One of the most helpful things you can do for your infertile friend is to treat her like a normal person. Infertility has a way of making you feel like a freak of nature. What an infertile person needs to know is that infertility does not define them. They are not less than human because they cannot conceive. Their womanhood is not determined by a pregnant belly or a house full of children. They need to know that they are just as normal as the next woman.
When everyone around them is sharing news of
another pregnancy, this truth can be hard to hold on to because the reality is that their body (or their husband's body) is not functioning like it was made to. They often feel this acutely. But what they need help seeing is that their biological failure is not a personhood failure. Their identity as God's child is not tied to what their broken body can or cannot do. This is why they need
you to come along side them and treat them like their life is just as valuable
and exciting even in the midst of a profound suffering.You can have a tremendous impact on our hurting friend by treating them like they are as human as you are.
So how do you do that?
Obviously, this varies from person to person, but one way I felt "normal" with my friends is that they expressed interest in the things that interested me. It might seem really small, but infertility can be an all consuming experience. From doctor's visits to charts and tests, it can often feel like your life is one big experiment. My friends helped me get outside of that experience by caring about the other things that I really loved.
Another thing is that they didn't shy away from was sharing their lives with me. It can be hard to share exciting baby news or the details of your potty training experiences with a friend who desperately wants a child of her own, but nothing makes an infertile person feel more abnormal than when he or she knows someone is intentionally holding back about their own children. Like I said in my last post, carefully composed words require knowing your friend, but so does knowing when to share your life with them. An infertile person can feel very alone at times and refraining from sharing your life with her for fear of making her pain worse can only make her feel more alone. Infertile people are very aware of the myriad of babies that are always seeming to pop up right in front of them, so you probably won't be sharing anything with her that she isn't already acutely aware of.
As you walk this road with your hurting friend she will be greatly served by you remembering that there is really very little that separates you from her. While you may be able to conceive with ease, you both bear the image of Christ and find your identity in him alone. Standing on this truth will help you see her as a normal person in need of eyes of faith to see her Savior in the midst of her pain.