Encouraging Others When You Need Encouragement Yourself {#EncouragementDare}

This post contains affiliate links. You can see my full disclosure here.

encouragement-dare

Infertility is hard, and it can be difficult to encourage others when we are feeling empty, dry, and in need of encouragement ourselves. But one thing I’ve learned during infertility is that encouraging others, even when it’s hard, is one of the best ways to bring joy and purpose back into our own life.

September 12 is National Encouragement day. To celebrate this special day, I’m participating in Dayspring’s Encouragement Dare. I wanted to share a few quick and easy ways we can encourage others when we might need encouragement, too.

Pray & Ask for Prayer

Prayer is free. We can do it anytime and anywhere. It’s natural to pray for friends who are going through a tough time, but have you ever thought about how it might encourage others when you ask them to pray for you?

My husband and I recently talked a young man he knows who is a few month into his recovery process from drugs and alcohol. As we said goodbye, my husband told the man he would pray for him. And then my husband said, “Will you pray for me, too?” The young man’s face immediately brightened and he said, “Yes! I will!” It was apparent to me that the young man had always been on the receiving side of prayer and the idea that someone wanted him to do the praying was very meaningful and encouraging. So pray for those who need encouragement, but also remember to ask for prayer, too.  It’s a double-dose of encouragement!

encouragement-dare

Write a Note

Receiving an encouraging text is wonderful. But there’s something extra-special about sending a hand-written note in the mail. I keep a few boxes of DaySpring’s Encouragement Cards on hand for this exact reason.  Even just a few hand-written sentences can mean so much to the recipient. Also, who doesn’t love an excuse to buy some pretty notecards?!

If you don’t know what to say in your note, here are some simple ideas:

  • I’m so sorry you’re going through this.
  • I’m here if you want to talk. 
  • We’re in this together (for someone else going through infertility).
  • I care about you.
  • I’m thinking of you / I’m praying for you.

encouragement-dare
Send a Gift

I love sending small gifts in the mail to people friends who need some encouragement. The thought of them receiving something fun and unexpected in the mail will also cheer me up a little if I’m having a bad day.

If you’re in the middle of a struggle yourself, it can sometimes feel overwhelming to buy a gift, pack it up, and then stand in line at the post office to mail it.  I usually just buy a gift small online and have it shipped directly to my recipient.

Do Something Small

The little things mean the most, right?  Here are a few extra ideas on how to encourage someone.

  • Bring flowers to a friend.
  • Leave chocolate on a co-worker’s desk.
  • Leave coupons on a store shelf next to the item it’s for (one of my favorites!)
  • Buy a drink for the person behind you in line at the coffee shop or drive-thru.
  • Set out a bottle of water or a pack of hand-warmers (depending on the weather where you live!) for your mail carrier.

encouragement-dare

Encouraging someone when you need encouragement yourself doesn’t have to be difficult.  Keep things simple, cheap, and from the heart and you can’t go wrong.   You might even find that the act of serving someone else may ease some of your own burden.

“Carry each other’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” – Hebrews 6:10.

Be sure to check out DaySpring’s Encouragement Kit! It’s filled with more fun tips and free downloads.


All the products you see in the photos above are available at DaySpring.  They are a part of their Encouragement BOGO gift sale and BOGO Boxed Card sale. Use code SHAREJOY for the cards. The sales take place now through September 15. which takes place now through September 15.

encouragement dare

Resisting Bitterness During Infertility

bitterness-during-infertility

When we were trying for our first child, fear and sadness were the emotions I felt the most.

I was scared it wouldn’t work and that I’d end up childless and broke.

Now we have our miracle daughter, and the fear is gone.  Yes, we deeply want another child,  but I know how lucky we are to have even one, and we will be more than content even if we only have her.

So now I’m not scared.  I’m not sad.  I’m just angry.

SO. FLIPPIN. ANGRY. about doing IVF again.  Yes, frozen cycles are way easier than fresh cycles.  But I’m angry that now I have to decide between a medicated transfer cycle and a natural transfer cycle.

bitterness-during-infertility

We love our current RE.  His office is 10 minutes from where we live, and we received excellent care from him.  But he only does medicated cycles; he won’t do a natural cycle.

