My Uncompassionate Heart

Confession time!!! I hate that this post will be negative. Usually when I write a post like this it stays in my draft folder forever. I try to keep this space as positive, uplifting, and hopeful as possible. At the same time, I try to be transparent with my feelings and I feel like I have done that with Growing Weary, On Being Vulnerable, Left Behind, and I Don’t Belong just to name a few.

Recently I have realized how uncompassionate I am. Really though, my heart is so hard sometimes. I guess I am writing this post to do a public request for forgiveness, because whew, it’s ugly.

In some ways I have become numb to the conversations I have with other people, especially when it comes to receiving advice on “how to” get pregnant. The Lord has give me an abundance of grace to offer people because I know they mean well. But in other ways the grace gets really hard to extend. I can’t tell you how many times lately I have read or have personally been told that “someone is having a really hard time because they haven’t gotten pregnant after 3 months.” It could be 3, it could be 5. The point is, it’s really been hard for me to hear. I have found some people choose the wrong audience to share their heartaches with (like maybe don’t complain to me?).

I get it. Some are struggling more at 3 months than I have in coming up on 4 years. I think a lot of that has to do with their attitude, but that’s a topic that I have frequented often (choose joy, thankfulness, hopefulness, faith, etc) so don’t need to talk about now. But, for some reason, my heart has not been very loving or sympathetic in those situations.

Aren’t I supposed to show compassion just as Jesus does? Doesn’t He command me to bear others’ burdens?

“Be kind and compassionate to one another” Ephesians 4:32

No person should have to justify their pain and hurt to me. Shouldn’t I show compassion whether they have waited one month or 10 years?? Yes, but I tend to get way too caught up in the fact that the diagnosis of infertility usually isn’t given to couples until they have been attempting to conceive for 12 months. But, just because that is what the medical world says, doesn’t mean people aren’t hurting after one month or three months. It most definitely shouldn’t be a competition of how long the wait is. I know this to be true, yet I have still struggled with showing sympathy to these ladies.

The reality is every person is going to face trials and every person is going to deal with them differently and no matter what the situation is, I want to extend more love, grace, compassion, and encouragement to every person who is hurting. Even if I don’t understand their struggle, I want to put aside my worldly, negative thoughts, and love just as Jesus would. It’s not always easy, but I am thankful for forgiveness from my heavenly Father along the way. He sees my messy heart and yet loves me just the same.

Lord, forgive my ugly, hard, uncompassionate heart. Remove my “whoa is me, do you know how long I have been waiting?” attitude. Fill me with more of your love so I can better love others as you have called me to. Give me an extra measure of sympathy and compassion for those who are walking a similar trial as me as well as those whose hardship is different. Give me words to encourage and love those around me. Thank you for forgiving me, Lord. 

If you are struggling with an ugly heart, much like I have, how are you trying to change your heart, so it’s not a struggle anymore? I would love to hear some positive feedback.

My Uncompassionate Heart

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  • Whitney
    Posted at 06:44h, 01 April Reply

    I love this post, something similar happened to me. It took us 3 years and a miscarriage to get my son. When I say that line to some people they don’t truly get what that means. The heartbreak, appointments, driving, bad news… seeing friends try, conceive and give birth over and over. I had a friend write to me after 3 months of trying for her 2nd child for advice on how to cope… at that point we still hadn’t conceived and here she was saying how much she admired my strength and how I dealed… I was kind and gave her advice told her I’d pray and then found out after months of not hearing from her that she soon found out she was pregnant… awesome. And yes it hurt and yes I needed to extend grace and then receive some too ?You are lovely Caroline, and sometimes I think God places those moments in our lives to show us what not to do and gives us the chance to show compassion when people are clueless. It makes me feel strong knowing I can handle something others can’t fathom. God got me through it and He continues to be with you as you do too!

  • Tanya @ the sky and back
    Posted at 07:13h, 01 April Reply

    Thanks for this honest post. I struggle with this, too. It’s like people have to get over a certain suffering threshold, determined by me in my head, before they are worthy of my sympathy. It is not pretty. I would’ve thought that infertility and loss would’ve made me a more compassionate person — and in some ways, in some situations, that is true. But in other scenarios, like the one you mentioned above, it has made me a worse person, I think. It’s definitely something for me to work on! Thanks for the food for thought!

