby doll ever with the niftiest spoon of cherries that disappeared when you fed them to her. Coolest. Baby doll. Ever.
Wait a minute… baby doll?
Yes, I had one. And I loved it. And while my mommy was taking care of my baby sister, I was taking care of my baby doll. And in my little curly head I was assuming this was perfectly normal. I’m doing what mommy does and someday when I grow up I’ll be just like mommy and have a real baby too.
I wasn’t born on this island. I was shipwrecked here at age 16. But this is not my true home.
It wasn’t always like this. I wasn’t always like this.
I realized that I was being too hard on myself. I was echoing the voices of well-meaning people who have never been on this island. You should be better at this, I would say. You’ve been here for over a DECADE. You should be able to handle it now. Why did you break down in the baby section? Why did you cry on your way to the shower? You can do better.
The I saw the post from my mom, and remembered the truth.
I had a life before the island. I am not a native. I never was, and I never will be.
And truthfully, none of us are.
When we are wounded by the world, we become so hard on ourselves. We say that we should be better at this. We say, “I should be able to handle this.” But maybe that’s our pride talking, telling us to forget the truth about who we are, and whose we are.
We are not from here. This is not our home; we are only pilgrims passing through. And so we keep walking, keep trying, keep moving forward, but we can’t get anywhere on our own because we’re not made for this place. When people (including yourself) say, “You should be able to handle this,” remember the truth. You can’t handle this—at least, not on your own. And you’re not supposed to. That’s what God is for.
5 thoughts on “You’re not a native”
I’m still processing this post, but I thank you for writing it. I too forgot that there was life before infertility. How did we forget that we were not always this way? It sounds so simple, but I’m blown away. Thanks for the reminder and Peace Be With You.
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You’re welcome and thank you so much. It’s strange to think about, isn’t it? I had to remind some relatives recently that I was brought up with “normal” expectations and that even though I’ve known I’m infertile since 16, I wasn’t always that way and this is still hard for me. Peace be with you, too. ❤
I don’t know how you manage to do it, but I swear that you always have exactly what I need to hear. The last couple of weeks have been a real struggle. The longer that I am alone and less and less likely to ever have kids of my own, it gets harder, not easier. A friend that is in a similar position and I have been talking about it. Since this is our reality and has been for so long, shouldn’t we be used to it by now? And people don’t tend to think about how hard it is for me, because it just is how it is, so shouldn’t I be okay with it? I am actually less okay with it all the time, but surrender is where it is. Thanks as always for sharing your perspective on it!
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Huge prayers and hugs to you, CM. ❤ It really does get harder, sometimes, and people who haven't been through it can't understand. You can say it's like grief… but unlike the death of a loved one, it doesn't fade. It's more like a continual death- over and over again sometimes. Every announcement on Facebook, every invitation in the mail- people think (at least people in my life think) that it's making me jealous- but no. It's not jealousy, it's more like ripping the bandaid off and jabbing in a knife. And it's not like there's been a lot of time to heal in between, because it keeps happening. I asked my 80-year-old great-aunt who never had children if it gets better, and she was like "No. It tears my heart out every day." So what's the "good news" here? What's the hope? What's the gospel? I wonder if we've been given a bit of a gift, in a way. We're taught that the cross is the way to life- that this instrument of torture and death is somehow life giving. And it's a mystery, but not one that most people really get to experience or think about first hand. And yet here we are, living this. It really provides a lot to think about, that's for sure. This is why I have stills from The Passion on my phone- to remind me how awful it was for Him, and to try and go easy on myself.
In some ways it’s heart breaking to know it never gets better, but in some ways it is almost nice to hear from someone that’s been through it her whole life that it really is that bad. We are not making this up; this isn’t a matter of simply being too weak to handle it. It really is crazy hard. As you say, there is life and there is redemption in this mysterious and painful path. But, in the meantime…
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