Many months ago, when I started to realize that carrying this cross of infertility was not something I could do silently or on my own anymore, I joined a circle of women online who shared similar struggles. It took several months more before I got up the gumption to start this blog. I sat silently in that online group of women for a while, until I started to see that the women expressing pain were no different than me. They were telling my story. Some had struggled longer, of course. The circumstance that seemed to matter most was that we all yearned for a child in our arms and it was unrequited. We were mostly practicing Catholics women in that group - which made for a very specific (and prayerful) tone to the conversation. And that mattered to me a lot as well.
It's hard to really describe the kind of support this group of women have offered me. They have lifted me up when I needed it, cried with me when I suffered, and cheered me on when I rejoiced in something. In every sense of the word - they have been my sisters these past 6 months. The camaraderie has been the only thing that took the sting off infertility, if anything could.
So many of them have prayed for me. And there are so many people in that group that I have offered prayers up for - trying with all my might to help pray their intentions into life. Trying to dialogue with God on their behalf...and offering up my own struggles and pain and even my own intentions for myself as a sacrifice for theirs to be answered.
There is one particular person whose struggles I have prayed for out loud every night that I am writing about today. My DH and I have prayed several novenas for their intentions, some of which we've shared, others of which have been done privately. We've offered up daily prayer to God along with our own struggles, that he might answer their prayers of deep longing. I have even prayed these intentions with a relic of Saint Therese and I have asked God to answer their prayers before my own through Therese's intercession. And we are but a small drop in the bucket of people who have fervently prayed for them! But these were my words:
"God - answer her deepest longing and fill her with such a sense of unfamiliar hope as you knit together a child in her womb. God, if it's Your will, surprise her with the joy of life in her womb. God let her conceive and let this prayer be answered before any of my own."
These words were prayed over and over and over. For months.
I write today, knowing that God answered this fervent prayer. And I wept tears of joy when I heard the wonderful news. This woman encouraged me to blog, so I thought it only fitting to make a post dedicated to the joy she celebrates today: to hope conceived after years of IF! For all the anguish that infertility brings with it, we must rejoice when new life finds one of us through God's grace.
At least twice in the past year, God has generously allowed me to see hope conceived in the prayers I have prayed for other people's fertility and adoption struggles. I think there's something to this praying-for-each-other thing...and I think we ought to do a lot more of it together.
Also - happy CD1 y'all.