And guys, the thought of more Lupron, more Estrace, more heparin, and more prednisone literally makes my heart pound with anxiety.  I’ve contacted Stanford Fertility to see about scheduling a consultation with them for a natural FET cycle.

It really ticks me off that I have to do this.  I thought I’d come to terms with having to use reproductive technology to get pregnant, but apparently I haven’t.  For about two days last month, I thought I might have been pregnant naturally, and I was so angry when I wasn’t.

So, my prayer in these upcoming months as we make our decision about a medicated FET vs. natural FET is that I would not fall into a pattern of anger and bitterness.

Like the quote says, “Bitterness is believing God got it wrong.”  And I do not believe for an instant that God got my fertility journey wrong.

bitterness-during-infertility

Oh, it definitely wasn’t the way I would have planned it.  But I can honestly say I wouldn’t change anything.  It led to my daughter and to so many other beautiful, rich things in my marriage, my faith, and even this blog!

Lord, help me (and all my infertility sisters) to look to you to for the strength, hope, and courage we need to keep our anger from turning into bitterness!  


If you’re looking for more encouragement during infertility, be sure to check out my book, 31 Days of Prayer During Infertility.  

 

Photos courtesy of UnSplash

Courtney’s IVF Story

Today’s post is a guest post from Courtney.  I decided to share it because I know that a lot of you struggle with whether or not you should pursue IVF.  I think that’s a very valid struggle (and IVF is not for everyone).  I thought it might be helpful and encouraging to any of you in the same situation.  


My name is Courtney and my husband is JJ. We are parents to a 6-month-old named Noah who we conceived via IVF after almost two years of infertility. We were married in 2013 and started trying to conceive about nine months later.

ivf story

After a year of not getting pregnant, I went to my doctor and he agreed something was wrong. He ran some tests on both my husband and I, and started me on Clomid. My lab work came back extremely abnormal, I had some issues on Clomid, and shortly after we were referred to a local reproductive endocrinologist. We tried five total medicated cycles with both oral and injectable medications and a medicated IUI before our RE sat us down and told us our only option was IVF.

We had always talked about the possibility of doing IVF but I never thought it would actually come to that. We had been somewhat private about our struggles with infertility and had spent too much time looking for support in the wrong places and validation in choosing infertility treatment from people who didn’t understand it. Before making a decision about what to do, we prayed and talked about it with some of our best friends. Doors we thought were previously closed opened and we decided to proceed.

ivf story

In February 2016, I had 33 eggs retrieved, most of which fertilized, and three survived to Day 5 embryos. We did a fresh transfer and found out two weeks later we were pregnant. Noah was born in October 2016.

Infertility was the darkest and most isolating road I have ever walked. I was in such a bad and dissociative state of mind I can barely remember parts of our journey except how much they hurt. My husband is seven years older than me and most of our friends had kids. I’m a pediatric nurse and we were the only couple at the time at our church without kids. At the time, I knew very few people who had gone through it and couldn’t relate well to anyone. Our infertility was solely female factor and I had (and sometimes still have) a very hard time with that and the shame and guilt was all consuming.

ivf story

My lowest of lows came when our last medicated cycle failed. Everything had looked perfect and I had been so sure it had worked, I was such a mess I could barely get out the door and go to work. I called someone to talk about it and the conversation made them so uncomfortable they basically hung up on me.

Over a year later and I am very open about our struggle through infertility and IVF. It took a long time to get to the point of sharing our story but it has been a wonderful blessing for us. I have met and been connected to some incredible people who have been down the same road and have been a resource for people who are just beginning their journey. I know now that taking a leap of faith and pursuing IVF was part of God’s plan for us to be Noah’s parents.

Many thanks to Courtney for sharing her IVF story.  Please leave her a comment to let her know you appreciate her!


If you’re looking for more encouragement during infertility, be sure to check out my book, 31 Days of Prayer During Infertility.