  • Amie
    Posted at 07:58h, 01 April Reply

    My husband was just saying how selfish he was on a daily basis and that he has to correct his thoughts constantly, as do I. I also was thinking about how little kids are so happy to help when you ask them in any way and that I should be more that like when it comes to helping people in any way. I think we all struggle with putting ourselves first with situations and that’s totally normal. Just the fact that you can acknowledge it is showing Jesus is in your heart 🙂 Thanks for being so honest and making me take a look at my attitude as well. HUGS to my friend!!

  • Raven
    Posted at 08:38h, 01 April Reply

    I find that I struggle most with parents complaining about their children. I struggle to remain composed, and not to be angry with them for complaining about something I would give ANYTHING for. I try to remember that just because they didn’t struggle to conceive – doesn’t mean they aren’t struggling now. While sometimes I still struggle to find that part of myself willing to extend love and not hate, I am getting much better.

  • Amber
    Posted at 08:39h, 01 April Reply

    I think Jesus is very very proud of you. I just wanted to say that. Our struggles are different but I see so many similarities in your posts to my thoughts and feelings. They encourage me daily. Thank you for being open and honest and sharing your heart. You are making a difference in many lives. And I believe God is going to really bless your socks off for it. Hang in there.

  • Ashley Kimble
    Posted at 08:55h, 01 April Reply

    What a great post. Thank you for saying what we all say in our heads! I do the same thing, truthfully. The more treatments fail, the more I feel that way, but you’re right, I need to extend grace too and I will try, but it’s not the easiest thing for sure. Just know you’re not alone lovely lady! Sending you hugs!

  • Rebecca Jo
    Posted at 09:13h, 01 April Reply

    Once again, I get exactly what you are saying. & some days, I feel like I have soften my heart & attitude when I hear other’s stories on the topic… & then some days, its like its fresh & raw again & I just DONT WANT TO HEAR IT… all the ‘sorries’ & all the sad looks & all the stories of someone elses struggles… but its just going to God & having Him soften that heart again to love everyone in everything.
    Hugs as always

  • Elena
    Posted at 09:15h, 01 April Reply

    You are not at all alone in these feelings my friend!

  • Malia
    Posted at 10:01h, 01 April Reply

    This is a great post and very relatable. I can’t imagine how you feel since everyone feels pain in a different way. But i hope god hears your prayers and answers them and you get your baby and the blessing of motherhood.

    I was told when I was 17 that I would never be able to have kids and it was the worst thing to hear when your life is just getting started. I was fresh out of high school and felt so angry when during college years friends were getting pregnant left and right, I even was hateful towards my own sister when she had her son and then a daughter. Looking back i missed a lot of their early years due to my own jealousy. Me and my fiance started trying for a baby at 19 and took until I was 24 to get pregnant. I had a few false alarms along the way and those really broke my spirit, this last year I had given up on the hope of becoming pregnant and started to just focus on my career. I was told by numerous doctors that I just “wasn’t meant to have a baby” like what does that mean? And I grew all too tired of hearing friends and family say “it will happen when it’s time, don’t stress about it” while they already had 2 or 3 kids… it’s a very tough journey to be on and I feel god really tested my belief in him and took me through this process of failure after failure for a reason I’ll know in the future. But continue to have faith and try to see a blessing wherever you can, whether it be the success of your marriage, or your ability to reach others hearts. I really hope that you have the blessing of motherhood sooner rather than later. I pray for strength in your walk with god and peace in your heart.

    Thank you again for sharing this post, it doesn’t make you a bad person to feel this way, it makes you human.
    Lots of love.

  • Lucy
    Posted at 10:34h, 01 April Reply

    This is such an honest post. And thankfully God has equipped you with the right words to say this gracefully and lovingly. God does not expect us to be at our best all or even most of the time, but He does want us to try to be our best as much as possible and I think you do that well. From what I see and read, you love others with a fierce love and you truly desire to show God’s love to others even when it’s hard. The road of infertility is paved with people’s “good intentions” and “kind words” and yet they offer very little to help us or make us feel better. From our experience I learned that you have to have days where you feel tired of the whole thing and want a people to get that for you, 3 months is a blip on the radar and they cannot possibly imagine what 4 years of trying feels like. My husband told me once that people who complained to us about a couple of months were clueless to our struggle and that people often have no idea how hurtful or absurd their complaints were when compared to what we were going through. And he was so right. That grace you give to others? Get yourself a huge helping from your sisters in Christ and infertility warriors and know that you don’t have to be perfect, Jesus does that for you.

