Healing the Great Divide: Meredith of It’s Positive

Healing the Great Divide

MEREDITH of ‘IT’S POSITIVE’

GUEST BLOGGER

Meredith was one of the first long distance friends that I ‘met’ on this journey through infertility and blogging. She is a dear sister in Christ who shares the heartache of empty arms but also triumphs the despair by helping others through the heartache through her blog It’s Positive. Her walk is inspiring and her delightful ray of sunshine is contagious.

In today’s guest post, she shares some of the ways her family and friends rallied around her during the toughest times of her journey. For those of you finding yourself in the company of an Infertile Myrtle, take heed her advice and tips on what to do and say. 


It’s been four years since I left my fertility specialist’s office with a diagnosis: infertility due to a PCOS diagnosis. In these four years of walking the challenging terrain of infertility and trying to conceive, I’ve experienced a variety of responses from my loved ones. Some responses I’ve appreciated and others challenged me in new and unexpected ways.

If I can state what these four years with my loved ones has taught me, it is: You cannot expect them to support you well if you are not open with them. After we opened up about our situation, I naturally assumed everyone in my circle would respond in the same manner I would. I was wrong. Some never reached out, some reached out too much. Some made me feel better, some made me feel worse. Some never asked but only assumed, some clearly never listened to the information I gave them by asking the same questions repeatedly.

Even among the more challenging and frustrating interactions, my heart is grateful for the outpouring of love and support we’ve received.

One of the main supportive people in my life has been my best friend of 26 years, Jenna. I met Jenna when I transferred to our elementary school in first grade. I remember falling off a merry-go-round at recess and skinning my knee, and she grabbed me and took me to the nurse. Just as she helped me through the pain of that open wound, she has continued to be a source of healing in the most painful season of my adult life. Jenna knows how to tend to my needs especially because of an incredibly painful piece of her life: recurrent miscarriages.

Since sharing my pain, Jenna has lavished me in prayer and has been a fantastic listening ear. She’s mastered the art of listening well, and listening without sugar-coating (the last thing I want). Oftentimes she’ll respond with, “This seriously sucks. I’m so sorry. I wish this wasn’t happening to you. But I understand. I wish there was something I could do or say.” Clearly nothing fancy, nothing profound – but in those moments, I just need someone to tell me “this sucks.”

From a more tangible perspective, Jenna once gave me a gift bag containing a “prayer box” where she’d written specific prayers for me. The gift also included a necklace that said, “For this child I prayed” that another woman had given her during her losses. I still refer to that little box of prayer notes from time to time to encourage my soul and ignite my prayers.

Jenna’s Prayer Box.

Another time, I was asking my LIFE Group (what our church calls “small groups”) for prayer in the weeks and days leading up to my blog’s launch. I had only known these women for a short period, but they united around me and supported me in a true case of the Body of Christ in action. One night, I showed up for our weekly study, and they had decorated the house with streamers and balloons. My one friend made deviled eggs (to play on the whole ‘egg’ element of conceiving) and the other women lavished me with the most heartfelt cards, gifts, and flowers. They prayed for me, asked me to show them my website, and asked me questions about my condition. I recognize that though most women walking the road of infertility won’t have a blog like mine, friends and family can still utilize the considerate and loving methods my LIFE Group used.

Cards and gifts from my LIFE Group.

Last year, Matt and I signed up for the Chicagoland Walk of Hope to raise awareness for infertility. We created a team, “The Cyster and the Mister,” and fundraised. We had an outpouring of generosity, both in funds and in participation. My friends and family wore our team t-shirts and walked with us on that October afternoon. Some family members drove 2 ½ hours just to walk with us that day. I’ll never forget their thoughtfulness and kindness.

Chicagoland Walk of Hope

Personally, the more impactful moments in our journey have been smaller and less extravagant. My father-in-law, a quiet humble man of few but wise words, melted my heart this past Mother’s Day. This has been my fourth Mother’s Day since my diagnosis, so it’s nothing new; I was at peace and content, not crying in the corner or anything like that. The family was busy in and out of their house playing bags in the backyard and grilling together. I went to bring some food inside, and it was just my father-in-law and me. In passing, he pulled me into a big bear hug, kissed me on top of my head, and said quietly, “I know this is hard for you today. I’m so sorry, Mere. Your time will come.” It was short, but oh so very sweet.

Those words were tenderly from his heart, and were a true example of Proverbs 16:24:

“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

Moments like these have touched my heart and soul in profound ways.

Cards given to me from our LIFE Group.

Every woman and every couple desire different reactions and levels of support from their loved ones. {Infertiles} This is why it’s critical to voice your expectations to them. Besides using my blog as a tool to communicate, I’ve spoken face-to-face with all of them explaining what I need and don’t need. Personally, I don’t like any “I feel so bad” or “poor you” reactions – you know, the tilt-of-the-head and half-smile half-sad face. I prefer authentic and unplanned interactions along with asking questions. But I’ve encountered plenty of women who prefer their loved ones to nurture them, ask them constantly, and make it the center of their conversations.

At the end of the day, we are all people who are hurting and lacking in some way – and we all need to be graciously equipped by our Lord and Savior. We need prayer – deep, relentless, honest prayer. We need to be in the Word so we can truly “hear” from God and experience His voice. We need to humble ourselves and give grace to our loved ones when they don’t respond in the manner we desire. We need to seek to ensure 1 Thessalonians 5:11 is a priority:

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up.”

Whether you are walking the road of infertility, or someone you love is, I pray these examples equip you to encourage and lift one another up in hope and joy!

Related Links:

The Great Divide: It’s Time to Close the Gap

Healing the Great Divide: A Word to Infertile Couples

Healing the Great Divide: Caroline of In Due Time

Matt & Meredith

 

One thought on “Healing the Great Divide: Meredith of It’s Positive

  • December 14, 2016 at 1:38 PM
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    Thank you for sharing our story, and for asking me to guest post for you! I’m so blessed by you, Jil — we need to live closer! Love to you always blessed sister in Christ!
    -M

    Reply

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