I noticed her in front of me as I began putting my groceries into the car. She looked younger. Her hair was shinier. Her arms were more tone. The outfit she was wearing looked like something straight out of a magazine. I even noticed the vehicle she was driving; it is the same one I wish was parked inside my driveway. Everything about this woman was everything I wanted, including the two adorable children strapped inside their car seats.
I wished I hadn’t noticed her because just minutes earlier as I was walking to my vehicle, enjoying the sunshine, I smiled and thought, “Life is good.” But it was in that moment when I saw her that I found myself going from “life is good” to “her life is better” all in a matter of putting a few grocery bags in my empty backseat. I was no longer joyful, but envious. Not only was she younger, prettier, and more tone even in her ear lobes, but she was in the stage of life I wished, dreamed, and longed to be in at the end of each day. This woman had everything my younger self thought I would have at the age of 30. And I drove away from the parking lot that afternoon feeling like I had just been mugged.
Comparison came, punched me in the gut, and stole my joy.
In fact, for days it has become difficult to walk down the hallway of our home. I can’t quit playing the comparison game as I glance over at our wedding picture and then stop to look at the other pictures of my family members hanging up close by. For them, they have added children; they have moved on from the “couple stage” to the “married with children stage”; but not us. Nothing has changed in the seven years since we said, “I do.” Our family portrait remains the same despite the years of medicine, treatments, praying, and waiting in hope.
Since that sunny afternoon, I can’t seem to shake the empty feelings as I now continually compare and measure every area of my life to others. I sit in parking lots and notice the woman walking inside of the store while holding their growing bellies; and the mother who is filling every seat in her van with wiggly bodies and sweet giggles. They seem happier than me, and more fulfilled in life than I do.
Lately, even in the midst of family gatherings I have noticed myself starting to drift off into a trance while staring at my cousins who have completed their beautiful families, as well as my brother who is starting his by adding a precious life with perhaps his charismatic personality in December. I feel stuck and forced to remain at a standstill while everyone moves on and leaves me behind. I don’t want to admit it, and I feel ashamed to say that I envy each one of them in different ways; and it’s disheartening because what they have seems so far out of my reach, no matter how far I stretch.
Comparison truly is an ugly thing. It replaces your happiness and joy with bitterness, jealously, envy, and hopelessness as you only begin to start seeing what other people have that you want. And it is with this type of tunnel vision that it makes everything around you look dark and gloomy. I have been desperately trying to get to the “me” that I was before. The me that smiled while walking to my car and thinking, “life is good,” but I can’t seem to find her again. That is until my walk this morning when I passed a beautiful yard full of gorgeous flowers. It was in that quick moment that my tunnel vision was lifted and I was able to see my life from a different perspective. Even a new perspective than I had before.
You see, these flowers that I saw were absolutely beautiful and each one of them were different sizes and in different stages; some budding; some blooming; and some finishing their bloom. As I stopped to admire these beautiful flowers, I realized our lives are similar because flowers do not bloom all at the same time and neither do we. The truth is, I am in my stage of life and so are those who I have been envying. We are in the very stage God has planned from the beginning of time, but the trouble is for many of us, we are often too busy comparing ourselves, and longing for the next stage, that we reject the “life is good” moments that God has provided for us now.
I might be blooming later than I would have planned or hoped, but God is the master gardener and He sets for each of us to bloom in His time and in His way, in order to bless and beautify the world in His timing. So, this afternoon, while walking in the hallway of our home, I stopped to stand once again in front of my wedding photo and as tears of joy began streaming down my face, I proudly proclaimed that is “life is good.”
I am once again rejoicing in hope that one day, in His perfect timing, I will move on to the next stage of my life in which I will be the woman walking into the store proudly rubbing my baby bump. And then, years later, when God is once again finished tilling my ground, i will have moved on to the next stage where I am filling every seat in my minivan; it’s the one I can’t wait to see parked in the garage, with more wiggly bodies and sweet giggles. But for now, this stage of my life is exactly where God has placed me and I will not go another day wishing for better days or a different set of circumstances.
Instead, I will be thankful because it has been during this stage that I have had seven wonderful years of marriage (and counting) with my best friend and in that time we have been able to grow in our faith together, become stronger in our marriage together, and just enjoy each other every day together. I refuse to go another day rejecting this stage and these precious moments because life truly is good and God’s plan really is perfect.
