Bear one another’s burdens… Thursday, October 1, 2009

I have been thinking the past few days of individuals that I suspect may have gone through miscarriages recently.  I am not for certain if I am right, but I have brought it to prayer, asking God that if it is true to please orchestrate a helpful and encouraging conversation.

I am concerned because the Bible says we are “to bear one another’s burdens”.  I will never forget my friend, Mary, who became a surrogate mother to me while I was in college (which was 26 hours driving distance from my parents).  She would always tell me, “Dana, this verse is the picture of a tomato vine.” She would proceed to explain that without a wooden stake, the tomato plant would not be supported and would fall to the ground.  When tomatoes fall to the ground they are susceptible to rotting, bugs, or disease.  Likewise, if we do not “bear each other’s burdens” and leave our sisters and brothers unsupported, they also will be susceptible to a similar outcome…

BUT...  to actually admit that we have had loss or infertility is to be EXTREMELY transparent and VERY vulnerable.  Numerous ladies have only admitted to me the losses they have faced because I was willing to share mine.

Additionally, there are people who say or do the wrong thing.  Even people we love and are close to.  For instance:

I have been told that I should not have told others I was pregnant before the 3 month mark.  To me, that reasoning doesn’t really make any sense at all.  If I lost my baby at 11.5 weeks or 24 weeks – I still lost THAT baby.

I have been given letters detailing to me every verse that tells me God wants me to worship and praise Him more and move forward in Him through the pain.  Even verses that were good and applicable can sometimes feel empty in the freshness of loss.

I have had people come lay hands on me in public and pray out loud for me in my most vulnerable moments – where I was “just trying to hold it together”.

Even just the simple question, “How are you doing?” can feel pretty bad.

I mean, let’s face it – there are people that love us very much and in trying to be an encouragement and support, they do the wrong thing.  They are desperately trying to minister to us because they love us – and it just happened to be the wrong thing to say or do.

And – let’s also be honest regarding ourselves – we have contributed poorly at some point in our life to someone else’s pain, with good intentions.

If we can overlook the few times things are said wrong to us, we will benefit greatly from those who say the right things.

Some of the most encouraging moments were when I heard someone say with complete tenderness and empathy, “Oh, I am so sorry, D.  I am so sorry.”  Or the emails sent that simply said, “We are so sorry for your loss.  Our hearts break to hear this sad news.  Is there anything we can do for you?”  These responses far outweighed the “wrong ones”. (It is also important to note that the “right responses” were many, many more than the “wrong ones”).

I guess I am writing this to encourage us as ladies to feel free to be vulnerable with each other. Pray for the right person to talk to.  Pray that God will direct you to someone who can be your “tomato stake”.  Make sure that person is strong in the Word of God and is balanced.  Someone who will listen to you and cry with you, but who will better yet pray for you.  Someone you can trust.

You can preface your conversation by saying, “I don’t want any wisdom, counsel or advice.  I just need to be heard and supported.” ANYONE will jump on board with you if you preface your heartache this way.

The heartache of miscarriage and infertility is different, but almost equally painful.  One is long and drawn out and the other is a great amount of pain in surprise form instantly.  You need support.  Don’t try to face it on your own.

You can use your Email Me button or talk to me personally should you like to reach out to me for support. Even if you read this blog entry many months from now and just happen to come across this, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  That is what I am here for.  That is why I am extending myself – so you can know that YOU are supported and cared for.

Even if your experience far outweighs mine – that is ok.  I never claim to know exactly how you feel, but I can be a sister in your struggle.

We can bear one another’s burdens.

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