Wow, this is a good question. I am only one person and I know for a fact that not everyone feels the way post IF that I have felt, so keep that in mind.
Also it was VERY intentional on my part to get to this point. It was a constant struggle through our journey between feeling sorry for myself and knowing that I didn't have the right. I didn't want to hold onto our pain and let it affect me the rest of our lives. I only wanted to hold onto the positive gains of it, and not the negative.
I will NEVER forget what it feels like to deal with IF, but it hasn't ruined me, it has only made me stronger. Here is a post I wrote on my personal blog about it. I hope it answers this question.
It was written in December of 2009.
I am currently finishing up a Beth Moore bible study on Daniel, Thankfully! I won’t lie, it has been a very challenging study for me. It is simply too historical for me! I struggled with history in school and dealing with facts and names and dates and deaths and all that junk…. so now to do a bible study that is so heavily history based, it has been a little over my head and *ahem* boring for me…. But I have endured through it and thankfully this week is the end of the 12 week study!
I have of course taken some things away from the bible study and one thing I have been wanting to write about for a while was the title above.
If you aren’t familiar with the book of Daniel (or just need a refresher), in chapter 3, Daniel’s three friends were thrown in a furnace for refusing to bow to the King’s idolatrous statue. I love this portion of the scripture:
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
They were SO SURE of the God they served that even in the face of DEATH, they refused to bow to another god. And they knew 100% their God COULD save them, if he chose to. But they also knew there was a possibility He would have other plans and choose NOT to save them. And their faith still stood strong.
But in the end God DID save them!
“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.“
They were left for dead in a blazing furnace and not only did they live, their clothes were untouched (though amazingly you read later their BONDS were broken!), they were unharmed and they didn’t smell like smoke!
They lived through this horrifying experience and yet if you had walked up to them ten seconds later, you would never have known because they didn’t even smell like smoke. There would have been no inclinations to what they had faced previously.
This is how I want to live in regards to our Infertility.
God no doubt used our struggle in so many ways to change me and stretch me, to show me how much I needed him and to even give me Joy through our struggles in HIM.
All of that was just some of what I was given while going through the hardest thing I’d ever had to face.
I had my yucky times (more than a few!), I had my challenges and struggles, I had heart-break and despair. I had anger and jealousy and bitterness. I had it all!
God saved me from that yuckiness, he broke my bonds free and I was finally lifted out of the furnace.
But God gave me the best gift of all just a few months after I became pregnant.
He removed any smell of smoke from me!
If you met me just 4 months into my pregnancy and hadn’t read my blog, you might never have known what I had gone through to get there. I didn’t have leftovers from our experience stanking up everyone’s space!
And I praise Him for that because NOTHING in me wants to go through what I did to get here, and then walk around making sure everyone knows it!
NOTHING makes me want to cling to our experience like some sort of badge of honor.
If Shad, Rack and Benny could face DEATH for their God and not even smell like smoke afterward, surely I don’t want to have gone through something as small as Infertility and feel the need to make sure everyone around me knows what I had to go through!
It has been a year since my son has been born, we have not protected once in that time and I am not miraculously pregnant. We are currently $10,000 in debt for a future baby that most people can have for free and I have been knee-deep in paperwork simply to expand our family.
I have been asked questions about how I plan to discipline and how will I prove to a mother that I won’t favor my biological son over her child, I have been questioned on my families views on adoption and how open they might be, I have been fingerprinted and background checked, I have had to show everyone and anyone that I am worthy of being given a child, when most people in this world get to just have one, whether they want one or not.
And you know what?
I don’t care!!
I am glad to go through this and spend insane amounts of money for my children if needed. I am glad to go through the longer route to find them, I am glad to have to go to seminars and read books and take classes to bring home another child.
Because this is the path God chose for me.
And I will walk it joyfully and prayerfully without smelling like smoke!
I don’t need people to hear my story. If they want to know, fine! If it helps them in their journey, great! But I don’t need it to be told. I do not want to have this badge of honor called “Infertility (aka poor, poor me…)” strapped to my chest for all to see.
God has chosen to save me, and I don’t want to hold onto any earthly rights I think I may have, simply because I took longer to get here.
Moving on, the truth is that VERY RARELY do I feel jealous or upset when I hear of a pregnancy announcement or a birth. Generally I feel just like I did before I went through IF. Which is amazing!
However I would be lying if I said I never felt a slight sting. But Praise God it is only that, a slight sting that I feel for a moment and it's gone.