My friend, I don’t know where you are in life. You might be single and hoping for a spouse to call your own, someone like me who is waiting to grow her family, or a worn-out Momma with a family of 4, 8, or maybe 19. Regardless of who you are or where you are, my prayer is that you are happy. I pray that the Lord will guard your heart and mind so that you will be able to enjoy the now moments He has given you and the current stage that He is purposefully placed you in. And I pray that when comparison does begin to creep its ugly way within your heart, you do not forget to look around and as you think about the wonderful blessings you have been given, take a deep breath and say, “Life is good.” Because it truly is.
I would love to connect with you on a personal level, so if you liked this post, pass it on. Then come find Waiting for Baby Bird on the public Facebook page or join me on Instagram @waitingforbabybird. I can’t wait to “meet” you!If you are looking for a faith-based infertility community of other women who just “get it”, then head over to the *PRIVATE* Waiting for Baby Bird Support group for hope + encouragement. There you will find opportunities to ask for prayer, watch *LIVE* encouragement videos from me, author of “Waiting for Baby Bird,” as well as be able to share your heart with others on the same path, enter into exclusive giveaways, and so much more! So what are you waiting for? Find us here!
He sets blooms in His time and in His way, to bless and beautify the whole world.
He cultivates a garden of alternating blooms, so their beauty will last over the longest time,
To bless the greatest number of people, for His purpose alone.
– See more at: http://allume.com/2013/08/when-comparison-crushes-your-heart-and-steals-your-joy/#sthash.FHQ7uFSu.dpuf
62 thoughts on “Diary of an Infertile: I Wanted to Be Her…”
Great post friend!!! I truly think we are called to focus on what we DO have not dwell on what we don’t! Comparison is definitely the thief of joy – one of my favorite quotes! Thanks for this reminder!
Oh yes we are most definitely called to focus on what we do have but as humans, we sometimes get tempted and stray :/
Thank you for sharing this. I think this truly has opened my eyes from he tunnel vision I was seeing. I’m pretty blessed to have the things I have. 🙂
so good to hear this post has helped you. Tunnel vision really does suck the life right out of us sometimes. xo
I really needed this today. Just turned 30 last week & my cycle cane on the day after. I’ve been comparing myself to other classmates that are on Facebook. I actually logged off for a few days because just looking at their families made me feel like i was beginning to sink. I mean some even have 4 kids already at this age. Lord knows I’m trying to be content & enjoy this new 30 & appreciate the people I do have in my life but I need strength from day to day. Thanks again for your post. You always always know what to say to uplift my spirits.
I totally understand your thoughts and feelings. Just take it day by day and ask for new strength each morning and each time you see something or someone that steals your joy because of the comparison game. Stay alert and on guard so that when the negative thoughts enter into your mind, you can kick them out immediately. Stay strong girlie! Our time is coming 🙂
What a great post! I find myself playing the comparing game as well and I have to take a step back and recognize that it’s not up to me to question why God chose to bless someone else by giving them a child. At times I feel like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum asking when it will finally be my turn. God has not yet chosen to answer that question although after 5 years of the infertility roller coaster I hope it’s soon! I admire your strength and transparency. It’s refreshing 🙂
Tanya, I want to encourage you to keep believing and never give up hope. God is faithful and He does not play favorites (Romans 2:11). He will give you the desires of your heart 🙂
If we hope for what we do not have yet, we wait for it with perseverance. Romans 8:25
Comparison truly brings some of the most pain in infertility for me at least! Thanks for sharing!
Meridith, Thank you so much for reading and commenting. 🙂
Beautifully written, Elisha. I completely empathize with you – but I constantly remind myself that when our miracles, Josiah & Jonah, arrive, they will be SUCH glory to God, SUCH a testament of FAITH, and I believe their births will lead so many closer to Him. If all of this is what’s in store for us in the future, I am proud to wait to bring such blessing into this world!
Love You Brave, Strong Woman of Christ!
I agree Pier! Decide to use this time of waiting to build your expectation for children who will make a difference in this world for Jesus!
