This week, I stumbled upon a box filled with trinkets from my childhood. Inside, I found a framed sketch from first grade. An illustrator had come to visit my classroom and offered to draw each of us a picture.
Most of my friends asked for Tweety Bird or other popular cartoon characters. When it was my turn, however, I asked the gentleman to draw a picture of me with Jesus. In the image, I am an infant held in His arms. He is speaking the words, “My little Lyndsay.”
I have been thinking a great deal about this image, especially as we approach Mother’s Day. Every part of me wants to still be carrying our baby, to have him/her in my arms, speaking words of love. Thinking about our loss fills me with such deep sorrow.
In reflecting on this image and my present state of suffering, I am reminded of two things:
- Each of us is a beloved child of God. “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God.” 1 John 3: 1
- We are called to have faith like children. “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,* you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3
In my pursuit to be a mom, I think about children nonstop. However, I spend little time thinking about myself as a child or what childlike spirituality looks like as an adult.
In digging a little deeper, I believe the key to approaching the cross of infertility (or any suffering) is exactly this childlike faith. Here’s why:
Children ask questions constantly. The biggest impact infertility has had on my prayer life is that it has removed the filter. I cry and question daily. There is great beauty in being authentically myself in prayer. Although we shouldn’t question God’s goodness, He does invite us into a conversation! Ask Him what he wishes to reveal to you through this!
Children are dependent upon their parents. I am a huge planner. I want to control all aspects of life. However, infertility has taught me just how little control I have. We must rely on God and trust in our Father!
In this moment, I take comfort knowing Jesus is still with me, still holding me, still lovingly saying I am His little Lyndsay. As he does for each of His children - as he does for you.
For all those with empty arms this Mother’s Day, you are not alone or forgotten. Some tips to get you through this day:
- Remember your other roles. You are more than infertility & loss. Try to focus on those other parts of who you are: daughter, sister, wife, etc.
- Create healthy boundaries. It is okay to say no or even goodbye. Be open about your story & share with others what you need. Give them the chance to love & support you!
- Find community. One of the best things you can do is ask for help. Find a local support group or seek guidance from a counselor and/or spiritual director.
- Be kind to yourself. Whatever you are feeling, it is okay. Take some time & find a way to practice self-care. Remember you are loved, cherished, and worthy.
- Be consistent in prayer. Especially in times of suffering, it can sometimes be difficult to pray. However, exercising this spiritual muscle is vital. Start with five minutes each day & go from there!
Know of my prayers for you. May you take comfort today knowing you are a beloved child of God.
St. David Prayer
Thank you, Lord, for all the blessings in my life. Help me to remember them as I face the challenges of infertility. I pray that I can surrender myself into your hands. Let me accept the reality of this situation and have the wisdom and courage to take action where I can. Strengthen my body, mind and spirit to endure the trials of infertility. Keep me ever mindful of the needs of others and grant us your peace. Amen.