In the experience of infertility or loss, people will let us down. They will let us down because they don’t get it, or they don’t care, or they don’t know how to help us. In our isolated journey, we need to remember that what people can’t be, God is.
1. Husbands who don’t grieve, either like us or at all
This can be devastating and cause the already-existent loneliness of our situation to be exacerbated. To not have our spouse, whom we long to have get our heart, not be in the same place we are with the grief is not only crushing, we can’t comprehend it either. How can they not be devastated in the same way we are? In our confusion, anger and resentment can easily set in.
God is what your husband cannot be. Either your husband is not allowing the grief to come, he simply cannot grasp the loss with the emotions you can, or maybe He is displaying his grief in an entirely different way, leaving you feeling “left-out.” But our Daddy God, Who gave up His Son to a horrific death for our sake knows the pain of loss. And Jesus, our Savior, was a Man of Sorrows, acquainted with grief. When we cannot find a human, even our own spouse, to enter our grief with us, then we can run to The One who knows our heart better than we know it, and knows the depths of grief first hand.
Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:1-12
Please refer to https://perfectjoyministries.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/keeping-your-marriage-intact-part-i/ and https://perfectjoyministries.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/keeping-your-marriage-intact-part-ii/
2. Stupid comments
We’ve touched on this before. Why people say what they say – from ignorance to a lack of personal experience with what you are going through – comments are going to come. It’s inevitable. But God can be the shield around our heart, deflecting the direct wounds these statements can inflict.
I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One. Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and the name of his son? Tell me if you know! “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Proverbs 30: 3-5
O LORD, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2 Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” “Selah” But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the LORD I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill. “Selah” I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. Paslm 3:1-5
3. When people just can’t “go there” with you
Even if there is someone who comforts and understands, it is only to a certain point, and usually, only for a certain length of time. People can often sympathize with you for a short while, but humans are easily distracted. They get bored. Also, each journey is so individual, so unique, that we have to go through some of it completely on our own. It pertains to our frame of reference, our life experiences, our personality bent, our understanding of God. And again, in this place, utter loneliness can consume. But He walks with us through this dark valley where no one else can enter.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. Psalm 139:7-10
4. People living their own lives while we feel stuck in our loss
As mentioned above, people move on quicker than we do. We are either living daily with the house that echoes without the laughter of small voices because of infertility, or we are remembering dates and hours before our child left our arms. These are not soon forgotten, if ever, by our heart. We live with constant reminders of our loss. And yet, those around us just don’t remember and linger in this place, because it isn’t their loss. They don’t remain in the place of sadness that we do. They continue with their life, still moving forward, while we stumble along seeking our new normal.
God, who has plans to give us a future and a hope—-Who is our future and hope when we have claimed Him as Savior—doesn’t lag behind us or rush ahead of us in our journey through this time. He walks right alongside us, helping us carry the yoke of the burden He has allowed in our lives and at other times, even carrying us when our legs give out from the emotions that overwhelm.
At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:25-30
He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. Isaiah 40:11
And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar [grey] hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you. Isaiah 46:4
The beauty in those we love and know letting us down and betraying us is that we come to know God better and catch deeper understanding of Who He is. The more people fail us, the more we learn just how much God is.
When people aren’t, God is.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8
Original material by Melissa J Carswell, MA, BCCC. Holly M Besser. Perfect Joy Ministries ©2013. May not be used or re-printed without permission. bsbp28p03-07-2013