Oh I totally agree and am constantly reminding myself of this too but I’m still human and those thoughts still wiggle in my mind…especially when it has been years of waiting for the promise to be fulfilled. I’m staying strong and not wavering, but I need to make sure that I stay alert and am on guard for when the enemy brings in a sneak attack. I have never had a problem with comparison before in the past and I think the enemy is switching up his tactics a bit. I’m on guard and aware for the next one though 🙂
Love this post! It was beautifully written and so true. I love the comparison to the flowers. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for commenting and reading Tori! 🙂
This is such a beautiful post. I found myself doing the comparison game A LOT after my miscarriage last year and it only deepened my depression. I’m so glad that God has lifted me up and out of that so that I, like you, could look around me and appreciate the blessings that I did have and not count the ones I didn’t. I love this reminder. Thank you so much for sharing what God put on your heart!
Thank you so much for reading and commenting Mel! I just love your words of encouragement and support 🙂 xo
So great Elisha….always wise words…just when I think you might be breaking….you are inspired and inspire us all as well….what a gift you have?! Thank you for sharing and for your overwhelming spirit of gratitude….Life is certainly good 🙂
oh girl I was breaking! This comparison game and pity party lasted for WEEKS :/ If it wasn’t for consistent prayer and seeking to climb out quickly, I would still be thinking and envying that silly woman in the parking lot :/
Oh girl. I SO needed this today. I probably struggle the most with the lie that I’ve been left behind. Everyone has been given the go pass while I’m still waiting, overlooked. It’s SO NOT TRUE. I felt the same way in my late twenties when everyone was getting married and I was still single. All I need to do to remind myself of God’s faithfulness is look at Jason…God’s gift for me at the perfect age and time (30) to know that He’s never late. Comparison is an evil mistress.
I agree! Comparison is another trick of the devil to distract us from looking to the One who is the Difference Maker during this season.
I agree Evangeline! I never had a problem with jealousy, being envy or comparing myself to others until I saw that woman. I normally wouldn’t have even paid attention to her but I think the devil is switching up his tactics on me. But no worries…I’m on guard and more alert for the next one 🙂
Thank you for the reminder today! At age 30 and married 8 years, I feel stuck between two worlds: friends/acquaintances who are stay-at-home moms and others who are either unmarried or married with no desire for children and vigorously pursing their careers. I’m in one world longing to be in the other. But lately the Lord has been reminding me of the beautiful life I have with my husband and the opportunities we have to connect as a couple because we don’t have our babies yet. I’m determined not to let comparison and disappointment ruin our precious time together!
amen girl!!! I just admire your faith 🙂
As always, so good and so timely. I am constantly impressed by your ability to pull yourself out of those dark moments and consistently press into God’s perspective of reality instead of what you can see. I fall into this a LOT, and it’s hard not to be jealous. But it’s so true…we really are where God wants us to be, and we miss all the good things of now. Thank you for the reminder, love! Needed that!! xoxo
Thank you so much for your sweet words of encouragement and support to me Kate! I’m so blessed to know you and I can’t wait until you are being called Mama. I know that it won’t be long 🙂 xo
Wow, thank you so much for writing this. It is a wonderful reminder and a beautiful description of how He is bringing you through. I had a similar reminder this past weekend. Life truly is good. We just have to step back and see it! 🙂
Amen girlie! We just need to open our eyes and count the blessings 🙂 xo
Love this! Hang in there girl. We are all the worst at comparing and it kicks us down and doesn’t want us to get back up. He calls us to FIX our eyes on Him, the author and perfecter. We need to stop looking side to side and just start looking at Him and what He is doing in us. I love your flower analogy. So good. Praying for you.
Thank you so much Jessica 🙂 I normally wouldn’t have even noticed that woman but I think the devil was using a new tactic and I wasn’t prepared or on guard for it. xo
Thank you for being so transparent and honest with such a painful topic. I struggle with this same thing. I envy people who don’t have to live with this weight of grief and loss, the people who can laugh so easily and trust so quickly without a second thought. I so often overlook the beauty and blessings that are right here under my nose, even in the midst of all this pain and sorrow. I have so many blessings, and even though I am always missing my three babies in heaven, I am so grateful for my two wiggly, giggly boys that I get to keep on earth. Thank you for the reminder
Thank you for reading and commenting Bethany! Stay strong girlie 🙂
Life is good. It really is. I’ve had those same jealous thoughts before too, and I definitely didn’t think I would still be hoping to be a Mom at 37. Now that I’m getting closer, I can’t help thinking about where I was even just 6 months ago, and know without a doubt now that everything happens in it’s own time and the beauty of it is, it could all change in an instant. It could be just around the corner. I just love your beautiful wedding photo and every photo you share of the two of you. It’s very clear what a beautiful and special relationship you and your hubby have. There are so many who don’t have that, and are probably looking on at the two of you with envious thoughts. I have no doubt at all that you two will be filling your car with car seats and toys one day soon. Love you girl. <3
Awe thank you so much girlie for your sweet and kind words! I am so blessed to have you in my life 🙂 xo
I am so blessed to have you in my life too hon <3
I’m in the same exact scenario. Thanks for the encouragement. So so hard!
