Tonight we learned that our small group is a fertile assembly, teeming with children, parents, and pregnancies. We have only met twice with this group and are gradually getting to know each other and share our stories. The leaders are impressive, with years of marriage ministry experience. We have been excited to join their vision.
But tonight, 2 weeks in…it all came together. It took one glance of the eyes in that “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” sort of way to realize that we both had caught on – we are the ONLY couple without children. And not just that…but we have taken it to the next level. We are an INFERTILE couple battling the throes of barrenness and heartache.
Others mingled while I politely left to use the bathroom. As I sat there, my mind began to process this. Lord, why have you brought us into this group? What could possibly be our purpose here? Everyone? And not just one or two but many with 4 or 5. Young marrieds too…all mid thirties or under. I pleaded with God – Please make it clear why you have us here. We feel committed to the group. Yet, we are already anticipating what is coming…there has been so much already. A discussion of gentleness with your spouse digresses to parenting styles and toddler behavior management. Defining patience drifts towards daily endurance in an ever evolving home with kids. I recognize that these are the things that consume a parent’s heart. They want the best for their children. The same lessons that are applicable to marriage are also important in child rearing – humility, patience, bearing with one another in love, gentleness. It is a blessing to swap stories in an authentic, nonthreatening group where troubles and toils are freely released. But where does that leave us? Why would God place us in a group like this? Why are we the only couple without children?
It’s prayer time. What are your prayer requests? We sit quietly in our corner, tight lipped and unwavering. We are by no means ready to share our dilemma. I don’t want people to feel inhibited by our story. We don’t want pity or for people to feel repressed by concerns of how the infertile couple is coping. We want to avoid curbing their enthusiasm to share, wondering if they think we think they are “complaining”.
For now, we will remain silent. We will continue to pursue our purpose in this group. I know we are here for a reason. We are seeking it.