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Beating on the Chest of God; A Faith Journey Through Infertility

Beating on the Chest of God; A Faith Journey Through Infertility

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Beating on the Chest of God; A Faith Journey Through Infertility

valutazioni:
3/5 (1 valutazione)
Lunghezza:
199 pagine
1 ora
Pubblicato:
Jun 1, 2014
ISBN:
9781310454134
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Infertility sucks. If you live with it, your faith, in whatever you believe in, takes a beating. My story is about infertility, but wrestling with God is a universal struggle. Whatever causes you to be depressed or lose hope, this book is for you. For years, I wrote through the pain, and passed around my journal, giving comfort to many. When I tried to publish it, secular publishers were not interested, since it deals with faith. Christian publishers were not interested, since I am a minister’s wife speaking honestly and openly about the doubt and anger I experienced in my faith. They wanted to sanitize my words, and give it a neat and tidy ending. I decided to be completely honest instead.
In those dark days I wanted, and needed, to know I wasn’t alone.
I discovered along the journey, that God did not wear a cape, swooping in to save the day. Most days, God did not hold me or even look me in the eye. I did discover, however, that God never left. I was never alone in the darkness, and neither are you.

Pubblicato:
Jun 1, 2014
ISBN:
9781310454134
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

In addition to a love of writing, Rachel Whaley Doll is also a vocalist, Biblical storyteller and speaker. Her first book, The Exquisite Ordinary, (Createspace, 2012) is an inspirational collection of everyday moments which show life is anything but ordinary. She enjoys discovering and sharing her gifts, and empowering others to do the same. Rachel is realizing that "Faith, like most things in life, doesn't fit into a neat and tidy box; but that doesn't mean we should walk away. I chose to wrestle with my faith, to lay it all out and examine it in the light of day. I was surprised to find it grew stronger, but it looked nothing like I thought it would." Publishing Beating on the Chest of God has been a long and winding journey for Rachel, but so worth it!

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Anteprima del libro

Beating on the Chest of God; A Faith Journey Through Infertility - Rachel Whaley Doll

Foreword

by John T. Queenan Jr MD, Professor of Ob/Gyn and Director of Strong Fertility Center IVF Program:

Infertility is a unique problem. It will affect one out of every eight couples who wish to start a family. The simple truth is that conception is effortless for some, while for many others it is unobtainable despite all their hard work. Infertility will cause deep feelings of pain, remorse and guilt. Patients will repeatedly ask, why me? or what did I do to deserve this? The answers are usually not forthcoming. Clearly, this will test one’s Faith.

The general public does not understand what infertility patients go through. Patients don’t appear sick and yet this condition will require a lot of visits to the doctor’s office. As time goes by and success is not found, the stress and tension will mount. Infertility takes a toll on marriage, employment, friendships, and family. It places demands on time and finances that will accelerate one’s stress. Each month brings a new hope that this cycle could be the one that works. Friends and family will offer their well-intentioned advice: just try to relax. And when the cycle fails to bring a pregnancy, the disappointment grows. The roller coaster only seems to get steeper and steeper with each new month.

The hardest part of all is finding support through the process. The journey can be lonely as many patients will choose to keep their story a secret from friends and family. Rachel Doll shares her story with us. She navigated the journey and kept a dairy of every emotion. There are lessons for all of us as we follow her response to the ups and downs along the way. The story is so real and at times the emotions are so raw. But Rachel offers hope and shows us how she was able to cope. I hope you will allow her to share her journey with you.

Introduction

In our culture it is ingrained in us that we can have anything we are willing to work hard enough to achieve. But for millions of Americans, infertility slaps us into a rude awakening. Sometimes hard work isn't enough. Sometimes there is simply no medical reason, seemingly no way to win the struggle of infertility. This book is not a guide through the many medical options or infertility treatments that are available; this book is about feeding your soul. It's about asking honest questions and exploring your beliefs along the journey of infertility.

Whether you have arrived here because you are struggling with infertility, or because you love someone that is, I hope this book will be a place of honesty and peace. Together we will reach out to one another and to God in some very frank discussions. Because so much of life has to be lived with a filter, these pages are uncensored. There is colorful language, and I urge you to let it give you permission to take the gloves off and write whatever it is you have been afraid to say out loud.