  • Stacy
    Posted at 10:59h, 01 April Reply

    Caroline, for what it’s worth, I think you’re one of the most compassionate people I’ve ever “met.” You continue to give yourself to others even though you yourself have struggled for so long. You’re a true example of God’s grace and compassion and I know he’s using all of this for the most amazing things to come. No one is perfect and we all have our days. Thinking of you friend!

  • annette
    Posted at 11:32h, 01 April Reply

    Oh look at you being all human and what not! Go easy on yourself dearest, the well sometimes gets depleted and sometimes people need to understand that maybe they are being a little selfish about what they are saying too. In the meantime, do you as well as you do. You are not uncompassionate, you are downright tired. It is all good. <3 <3 <3

  • Kristy
    Posted at 11:53h, 01 April Reply

    You are not alone in this. I have to keep myself in check as well.

  • Laura @ Making Baby Provence
    Posted at 11:59h, 01 April Reply

    I love this. Absolutely just love it! I have such a hard time with this, too. I also have a hard time with other ugly feelings and thoughts about others around me that are struggling. It makes me feel so guilty. Thank you for being so transparent and sharing this struggle. You are hands down one of the strongest women I know. God has made you so strong! *Hugs*

  • Jojo
    Posted at 12:42h, 01 April Reply

    Sigh. You are not alone in this and try my hardest to go easy on them. We all have different trials and tribulations that what seems “are you serious right now?” May actually be the hardest thing they’ve ever been through. Al though if we are being honest here they should really consider rephrasing their comments with your struggle in mind. Don’t be so hard on yourself Caroline, you have the biggest heart and always giving.

  • Patricia
    Posted at 12:54h, 01 April Reply

    While our circumstances are different, it’s true that you are definitely not alone in this. I find it interesting what you wrote about it not being a competition because I often feel this way. Like subconsciously we all feel like people have to pay their dues or if they have it bad we want to say that we’ve had it worse, when in reality we should be rejoicing with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn without judgement or placing our own expectations onto them.

  • andrea
    Posted at 13:16h, 01 April Reply

    and those are the times we need to be asking God to give us that compassion….

  • kaili
    Posted at 14:15h, 01 April Reply

    love this post

  • Mihaela Echols
    Posted at 15:50h, 01 April Reply

    Sometimes it’s OK to be transparent! This was an awesome post! It honestly is encouraging knowing through it all you seek God.

  • Alonda
    Posted at 16:20h, 01 April Reply

    This was a great post! Sometimes we need that slice “real.”

  • Brittany
    Posted at 16:30h, 01 April Reply

    This post is so relatable for me today! Thank you for sharing! There are often times when I want to be so happy for people, but it can be so hard! Recently I got passed up for a promotion at work and while I want to be happy for her – it’s a struggle, especially when I feel way more experienced and qualified. My focus now is to appreciate where I am, how far I’ve come, and to keep working to the next goal. I’m working on letting Jesus guide my heart in a more sympathetic way. I just have to tell myself God has some big plans for me in the future (and this is just a minor bump). I always appreciate your openness and honesty, Caroline. I love reading your blog every day. Thank you for sharing and for helping me to be a more positive person and to focus on the good that God continuously does for us!

    • Jaclyn
      Posted at 19:33h, 01 April Reply

      He has your best in store! Don’t give up – in His timing He will bless you mightily!!! ?

  • Megan Darda
    Posted at 17:41h, 01 April Reply

    This was a beautifully written post. I also struggle with infertility and I see your post not as a negative post, but as a positive post in that you are encouraging others and helping others see that it is okay to hurt. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jaclyn
    Posted at 19:32h, 01 April Reply

    Don’t beat yourself up too much!! You’re just human ?. But the Bible does say to have a heart of compassion, weep with those who weep and mourn with those who mourn. However, that doesn’t mean we cast our “pearls” before swine…having experience in ministry and customer service and life….lol, I have quickly learned that there’s a reason why the Bible says we shouldn’t complain or grumble and I try my best to stay away from those who do it ALL the time. Or in other terms, not waste all my compassion on one person, or forever allow it to be sucked up by the same people all the time. Now, God may put them in your life to teach you more compassion, but at the same time, I have learned to try to turn those conversations into something positive or just leave altogether. After reading this, though, I will work on being more compassionate over all. I know we all need venting sessions every now and then and this world could definitely use more compassion. As always, Jesus should be our standard as we listen to His sweet Holy Spirit.