Thank you so much for reading and commenting! You are so right, it is hard but doable. I just needed to make the mind switch and not put my focus on what I don’t have. Each day I now I make a list of what I am thankful for…it has helped LOTS! I look at that list often throughout my day.
Cheers! I’ll drink to being happy with your own path in life and not comparing yourself to others. And trust me, plenty of people envy your life too! XOXO
awe thanks so much for your kind words sweets! You are such an amazing friend and always know what to say to lift me up! xo
You’re such an inspiration, Elisha! I’ve been there so many times comparing myself and left feeling empty and left behind. Anyone going through infertily can probably relate to this post. I hope your flower is budding and getting ready to bloom. But for now, it sounds like you’re enjoying the sunshine. Hugs
Thanks so much Jessah! You are also an amazing source of encouragement to me. You are always so brave and strong. Have a great rest of the week and weekend 🙂
your a great source of encouragement Elisha because comparison as been muddling my brain this week as I constantly see others around me getting pregnant and having babies – its a tough thing to constantly have in your face when you want it so badly! So thank you for your words lovely lady!
awe thank you so much for your sweet words of encouragement to me FInley. I am so thankful this post was able to minister to you as well. Keep hoping and believing because your time is coming. xo
Such a beautiful post, you always seem to calm my fuzzy brain – Thanks for that! Love you birdy xx
awe you are too sweet! Hang in there girlie! Rainbows always come after the rain 😉
I’m glad you are no longer coveting what others have and being grateful for the blessings you have. Life is intolerable otherwise. I wonder if a therapist (maybe a Christian one and/or many specialize in fertility issues) might be able to help you along when you get in a prolonged funk. It must be difficult for you and your husband to continuously go through the roller coasters of emotions. Therapists who specialize in the psychological component of fertility issues can be very helpful because they are aware of the immense toll they can take on a couple and each partner.
I was also curious if you express your opinion on adoption as an option for your family in any posts. I’m sure you so, I was just curious if that was a possibility for you. I know you’ve been through a lot and it’s been a long time, and there are so many ways to become a mom and a family. Take care.
Right now, my husband and I are not seeking adoption. If you read “Our Story” then you will have an insight as to why without me needing to go into a long and detailed reason why. We are not against adoption, but right now it is not a desire of our hearts.
Also, thank you for the advice of a therapist, but I do not feel I need one at this time. My funks do not last very long and I hope I don’t come across as someone who walks around weeks on end in a depressed and lonely state because that is not me 🙂 Not even in the least. I am fully confident with hope and faith that God will continue to sustain me and give me a child (the one I mention in “our story.”) in His perfect timing.
Please take the time to read my other posts and see that yes I go through the ups and downs of life just like anyone else, but God brings me out of the pit each and every time and sets my foot up high on the rock. I am the type of person that I don’t allow myself to remain in the pits long.
Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I hope you have a great week 🙂
I fear I came across wrong and I’m sorry if I frustrated you. First off, I read your blog a while ago and you popped into my mind this morning for some reason and I was curious to see how you were doing and how things had progressed for you. Although I had read almost all of your posts last time, this was the first post I saw this time and I commented. I think I maybe got confused about whether you were considering adoption in the future. Of course I didn’t expect you to explain it to me here in the comments, I was just hoping you might point me to the right post so I could see how things were unfolding. I should have looked around more first and looked at your story again, and I’m sorry I didn’t do that first. Patience is a virtue (That I don’t always have.) Obviously, adoption is a completely different journey than having a child naturally, and it’s no “easy fix.” While adoption is wonderful and allows good people the chance to provide a family for a sweet child who might not have one otherwise (and gives the gift of family to a couple), it doesn’t fulfill the desire of having your own child, not even a little bit. I didn’t mean that all. It’s a complete shift in gears and a totally different journey. I was just curious about your view at this point in time, but like I said, I think I was confused about what you said in the first place.