There is a powerful freedom to be found living without the mask, at least some of the time.

As the wife of a minister, I know there is a time and place to wear the mask, both for your own protection and on some days as a courtesy to others. But taking it off once in a while gives you the space to breathe.

In the midst of infertility, I often had people tell me that it was 'in my head,' or 'just don't worry about it and you will get pregnant.' But infertility is not caused by worry. In a study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, scientists found no difference in the success rate of in vitro fertilization (IVF) among anxious or depressed women as among their unstressed counterparts. 1

Infertility is a disease, and if you have been diagnosed, you are not alone. According to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 7.3 million Americans, or 1 in 8 couples of childbearing age are infertile. 2 That's good news! It's not in our heads, and we are not alone. So why does it so often feel that way?

What is it about infertility, exactly? What is it that causes this particular disease to seep into every aspect of our daily lives and isolate us? So many that deal with infertility do so in silence, while many people never experience any problem conceiving. So we seem to be the only ones having a problem with this basic human experience.

Having children is such a primal and important aspect of who we are as women, as humans, that it quietly creeps into our psyche that something must be wrong with us; we have not been chosen, we must not be good enough.

So we start looking for the key, the right combination to the lock that will open the door to our future children. We start trying to change anything about ourselves that might stand in our way. Our diet, exercise, career choice, even the cleaning products we use suddenly go under the microscope to see if they hold the missing key. We somehow come up short. Friends and family are only too happy to offer their words of advice, and often, God seems silent in the midst of it all.

One of the most frustrating aspects of my infertility struggle was all the well-meaning comments offered to explain our difficulty.

As a minister's wife, I spend lots of time at church. People saw the pain we were going through, after we began to talk about it, and honestly wanted to help. They offered the same phrases I am sure you have heard in many situations, in an effort to ease our pain.

God has a plan. If God wants you to be a mother, you will be. Wait for His timing. All of these things were said to try and bring comfort, but they were very difficult to hear in the midst of the pain, and did not serve to ease my suffering, much less strengthen my faith.

I heard these phrases often and eventually had this mental picture of me with a beggar's bowl, arms outstretched, quietly waiting to pass some unseen test and finally gain God's favor. All the while I thought, Why?

God created me (and you!) with intelligence, creativity and for some, an overwhelming desire to be a parent. God created some people with amazing medical insight, discovering how our bodies work and how to fix them when they don't. Doesn't God expect us to use all those gifts given so freely to pursue our dreams?

Isn't that why we are given those gifts in the first place?

Quite often, people are uncomfortable questioning God or admitting to being angry with God. I'm not sure what we are afraid of, but I felt I needed to hold in all the questions and frustration, and say prayers to God that were proper. It was so powerful to reach the end of my rope and literally scream at God until I was hoarse.

What I discovered is that God was still there.

In the midst of my miscarriage, I had a very vivid image of God. I was in a waiting room, and had been there so long that the faded salmon-colored plastic chairs seemed comfortable. There was a figure leaning against the wall wearing an overcoat, and scrunched down on the floor. I realized it was God. God was this regular-looking person many people walked by without ever noticing. This figure simply sat, never looking around, never trying to reach out or help in any way, just sitting. The picture initially added to my anger. Get up! I thought. Fix this! Hold me while I cry! Do something! You won't even look at me!

But then I noticed the pain in God's eyes, the disheveled appearance. God had been by my side the whole time, tired and angry, feeling my pain with me. I reached a point where the answers to all my 'whys' wouldn't even mean anything anymore. I didn't need a reason, I just needed help dealing with the pain.

I cannot say enough about how important my family, friends, nurses and doctors were in helping me through this time. It was so hard to reach out at first, to tell people what was happening, but it truly made all the difference, spiritually and emotionally, for me.

If you are the friend of someone living with infertility, please hear me: we know you can't fix this! It is the hardest thing to sit beside someone you love and watch them suffer, unable to roll up your sleeves and come to their rescue. But what we need more than anything is your presence. What we need is to know that no matter what, we are not alone. Even when we are quiet, let us know we are loved.

One of the greatest gifts I was given during our

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