Monday, April 11, 2011

Bitterness to Hope and Healing

I just wrote this blog post for my infertility blog, but I wanted to share it here:

I was recently Facebook friends with a couple struggling with infertility. A little while later I got a message from the husband with a question in it. I thought I would take the time to do a post for them.

Do I think it is a doctor’s fault if one never gets pregnant? No. Well, not unless your doctor is doing something wrong and purposely or accidentally inhibiting you from getting pregnant. If a doctor does everything they can to help you then you should not hold hard feelings for that doctor!

If you never get chosen by a birth mom through LDS Family Service, should you be mad at them? No. It is not their fault either. Unless they take down your online profile and refuse to show your profile to expecting parents, then it is not their fault.

For some reason Heavenly Father has other plans for you. I encourage you to take it up with him. Ask the one person in charge what he wants you to do. Maybe you are meant to keep waiting a little while longer through LDSFS, maybe you need to try one more round of fertility drugs, and maybe you need to try foster care. I have heard of couples that decided to just be childless in this life. No one but you and Heavenly Father can decide or figure out what is best for your family. Do not be bitter or angry at anyone, the doctors, LDSFS, or Heavenly Father.

I think that every infertile couple has their moments that they might be angry. I know for me that was a very short period. There were moments off and on, this was just one experience: I remember the day we found out we would not be getting a little boy through foster care that we wanted. I was angry at God that day, it only lasted that one day though. Here is this 2 year old little boy that I would love and take very good care of, why can’t I have him when no one else wants him? Because he was not meant to be my son!

I personally don't think harboring the feelings of bitterness about infertility (or anything) is healthy. Wither you are mad the doctors or LDSFS, it is not healthy. I know from other experiences, not my infertility struggle, how hard it is to let go of these feelings sometimes. You feel that this person (or trial) has hurt you so deeply that they deserve that you feel angry at them. Once I started working on forgiveness it was like a weight had been lifted. You feel lighter, happier, at peace, like life will go on and it's not so bad!

Wither your trial is infertility, death of a loved one, abuse or something else; we all go through the stages of grief:
Shock & Denial
Pain & Guilt
Anger & Bargaining
Depression, Reflection, Loneliness
The Upward Turn
Reconstruction & Work Through
Acceptance & Hope

“Bitterness seems all too normal for someone who feels he or she has been treated unjustly, dishonestly, or wrongfully. Moreover, for those who didn’t want a divorce (or whatever trial they are going through), it seems that paradise is lost and that good feelings can never return. But going on to a new future seems impossible for those wrestling with an unchangeable past…

“But how do I do it? How do I put away feelings that I didn’t ask for in the first place, emotions that I feel so strongly?” many ask. First, we must reconsider our view of where bad feelings come from. Bitterness, and feelings like it, cannot develop into a lasting attitude unless we cultivate these feelings. In clinging to bitterness, we blind ourselves to the fact that we are doing just that…

“When we harden our hearts, gospel counsel looks unrealistic or impossible. But when we soften our hearts, amazingly, we begin to ask different questions of ourselves and allow the Lord to comfort us in our search for peace…Even Enoch had to learn that to refuse to be comforted is to consciously spurn the comfort of God. Enoch’s refusal to be comforted and his bitterness of soul went hand in hand. Yet the Lord did not abandon him…

“Coming unto Christ requires becoming meek and lowly in heart as he is. When we are meek and lowly of heart, we experience spiritual peace. Even if we progress toward this peace only gradually, line upon line, day by day, we are slowly succeeding in our search for personal peace… We can relinquish our bitterness, but only through the Lord. As we soften our hearts, we accept his offer of comfort and find rest unto our souls.”
(Freedom from bitterness, Terrance D. Olson, Aug. 1991)

As I searched on for “bitterness” they also suggested forgiveness, adversity, atonement. Take the time to search these topics and try to find peace and healing instead of bitterness.

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