Infertility is a type of suffering. My husband and I have been through seasons of hope, grief, confusion, and more. Looking back on the seasons, I can see what helped lift me out of the dark times:
- Focus on others - Infertility is painful, but other people are in pain, too. Look around and see what needs you can meet for other hurting people. Don't become isolated.
- Be difficult to offend - People will say insensitive things to you. Do not let yourself be offended. People generally mean well.
- Surrender bitterness - After being upset when a sermon mentioned every group except singles and couples without children, I realized how sensitive I had become. Letting myself become bitter about perceived offenses only hurts me further.
- Look up - Realize that infertility is one portion of your life, even though it can feel like the only portion of your life. Don't let it be the main thing. Do what you enjoyed doing before infertility barged in. Don't get so focused on infertility that you miss the good things around you.
- Lean on Christ - This one has been tough for me. I like to think of myself as strong and capable of carrying burdens. This one is too heavy, but I sure have tried to carry it alone. Let yourself grieve, and then turn to Christ as your burden-bearer.
- Guard your marriage - Your spouse is likely suffering through infertility as well. I went for a long time feeling sorry for myself and venting to him; then, I realized that he is hurting, too. Girls talk about this stuff; many guys won't mention it. Don't let infertility characterize your marriage. Have fun together. Declare "infertility free" days when the topic will not be mentioned.
My suffering at this time is infertility, but I think many of these reminders apply to people in other types of suffering as well.
What helps you during dark seasons?