  • Dani CC
    Posted at 20:06h, 01 April Reply

    It’s like the title of your blog — In Due Time. It all happens when it’s supposed too, no matter how hard it ever gets, NEVER stop trying.

  • Jessica
    Posted at 20:15h, 01 April Reply

    Thank you for sharing your heart! You are a beautiful person and I appreciate your honesty. I find myself biting my tongue so often lately. As the months turn into years, it gets harder to discuss pregnancy, children, ttc with other people without becoming angry. Love your encouraging blog that always bring me back to God!!

  • Katie {Always, Katie}
    Posted at 22:49h, 01 April Reply

    Even after having our IVF miracles, I still have a hard time with announcements, and with the people who ask me for advice on coping after a couple of months. I truly do believe that pain is relative… but it’s hard to remind myself of that sometimes. But it’s not your heart that’s ugly… infertility is ugly. Your heart is beautiful and sweet. And tired. <3 You're in my prayers tonight!

  • Marianne
    Posted at 05:33h, 02 April Reply

    I definitely felt that way at times during my infertility journey. You’re not alone 🙂

  • Marissa
    Posted at 07:37h, 02 April Reply

    Oh we all struggle with an uncompassionate heart at times. That is why we need our savior so much. Prayers and hugs as you continue to move forward with your Lord and Father

  • Melissa DiMatteo
    Posted at 08:53h, 02 April Reply

    I came across your post on google+. I love your article and can relate in other ways for sure. I had 2 miscarriages and resented people for the things/advice they’d give me like “it was for the best, you can try again in a few months”. “you’re young, you’ll bounce back” or “nature has a way of taking care of itself” Those are terrible things to say to a woman who literally lost a piece of herself she’ll never get back. I will never ever be over my miscarriages. I became uncompassionate as well. No one wanted to hear about my heartache. I was expected to get over it quick.That’s when I started to become cold. I know this article is about you. I’m not trying to take that away, I guess I’m just saying I can relate to your heartache and the way your looking at things. You have my deepest sympathy with your infertility. I know nothing anyone says will make it better. You are a beautiful woman! stay strong!

  • Callie
    Posted at 10:46h, 02 April Reply

    It is so inspiring to read this post because I think we have all had those situations where we get annoyed at someone else’s pain if we think they aren’t really deserving of sympathy. It is beautiful that you are wanting to show compassion even when it may not feel as deserved! I think some personalities also have a harder time with disruptions to their “plan” – so even three months can freak them out. I used to be that way a little bit – I freaked out fast when we decided to try for a baby and my cycles wouldn’t come. Those people just need time to grow a bit I think and realize that they can’t control everything about their lives and give their plans to the Lord!

  • Renee Young
    Posted at 11:21h, 02 April Reply

    I hate that I am loving this, because it shows how uncompassionate my heart can be at times as well no matter the topic. The things that Jesus brings to our attention is sometimes hard, but how sweet it is that through those struggles and trails and making us aware of our shortcomings, he is transforming us more into his image. That is something remarkable. We get to become more like Christ.

    Thanks for this reminder Caroline.

  • Rachel
    Posted at 12:25h, 02 April Reply

    It’s hard to be on the other end as well, because I do have friends that couldn’t or had a hard time conceiving, and I felt like walking on egg shells all the time around them. It’s easier to just be open about your grief, about the situation, and yourself rather than pointing fingers and telling people they are wrong for being so insensitive. Many of them do mean well and many of them are just unaware and oblivious to what it is like not to bear child. They never lived that life. I can’t fault someone for not knowing, because I want that same mercy extended to me when I fall in a situation just like that.

  • courtney
    Posted at 17:46h, 02 April Reply

    Thank you for sharing such honesty, it is so good to be able to understand you true self.

  • Jess
    Posted at 21:57h, 02 April Reply

    I love this honest post. I actually don’t think that you have an ugly heart at all; I think you have a human heart. It is normal to feel discouraged when people don’t realize that you are not the best audience for certain fertility-related things. What sets you apart is your reflection on your feelings, and your loving approach to sort through those feelings and feel compassion along with the irritation. It is hard when you struggle for so long not to feel the way you initially did, but in thinking on it and processing it you are most definitely a compassionate, beautiful-hearted person. Reflection is so powerful.

  • torthuil
    Posted at 23:04h, 03 April Reply

    Yeah, this is tough. We know we should be compassionate, but it’s hard when feeling overwhelmed by life. Sometimes you just have to act nice even if you don’t feel that way. I believe kind thoughts follow kind actions as well as the other way around.

