When You Feel Alone
Have you ever felt alone?
I am not talking about the physical act of being by yourself.
This is a… in a room full of people, surrounded by a loving family, with a calendar jam packed of social events……kind of loneliness.
This is the type of loneliness I began to experience as my journey with infertility continued.
My first miscarriage in March (2010) was really hard, but I pushed through and started Clomid again.
On my third cycle of Clomid, I got pregnant again…only to miscarry a second time in July (2010).
As if infertility and two miscarriages were not enough, I started a new school year teaching fourth grade with EIGHT pregnant coworkers.
Not one, not two…..EIGHT!!!
One of which was my best friend who taught in the classroom right beside me.
And as if that wasn’t enough salt in the wound…
In addition to the EIGHT people who were pregnant at school, two couples in my Sunday school class were now pregnant as well, along with my sister-in-law. At one point, I wrote down the names of all the people I personally knew that were pregnant, and I had a total of 16 people! SIXTEEN!
What kind of water were these people drinking? AND WHY WERE THEY NOT SHARING?!?!?!? I felt like I couldn’t get away from pregnant people.
Now, please don’t get me wrong, I was happy for them,but I would be a liar if I told you that it didn’t hurt. Day after day…
watching baby bumps grow,
hearing morning sickness stories,
listening to doctor appointment stories,
finding out the genders,
seeing the latest ultrasounds,
going to the baby showers….
As each of my friends experienced the very milestones I longed and ached for in my life, I (instead) went to the fertility specialist, counted days on my calendar, received shots, watched my very first due date (from my first pregnancy) come and go, and had a THIRD miscarriage.
Beyond the disappointment, the grief, and the anger… the loneliness I experienced during this time in my life almost became unbearable.
If you and I were to meet, it wouldn’t take you long to figure out that I am definitely an extrovert. I love to talk, I enjoy company, and friendships are something that I cherish. But during this time in my life, I found myself not wanting to be around my friends. Most of them had moved on to this new stage of life talking about pregnancy symptoms, nursery décor, birth stories, nursing issues, diapers, daycare, discipline, birthday parties and on and on and on. Surrounded by people, all I could do was listen, envy every detail of their conversation, and think how alone I felt.
When you are struggling with infertility it feels like someone has pressed pause on your life and you stand there watching the world go on without you.
So what can you do when you feel completely alone?
Let me share what helped me during one of the hardest times in my life:
Know you are NOT alone.
This may be the most important part of this entire post! No matter how you may feel, let me tell you one thing I know for sure, the ONLY HOPE you have in any situation, lies with Jesus Christ. You can reach out to all the world has to offer in your loneliness and you will come back empty handed every time.
Hold on to truth.
When I struggled with infertility, I found myself in a place where I was just barely hanging on to what I believed to be true about the Lord. I had to cling to the promises found in HIS Word. The Bible tells us that we are not alone. God is with us at all times. Sometimes I didn’t wholeheartedly believe the promises; there were many times I wondered if it was true; but I held on…..even though it was barely with my fingertips at times.
Search for God’s presence.
Now, I have to be honest. I didn’t start out doing this.
I was so focused on my pain and my circumstances, that I began to feel as if the Lord had completely abandoned me.
But once I earnestly started looking for God in my circumstances (with a lot of encouragement from my Christian counselor), it revolutionized my attitude and my spirit. I began to recognize God in small and big areas of my life. I still had to endure my circumstance, but it gave me the strength and hope to keep going.
Loneliness is a scheme Satan uses whenever you go through a trial. The more alone you feel, the easier it is for him to plant a seed of doubt. You struggle to see God’s goodness, you begin not to trust His plan for your life, and then, you question if God is even with you. And when you feel like God isn’t there, Satan has you exactly where he wants you.
Let me encourage you today! The Lord hasn’t gone anywhere. You can trust Him. Hold on to this promise, even when you feel like the Lord is nowhere to be found. You may not see it now, but He is with you every step of the way.
Find people who can relate to you.
One of the reasons you may feel alone, is because you don’t realize there are others who have experienced something similar (or maybe even exactly) to what you are experiencing.
Look for blogs, Facebook communities, support groups, organizations or other friends who may be facing (or have faced) a similar struggle. The encouragement and advice you receive from these people will mean more to you because they have actually “been in your shoes”.
On those really hard days, you will find comfort in knowing there is someone you can reach out to.
Do not completely isolate yourself, especially from your community of faith and family.
When I got to a pretty low place, all I really wanted to do is lay on the couch and sleep. But I had to make myself stay connected. Sometimes that could be very hard. I am blessed with an amazing husband, and there were days he just had lovingly encourage me to get up and go do something. That accountability wasn’t always easy to take, but it was needed.
Even though friends and family can’t always relate to you, they can be your biggest support group. And support, my friends, is something you desperately need when you are enduring a struggle.
Pray, pray, pray….and when you don’t feel like it….pray!
What can you pray for when you feel alone?
Pray that God will make Himself evident just so you know He is there.
Pray that God will provide people who can relate to you.
Pray for the situation.
Pray for the strength to get through!
When you don’t know what else to pray, just tell God exactly that. He knows what you need even when you have no clue.
I also encourage you to write these prayers down. Why, you may ask? Because….I am telling you….one day….ONE DAY…..you will go back and read those prayers and stand completely amazed at what God orchestrated in your life while you thought He had left you all alone.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
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