Seeing Goodness in the Struggle

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"Seeing goodness in the struggle" by Meg Herriot (CatholicMom.com)

Image credit: Pixabay.com (2018), CC0 Public Domain

That’s a tough title, isn’t it?  Infertility is obviously not the blessing my husband and I have desired. But nevertheless, that’s what we’ve had for the past several years. As with any struggle, it has not been readily or easily accepted as a blessing. The statistics are clear that infertility can provide a struggle in a large number of marriages. I can understand why.

A while back, my friend, who is also my doctor, was discussing the medical efforts (NaPro technology, in line with the Church’s teaching) we were trying. Being that we are both doctors (her to humans, myself a vet), sometimes it can be a very sterile conversation, very medical. As a friend, though, she asked me a question she hadn’t asked at previous appointments. “So how’s your marriage dealing with this?”

Hmm.  I hadn’t really sat down and thought deeply about that one. I gave her the automatic response I had, “I think we are doing pretty good.”

“Really?”

“Yep,” I said, obviously we are both frustrated, we both have desire, we both are praying and acting with all our hearts, but I really feel like we’ve been doing it together.”

My husband is a man of few words most of the time. He can express his thoughts and feelings in about 1% of the dialogue it takes me to. I asked him if he thought my response was right. “Sure,” I think is what he said.

As I pondered further my answer, on my own time, I thought of how our marriage would have been different had we had more children right away. My husband and I are both type A people in our own ways, and bringing our only son into the world had made us overwhelmed in the way most new parents are, I think. Infertility has bonded us together as a team. He helps me chart and knows more about my cycles than I think I do at times. For a brief stint, I even got him to help me with my injections. He takes supplements with me; he is working on a healthier lifestyle just like I am. We fast together, we pray together, we talk about a lot more things than I think we would be able to if we had a house full of kids.

Don’t get me wrong — we still pray to have more children, whether by God blessing us through adoption or natural birth. We are like the widow, still knocking on the door. I do see, though, that our marriage has been blessed by this struggle and I’m aware that this doesn’t always happen. I do see some goodness in this struggle. That doesn’t mean I want the struggle to continue, but it has brought me an awareness that in waiting together as a couple for an answer, we have been growing.

For that, I am thankful. This struggle has made me appreciate my husband’s sacrifice and love with me as one in Christ.

Back in 2001, I had written the following and it still seems relevant today:

Lord
Why do things seem so tough sometimes?
Why do we get thrown such curve balls?
Why when we are looking for answers do we get nothing but more questions?
Why when things seem like they are going to clear up
A cloud of fog descends
Why do we get thrown everything at once?
Why do you choose the time you choose for everything to get confusing?

Lord
I will not know these answers for a while,
If I ever know them but perhaps …
Things seem so tough because we are looking at it from our point of view, our view that easy is always best
Perhaps …
Our curve balls are our gifts
Perhaps …
We are looking for the wrong answers
Perhaps …
The fog is for reflection
Perhaps …
You only give us what we can handle
Perhaps …
It is not the timing of our challenges that matter, but our journey to address those challenges
Perhaps …

Lord you are so magnificent in your ways that humans can not even fathom your wonders
Your grace is so encompassing that instead of feeling frustration
All we need to feel is your love
That is also all-encompassing

Thank you, Lord,
For those gifts that I appreciate
And most importantly
For those gifts I do not know how to recognize …


Copyright 2018 Meg Herriot

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About Author

Meg Herriot is a veterinarian and Third Order Dominican. She enjoys spending time with family, friends, and pets and blogging at All Creatures Great and Crazy about being a veterinarian, mother, wife and most of all a Catholic trying to grow closer to God in a chaotic world.

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