  • Justine Y @ Little Dove
    Posted at 00:19h, 04 April Reply

    I had tried to leave a comment the other day but it was giving me issues. It was long too and I can’t remember exactly what I wrote, don’t you hate that?!
    But compassion, compassion is something that I have been struggling with as well. Sometimes I have a hard time remembering that everyone is dealing with their own struggle and no two will look the same, but it doesn’t make someone else’s pain any less valid than my own. Thank you for this reminder to be more loving, kinder, and more encouraging.

  • Amy
    Posted at 06:52h, 04 April Reply

    Caroline – I completely understand! I love the prayer you wrote. I am praying it now! Hope you have an awesome week!

  • Amanda
    Posted at 08:16h, 04 April Reply

    Thanks for sharing, Caroline. I admire your positivity on the blog, but sometimes it is encouraging to hear some honest truth like this as well, because I am sure others are struggling with similar feelings. I can imagine that is hard, and people should probably be more sensitive when they are talking to you. I will continue to pray for you about this. I have really been praying about my own heart lately in other areas. Praying to be filled with more of his love is a good prayer and a great reminder for all of us!

  • Kirby
    Posted at 13:22h, 04 April Reply

    One of my favorite coaching questions is, “Whats on your heart?” Usually, it opens up a lot of dialog and is therapeutic. Just like writing about what is in your heart. We are all sinful in nature and have out ill moments. Keep your head held high. You are going to get there.

  • Alison
    Posted at 13:47h, 04 April Reply

    I think you have to let yourself be a bit hardened to it while you’re struggling along, if you had empathy for everyone you’d have nothing left for yourself. I had 3 miscarriages when trying for our second baby and I couldn’t even bear to hear about happy baby news, never mind be a shoulder to cry on for anyone else having a hard time! Once you get through the hardest point (however it may turn out) I’m sure you’ll get your compassionate heart back, just don’t be so hard on yourself. I’m sure you’re much stronger than you give yourself credit for.

  • Lauren @growmyfamily
    Posted at 09:52h, 05 April Reply

    Thank you for sharing this, Caroline. Somehow I have stayed compassionate for people in their early stages of trying because I remember how anxious I was at that time too, but I definitely notice I lose my compassion after they are pregnant. Like when someone says they “finally” got pregnant after a short time of trying, that’s when my eyes start to roll so hard they might get stuck like that. Its like-I’m happy for them, but don’t pretend like you went through what I went through … I could work on my patience I suppose 😉

  • Inez
    Posted at 00:56h, 06 April Reply

    I think we all struggle with compassion at one time or another and for various reasons. I appreciate your honesty! I can totally relate with not wanting to do negative posts. That’s one of my core values but the thing is when we add a Jesus perspective that changes everything. 🙂

  • Jed
    Posted at 06:43h, 08 April Reply

    I love your heart for others. It sounds like you’ve been on a long journey with this. I don’t see this as being uncompassionate at all. Perhaps, weary, tired and having difficulty relating with those who have struggled with infertility for only a few months. But that is far different than not caring. Wishing you a blessed week and know that you guys are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Danielle Wells
    Posted at 21:29h, 08 April Reply

    I can totally and sadly resonate with you on this! I’m so skeptical and judgmental of others – it’s awful! Remembering that God’s given me so much grace helps me to be a more compassionate person! You were so transparent in this post! Thanks for sharing your heart!

  • Shane Prather
    Posted at 07:39h, 15 April Reply

    You are such a strong, beautiful woman. NO need to apologize for sharing your heart with us <3

  • Esther | The Cuteness
    Posted at 05:26h, 25 April Reply

    Whether it’s infertility or something else, we all have those moments where it’s nearly impossible to show grace and kindness and that is completely normal and human. I think you handle it perfectly; when faced with the decision to show grace or not, you CHOOSE to, even if you can’t do it all the time. Most people don’t know it’s a choice to be kind when you really don’t want to be. xo

  • Elizabeth
    Posted at 01:24h, 05 November Reply

    I am so with you on this. It is hard when you’ve been on this journey for years, not to feel bitter and annoyed when people complain about trying for a few months, or complain about pregnancy symptoms or talk incessantly about their kids. Some people just do not understand that they need to been more sensitive about who their audience is and maybe not share those details with certain people. Thank-you for saying out load what I’m often thinking in my head. I know I need to work on loving these people even when they are being insensitive.

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