Every picture tells a story…here is mine…
It’s Day 3 of the 5 Day Photo Challenge for National Infertility Awareness Week (#niaw). Day 1 was all about honoring our stories. Day 2 was about sharing our furbabies…because after all, for some of us, not all babies are in human form. And as for today, we have been challenged to throw on some ORANGE, snap a quick picture, then post it in on our social media accounts in order to help bring awareness.
Originally when I read that Resolve, which is The National Infertility Association, wanted us to wear ORANGE in order to bring awareness, I thought…why ORANGE? Did anyone else have that thought? However, upon a little investigation, I discovered their reasoning behind it was because the color ORANGE promotes a sense of wellness; as well as being around or seeing the color can also help a person recover from disappointments or a wounded heart. I also found out that studies have also shown that the color ORANGE can boost contentment, confidence and understanding. Needless to say, wearing it this week seems so fitting, right?
But, can we be honest?
When I put on this ORANGE shirt today, I felt as though I looked like a prisoner; which also seems about right. And fitting. After all, infertility can feel like a prison sentence. You feel held captive against your will. Maybe even bound by shame, guilt, bitterness, jealousy, or resentment. Perhaps it can cause a person to feel as though their freedoms have been stolen—even ripped away through broken dreams and shattered plans.
But as I stood in front of the mirror, not only looking at my reflection, but also reflecting on how women going through infertility might feel, the verse Zechariah 9:12 popped into my mind, nestling it’s way into my heart. It says, “Return to your fortress, your place of safety, all you prisoners who still have hope, for even now I will restore double for your trouble.”
So good, right? But it was in that moment this message began burning in my heart.
You see, we can either choose to be prisoners to our circumstances, ultimately succumbed to feeling held captive and defined by our diagnosis and past disappointments, or we can become a Prisoner of Hope; a person who is fueled by the notion that God is for us, He is with us, and because of Him the BEST IS YET TO COME!
One holds us captive. The other sets us free.
But the question for some becomes, “How do you become a Prisoner of Hope?” The answer is this: To be a prisoner of hope, one needs to remain hopeful in spite of circumstances that seem hopeless. They might feel fear, but they don’t give into fear. They might feel hopeless, but they don’t give into hopelessness. They might have doubts, but they don’t bow down to them. It takes willpower. It takes making a choice. It takes…well, being like Abraham. He was a Prisoner of Hope. He was someone who cultivated an attitude that enabled him to look at his 100-year-old body and also see the decades of his wife’s barrenness, yet still speak positive things about their future. After all, we can’t say that we are in faith for something, but talk as if it will never happen. We have to talk the talk. It’s something I try to do every day. When the whispers of doubt come, I try to change the conversation in my head. Is it easy? Not always. But that’s when I start talking to myself. I have learned that you can’t speak one thing, yet think another. Therefore, if I am speaking hope-filled words, I can’t be dwelling on the heartache of my doubts. Give it a shot. You’ll find yourself held captive in hope too.
There is so much more I want to say, mostly that I want to be a ‘Prisoner of Hope’ cell mate with you. Therefore, if you are someone who isn’t feeling hopeful in this moment, and you are feeling defeated and imprisoned by your circumstances, do as Zechariah 9:12 instructs; run to your fortress of safety. Run into the arms of Jesus, the place of Truth, and lock yourself up in His arms of Hope. And don’t leave. Don’t let the odds, the statistics, the diagnosis move you from believing that you can expect great things from God. Because when you stand your ground like Ol’ Ab, you set yourself free…
Sweet friend, wearing ORANGE has been shown to change your mood, but I also believe that wearing ORANGE, as a statement of being a PRISONER OF HOPE, can also change your life. It can set you FREE. So, put it on! Not just today, but every day. Declaring that even in spite of what you have been told, and what you can see, and how (old) you feel, God can restore. He can redeem. And He can make a way even when there seems to be no way.
Come be a Prisoner of Hope with me!
For more hope-filled encouragement on the power of words, “I’m Never Going to Be a Mother!”
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!