I went for a run the other night, and found myself alone on the path. I thought, “This isn’t the first time I’ve been on a road alone.” Growing up with what happened to me, I always felt I was walking down a different path in life. I was a sojourner discovering a new world all to myself. No one could relate. No one could understand. No one could comfort. The chains of barrenness bound me to relive my regrets, my insecurities, and my unfulfilled desires over and over again.
I was on the road less traveled.
It was hard, really hard, to fully understand and accept that I would never have children through birth. I hid my insecurities through a big smile, an adventurous spirit, busy life, and a confident persona. Yet, beneath that chameleon-like suit, was a girl blindly walking through a tunnel without a light.
I felt forsaken by the Lord. I had to navigate the road before fully understanding the terrain. I had heard that the greatest of all gifts are children, and yet, there I was childless, damaged, and forgotten. The Lord felt thousands of miles away…
Here I am now thirty years after my surgery, and infertility is spoken about, but not often understood. Sometimes, I get overwhelmed by how many women, and men, struggle with similar gut-wrenching tugs on their hearts, minds, and spirits. If only I had a “mentor” growing up, or someone who would have shared with me that barrenness would stay with me for life. It would get harder the older I got, and it would try to siphon the joy from grand moments in life. If only, I had someone to walk with me down the road less traveled.
My advice to anyone going through similar issues is quite simple: listen to your heart, cry when you need to, don’t let others negotiate your infertility for you, and never give up hope.
I didn’t walk down this road to keep my experience to myself. Now, as a parent, I certainly don’t want to silence the songs my heart sings about grace, forgiveness, and the gift of children. Looking back on my journey, I get a sense that it all led to this time in my life where I can speak out loud the twisted thoughts, confusing notions, and painful longings of my youth.
I’m sharing it with a host of others who are walking alongside me. I’m walking side-by-side with my husband who could have chosen a different path. I’m celebrating it with family members whose lives and love have grown tremendously since the kids entered our lives. I’m being carried by the strength of the Lord, and, I’m skipping down it holding the hands of my children.
I’m on the road less traveled, but I am no longer alone.