Infertility strikes so many families. On a recent episode of Your Hope-Filled Perspective Podcast, I talked with Samantha Morgan who shared her journey through infertility, an adoption that fell through, an international adoption, foster parenting, and a domestic adoption. If you missed her episode, you can listen here: Hope for Healing After Infertility – Episode 106. I wanted to know more about how to support those we know who are dealing with infertility, so Samantha is sharing helpful information on how to keep friendships when struggling with infertility.
Read to the end for a book giveaway!
How To Keep Friendships When Struggling with Infertility
By Samantha J. Morgan
Infertility is a hard subject to navigate for everyone involved, but trust me, you need your friends during this season. Maybe not every one of them, but definitely a select few. I could easily write a list of things not to say to or around a friend dealing with infertility, but let’s be honest, our friends don’t know we are hurting if we don’t tell them!
I see you struggling to build a family. I see you isolating yourself and pushing your friends away. I know it hurts to see them become pregnant when it’s the one thing your heart desires. I see you, because I was you not long ago. I know from experience that I have hurt people because of my own pain. I’ve been on both sides of this friendship. I’ve walked with a few wonderful, trusted friends through my own infertility, and so I hope to help walk you and your friend through this journey together.
“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel.” Proverbs 27:9
I was scared to death to share our struggles with anyone. I wasn’t worried about what they would think but admitting our struggle to conceive made it real. I didn’t want to claim it, but the longer I let it fester inside of me, the more bitter I became. I would hear of pregnancy announcements and roll my eyes. I hated Mother’s Day at church, and I always had an excuse ready for missing the baby shower.
My release came when I learned of another friend struggling with infertility. We could confide in each other and share our hurts without shame or guilt. I could also extend grace to my other friends. Friends who didn’t need to know all my inner details, but they also didn’t mean to hurt me with innocent comments about motherhood or pregnancy.
Infertility is an invisible disease. It’s impossible for our friends, even acquaintances, to know we are struggling if we don’t tell them. Give them grace and remember most of them, hopefully all of them, would never hurt your feelings on purpose.
Pray for trusted friends
In our own infertility, we can get lost in our struggle. Chances are you are not alone in your circle; 1 in 8 women struggle to build a family. Pray that God would bring you trusted friends to travel this season with you, and when you do, be honest about what you need from them. I needed someone to listen to me complain on the really hard days. I needed someone to center me on biblical truths, not just a scripture here and there, but real study of God’s word. I needed a friend I could cry with.
My close friend Jamie came to take family pictures after we brought our daughter home from the hospital by adoption. It was supposed to be a day of celebration, but our daughter’s birth parents hadn’t signed the final paperwork yet. Nothing was final. We could have lost her at any moment, and I couldn’t hold it together any longer. Jamie and I just sat on my bed and cried together. Although my makeup was a disaster for pictures, what a soothing balm that was for my soul.
When Jamie, after devastating losses herself, became pregnant. I wanted to celebrate with her, and I did, but I also wanted her to celebrate without feeling guilty. I saw how she looked at me, and I knew she wanted pregnancy for me as much as for herself. I didn’t attend her baby shower so she would enjoy that day guilt-free. I didn’t become jealous of her pregnancy, and she never gloated about her blessing. We were friends who wanted the best for each other.
How to help a friend who is struggling with infertility
In my own hurting, I found myself in the book of Job often. There we can find a great example of friendship, both good and bad.
“When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.” Job 2:12-13
What did Job’s friends do right? They came down to Job’s level, they sat with him, never spoke because they saw how great his suffering was. Job’s friends did a wonderful job comforting him until they started talking and giving advice.
So dear friend, your sister is hurting. Be patient with her. She does not need advice or pity. Come sit with her. She needs a shoulder to cry on, and a comforting face of reassurance. She wants to know she has done nothing to deserve this pain. Listen to her troubles, fears, and worries. Be her safe place to say what she needs to say, no matter how harsh. Be the friend she can trust. Be the friend to get her out of those uncomfortable conversations. Let her know it’s ok not to go to every baby shower.
Above all, pray with her. She may be to a point that she doesn’t know what or how to pray. She may be questioning her faith altogether. Help to keep her centered on God and His promises but keep the cliches off your list. A listening ear, when applied liberally, can be the best medicine for an aching heart.
Friendship takes a lot of grace on both sides, but it is worth fighting for. Be the friend you would want to be friends with. Listen, communicate, and trust one another, and your friendship will last well past this season into the next.
How have you been ministered to by a friend, or how has a friend ministered to you? We’d love to know in the comments below.
Guest Samantha Morgan
Author and speaker, Samantha J Morgan is an infertility survivor and adoptive mom. Her passion is to support and connect those struggling during difficult times. Living in Southern Missouri with her husband and two great kids, she’s the girl next door who loves sharing how God has shaped her life and created a motherhood story far beyond what she could have imagined.
In conjunction with this post and the podcast interview : Hope for Healing After Infertility – Episode 106, Samantha Morgan is giving away a free copy of her book, Miraculously My Own: One Woman’s Incredible Journey of Infertility, Faith, and Adoption.
Leave a comment below sharing with us one thing you learned about finding hope when you feel hopeless and you will be entered into the contest.
You could also share this blog post on Facebook or Twitter then comment here to tell us where you shared it and you’ll also be entered into the drawing.
The winner will be selected at random and announced next Monday, May 3, 2021, here on this post. Continental United States only.