Christine Rhyner

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Sometimes We Fail
Sunday, June 9, 2013 by Christine

      My friend Meg is a writer suffering from infertility just as I had for years.  As one who depends on her income from the written word, the money doesn’t always flow, so Meg decided to take a part-time job for the holidays. She wanted to make some cash for Christmas presents for her husband and other family members and friends.

     Meg took a position with the first company that called her—a well-known baby store. About a week later Meg called and asked if we could meet for coffee. I agreed, and the next day we met at a local Starbucks, one of our favorite haunts.

      When I sat down at the table across from her, I was a bit taken aback by a completely dejected looking Meg. Watery eyes stared across the store. She bit at her lips and shook her head.

     “I can’t do it,” she told me, looking out the large window behind me.

     “Can’t do what?” I asked, reaching for her arm to comfort her.

     Meg continued shaking her head as tears rolled down her cheeks.

     “Meg, talk to me,” I encouraged her, “We’ll figure it out together.”

     Meg then began telling me all in a rush how she just couldn’t get through her shifts at the baby store. She couldn’t seem to handle the steady stream of pregnant women, gorgeous newborns and baby paraphernalia that she was subjected to hour after hour, day after day. Not only this, but her guilt at not being able to endure it was eating away at her, making her feel like a bad person unworthy of her own pregnancy.

     Infertility can cause women to be some of their own harshest critics. While they want to feel happiness for the blessing of babies that other women receive, longing and jealousy can sometimes overwhelm them, making it impossible. Then guilt sets in making them feel like terrible people.

     I told Meg to be kinder to herself. In truth, I did not think her taking the job was such a good idea with what I knew of how hard she was taking her inability to get pregnant. God is gentle and kind and I knew He would not want Meg in tears each day challenged by a situation she was not yet ready to handle.

     It was decided that Meg would leave that position and find another that was not as emotionally draining on her, which she did.

     Meg is currently working through her infertility, trying to conceive and looking at adoption possibilities. It’s tough work but she is praying for the ability to embrace others’ babies and children, and getting there in God’s timing, not her own.

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