Friday, March 23, 2012


How does being embarrassed about something affect you? For me, my cheeks turn red, little beads of sweat start to form, and I keep analyzing the situation over and over in my head, trying to convince myself that either A) No one saw it, or I will never see those people again in my life, so stop worrying about it; or B) Everyone is clumsy sometimes, so stop worrying about it. Easier said (or thought) than done! I tell myself those things, but my ego still feels embarrassed for a little while.

Since it's Friday, I'll throw in some humor by sharing a personal example. We have started to ride our bikes and take our dogs with us to get a bit more energy out. Since they are quite energetic, we have to take them in separate directions so they don't feed off of one another or compete to see who can go the fastest. You see the sweet, angelic looking German Shepherd to the right? That's Abby, and she's a Mama's girl, so Abby and I usually pair up for these aforementioned bike rides. If we were smart, we'd invest in something like this:

But we haven't. (And by the way, if we did buy such a thing, I don't want to even think of the bike disaster awaiting me. It would probably end up on the evening news for worst bike crash ever!)

So my strategy was (note the past tense, ha ha) to hold the leash loosely with one hand while holding onto the handlebars. We have done this several times successfully, without incident. I guess that's why they say it only takes one time...

Abby and I had just turned around to head back home (I've ridden horses all my life, I should have known better than to let my guard down when heading in the direction of home!) when Abby started to speed up. A lot. Imagine this, with one dog:

With that speed-thirsty look on her face too. Needless to say I, well, became unstable. But instead of just letting go of the leash to regain my balance, for some reason I had it in my mind that the leash was breakable or something because that was the only thing I held onto. (Until I hit the ground and it broke my hold on the leash!) Abby knew immediately when I started to get unstable that she shouldn't have sped up, so when I finally let go of the leash, she sulked back to me and sat down with an "Oops, my bad..." look on her face. Luckily, I was not seriously hurt, just a minor scrape on my shoulder and knee, but the worst injury was my ego. I was really embarrassed at my clumsiness (yet again). Fortunately for my pride, no one saw it. Score!

I bet it would have been quite the sight though. :)

But what about shame? How is shame the same/different than embarrassment? After a quick Google search (Webster who?), embarrassment is defined as a feeling of self-consciousness whereas shame is defined as a painful feeling of humiliation or distress. Shame sounds a bit more serious to me.

So now I'll ask, how does feeling shame affect you? For me, I want to hide. Maybe not physically, but certainly emotionally.

I have learned that there is a lot of shame through infertility. Not that experiencing infertility is a shameful thing, but rather that those in the midst of it tend to feel shame. Why? I think the root of it is the feeling that my body isn't working properly, and so I am tempted to feel ashamed, inadequate, and unworthy. It's a painful feeling, as opposed to feeling embarrassed. After all, weren't women created to bear children?

Yes and no. Yes, our bodies were created with the physical capability to bear children and propagate the earth. But that is not WHY women were created. I know, it's very easy to forget the truth when Satan is pouring buckets of lies into your thought pathway. But here's the truth:

Genesis 2:18
Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him."

First, women were created to become a helper to their husband. That means the top priority (after loving and serving the Lord) is to love and help your husband. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, in the moment you decide you want to have children, it's so easy to lose track of your other roles in life. But God does not want you to forsake your husband for your children or future children. Take joy in loving the man God has given you to be your earthly protector, provider, and leader. Even if he is not the best at expressing his feelings about the infertility journey you're on, remember that he's in the midst of this with you. He's struggling with feelings of shame and doubt as well. He just may express or show it in different ways than you (i.e., I doubt you'd find him sobbing on your closet floor in a fetal position...not that I would know what that's like either *wink*)

And don't give into the thoughts of feeling shame about your body and how it does or does not function. We are all fallen creatures, with broken bodies while we are mortal. But take comfort that it will not always be this way.

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

Psalm 139:13-14
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.

God is all-powerful. He made your earthly body and will make your heavenly body. He has the power to heal if He chooses to. On Tuesday nights, we attend a Bible study that has been studying the miracles of Christ, many of which are healings. Michael put the thought out there last Tuesday that he wonders if there were lots of people who were present near Christ who were not healed. Because Christ chose not to. Does that make Christ unfair?

I don't think it's a matter of fairness. Fairness is a result of our sinful nature feeling entitled to receive certain things. It's tough for me to swallow, but I am not entitled to receive my own biological child. No matter how a child enters the world, it's 100% a gift from God. I may never experience pregnancy for myself. We may end up adopting our child and growing our family in that way instead. It's all uncertain, but don't be tempted to think of it in terms of what's fair.

I know it's hard, but you have a choice to make. If God chooses to never heal your physical body to allow for conception and birth of your biological child, will you still love and follow Him? There is no shame in what you're going through. It doesn't make you incomplete or any less of a woman. Believing otherwise is believing in lies. I may never understand why some people go through infertility and never get to experience the joy of having biological children, but it's up to me to choose my attitude about that end result. So what do you choose to believe?

No comments:

Post a Comment