Regarding therapy, I think we have very different ideas about what therapy is and who goes to therapy! I am a psychologist myself, which likely explains why I suggested it. I know firsthand how valuable it can be. I see many women going though all sorts of things, plenty of them related to fertility. Most women who I see don’t have depression or serious problems, they just enjoy the benefit of having a confidential person to talk to. It’s just another perspective. As a therapist, I look at therapy not for people who aren’t dealing with things well or who are damaged (it’s good for them too), but for all people who are on this crazy journey of life. I go to therapy myself and nothing is explicitly “wrong” at the moment; I just find it helpful. The standard thought now is that everyone should go to therapy for six months of personal growth work anyways, so please know I was not insinuating in any way that you stay low for a long time and you need professional help. We all have room to learn about ourselves and grow, and with something as stressful as this, an additional empathic ear who can offer objective insight and support is helpful to even the most highly-functioning person. Life is difficult for all of us, even if we manage it well. I know you work very hard to stay positive and have faith and will be fine no matter what happens. So again, I’m sorry for coming across wrong. Next time I’ll think a bit more before commenting.
oh goodness 🙂 You didn’t frustrate me at all. I know my comment must have sounded like that because after I pressed “reply”, I thought…”Well, geez. I sound rude.” I was in a hurry to respond because the three year old we are currently fostering for a short time was begging to go on a wagon ride so I was rushing :/ I apologize.
In regards to therapy I totally agree with you that everyone and anyone should go 🙂 My degree is in social work and I used to be a school counselor and have worked for many counselors while attending college so I completely agree with you on the benefits. Right now in my life I am fortunante enough to have such amazing friends who are Christian counselors whether employed at my church or in their own private practice. As a result, I guess I basically get free therapy daily/weekly from them when I’m just talking to them, etc. Without them I would be lost. I also have lots of other friends and family members that I can share my emotional struggles with when I have them. I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I know a therapist that is a “stranger” can be beneficial, but for me, those people at my church are a perfect fit for me. Does that make sense? hehe! I can be terrible with words sometimes :/
Once again…no worries! You didn’t frustrate me at all, I was just trying to be quick to respond since a three year old was hanging on me. hehe! Please always, always, always feel free to leave me comments. I love each and everyone that a person leaves me 🙂
I totally get it. A therapist would probably suggest you do all of the things you’re already doing anyways, like talking to trusted friends and family and putting pen to paper and getting your feelings out on the page. You also do the most important thing: You help others when you feel down, just by writing. It’s obvious by the comments that you help a lot of women who are on the same journey. It was just a thought based on my own experience and hope.
And yes, when a 3 year old wants a wagon ride, a wagon ride he will get, darn it!
Happy to read the post!! So open n true!! And yeah HIS Joy is always our strength 🙂 Life is good 🙂
Yes, thank you for sharing this! Sometimes I feel alone in my thoughts but I agree, we need to accept each day as it is. Thanks for sharing your story, you’re truly an inspiration!!!
Don’t feel alone…we all have the same thoughts. Also, thank you for your sweet words of support and encouragement:) I hope you have a great weekend!
Thank you so much for this! I know I’m going to enjoy every word I read from here on. Keep on shining Jesus!!
awe thanks so much girl! I can’t tell you how blessed I feel right now to have found your blog today! God is so good! I’m excited to be able to encourage and lift each other up.
This is a beautiful post. I love the metaphor of the flowers. God can teach us a lot through Nature if we have our eyes open!
Comparing myself and my life with others was a source of torment for me for a long time (and still is if I let it). But how different life looks through the lens of thankfulness. 🙂
I just found your site today after having a serious heartfelt prayer with the Lord in the early mornings. I have been blessed. I am walking this walk with you but so many times my faith and patience has failed but yet God continues to send encouragement to me through different mediums such as this one. May God bless this ministry, and through it gather many souls for His kingdom; souls who would have otherwise given up on their faith and what it really means to be a Christian with a Heavenly perspective. God bless you.
I just love how you found this blog at just the right time and I am praying for you today. I’m praying that peace overwhelm you, strength to keep believing overtake you and His love to wrap you up in a blanket as He give you patience to keep waiting. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement as well. I too pray that those who need this blog the most find their way here and that the Holy Spirit speak to them and draw them in closer. Hugs to you! xo
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