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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

"The race we are really in is the race against sin, and surely envy is one of the most universal of those."



Brothers and sisters, there are going to be times in our lives when someone else gets an unexpected blessing or receives some special recognition. May I plead with us not to be hurt—and certainly not to feel envious—when good fortune comes to another person? We are not diminished when someone else is added upon. We are not in a race against each other to see who is the wealthiest or the most talented or the most beautiful or even the most blessed. The race we are really in is the race against sin, and surely envy is one of the most universal of those.
- "The Laborers in the Vineyard," Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
April 2012 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

I started this post months ago, but it never came to fruition.  Funny, as I look back over the many saved drafts I have, this is the one that caught my eye.  Mainly because it is very real with feelings lately.  We have had a lot of emotional roller coasters over the last few weeks.  No, we're not ready to share about those, but I do feel the need to share my feelings about one thing in particular.  It seems like a lot of things have come up that have helped the validity of my feelings, so I'm hoping that I can put my emotions into words that people who have not experienced these feelings can understand.  And this can be applied anywhere in life, not just infertility.

Imagine wanting something.  Not something material.  I'm not talking about that new TV or car or even house.  I'm talking about something that will completely enrich and change your life in ways you can't imagine right now.  Maybe it's a life changing surgery.  Maybe it's that promotion you have been working your butt off for.  Maybe...in our case...it's a child.  Now imagine the feeling that everyone around you is getting what you have wanted and desired and prayed so hard for.  Maybe it's not really everyone, but it sure does feel like it.  Do you feel happy for that person?  Sure.  Do you feel left out even more?  Of course.  Do you feel like crap for feeling bad about it?  Definitely.

If you have experienced this cycle of emotions, you know what it's like.  We have had more baby announcements and births than we know what to do with lately.  Are we happy for our friends?  Of course we are!  But that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.  It's such a crazy conflicting set of emotions that only people that have experienced will ever truly understand.

So what do I feel?  I am so happy for my friends.  But I am also sad...and a little angry...and that feeling of hope dies just a little bit more.  I'm envious and jealous for what they have that we still haven't achieved.  My heart breaks a little bit more after each announcement because of what we lack.  And then there's the guilt.  The guilt makes it so much worse.  You feel guilty because of all of these negative feelings.  You should be celebrating, right?!  You should be elated!  But it's so hard to feel that way.  Deep down, I am happy.  But the feelings that are rising to the top are completely contradictory.  That's what makes the cycle.

There's really no way for friends to alleviate the negative feelings.  Not really.  We have very dear friends with the most adorable and empathetic 7-year-old.  There are days I feel like he just knows that his hug could cure my fragile heart.  And getting one is like winning the lottery.  It's the unconditional love that we need so bad sometimes.  Those help.  But at the end of the day, we are still our small little family and we are still lacking the one piece we so desperately desire.  It helps for the time being, until another cycle starts...

I could be angry all the time.  I could be mad and curse God for blessing an amazing gift with people that seem so undeserving.  But then where would that leave me?  Angry and bitter and with a complete lack of faith.  We do pray...often.  But I don't pray for a child anymore.  What I do pray for is understanding and support and love and comfort in knowing that we haven't been forgotten.  We want to understand His plan.  We know that God is foremost in our lives and that He has the ability to make anything possible.  But we know that we are given these struggles for a reason.  Yes, it's cliche and I absolutely hate when people say it while trying to comfort us, but we do know that God doesn't give us things we can't handle.  We do know that He has reasons.  Which is why we stopped praying for a child.  We just pray to understand His timing.  And we pray for His love and comfort.  We pray for His guidance toward whatever path He needs us to take.  In the end, He's the only person that can give us what we desire.  We know that...I know with every emotion and heartache that I have felt.  I have felt His love and comfort when we needed it most. 

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