The smell of hyacinths filled the air. Ladies walked in hand-in-hand wearing their finest clothes and holding chubby little hands. They sat and listened to the pastor talk.
About them. All good stuff. Encouraging words. Inspiring message.
He ended the message with an invitation to help themselves to a plant. A challenge to the men to take care of the meals and kids for the rest of the day.
Families exited, smiling, holding fragrant gifts in honor of motherhood.
And then there was me.
I was newly married and diagnosed. Polycystic ovaries. Like forbidden fruit, I never wanted to be a mother as bad as I did until my doctor sat me down and told me it might not be an option. I didn’t know it at the time but my ovaries were 5x the size of what they should have been. There were days my fertility or lack of didn’t bother me as much as the pain of daily living. It hurt to walk.
But Mother’s Day was another story.
It was painful to breathe.
I wish I had the perfect script to give those that want to say the right thing and for the women who are hurting. I remember skipping classes that talked about motherhood at conferences. I most likely skipped a church service during that season. The anguish is undefinable. People who don’t know hand over a flower and I would feel like a fraud accepting it. I’d hear that it would happen in God’s time and I wanted to slap them. In church. And feel even worse.
I share all this because maybe, just maybe, I have a small solution that can open the door for healing. If you know someone with infertility issues or miscarriage, I share my complete story with Heidi Glick, Elizabeth Maddrey, Kym McNabney, Paula Mowery and Donna Winters in A Walk in the Valley: Christian Encouragement for Your Journey through Infertility.
From diagnosis to where we are now, we’re completely transparent about our journeys. I believe healing can start through these pages because in our honesty, we share Scriptures that aren’t there to patronize or sound cliche. We ask questions, ones we prayerfully wrote because we’ve been there. We wished a book existed that could have helped us. I long for a Mother’s Day where a woman doesn’t have to slink down in the pew or cry driving home because she has hope.
The book recently released and already hit the Amazon bestseller list and is receiving solid 5 star reviews. I write this not because I want to highlight the business side of being an author. I want to assure you what we believed about this book, readers are agreeing.
From Amazon Reviews:
“The women who contributed to this collection have opened their hearts, sharing their deepest pain.Their practical suggestions and advice, along with their encouragement to let God walk beside you, come from experience, and are are not just things a pastor or teacher thinks he should say.”
“A Walk in the Valley is not a typical devotional. There is no condescension, sugar-coating, or trite suggestions to “wait on the Lord.” This is an honest combination of personal experience and soul-searching prompts desperately needed in the community dealing with infertility. I particularly appreciate the memoir-like recollections of the medical horrors, the difficulties within spousal relations as a result of this condition, and the frustration and disappointment resulting from medical intervention, all paired with relevant scripture.”
My friend read it and let me know she learned how to better respond as this wasn’t her experience. That’s something I didn’t even think of, that it could help those who don’t personally know the journey.
If anything about this post rings true for you, I encourage you to get a copy of A Walk in the Valley.
And know you aren’t alone.