I’m in a somewhat uncomfortable situation. My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for years with no success. This entire experience has been filled with tears and prayer, and even as I write this I feel filled with disappointment.
My dear friend of 15 years found out a month ago that she is pregnant. I am very happy for her because I know she struggled to get pregnant, too. Recently, when we spend time together, though, she tells me all about how difficult it is to be pregnant, she talks about the struggle of choosing a name, morning sickness, how she can’t believe what it’s already doing to her body and so on and so on.
What she doesn’t realize is that I wish I could have every one of those complaints. I want to be a supportive friend, but it is so painful to be so close to someone who is experiencing the very blessing that I wish were mine.
How can I support her instead of being filled with so much pain? How can I stop being a terrible friend/person?
— Confessions of a Friend
Dear Confessions of a Friend,
You are not a terrible friend nor are you a terrible person. You are a daughter of God trying to navigate this life and all that comes with it with grace and humility.
I have two thoughts. The first is to gently tell your friend how you feel. Even our closest friends and the most well-intentioned people can get lost in their own worlds and forget about the feelings of other people.
Tell her you are filled with happiness for her, but are still struggling yourself — and may not be able to have as many in-depth chats about pregnancy as you normally would with other subjects.
This reality doesn’t make you a bad friend, by the way.
My second thought is that what you’re going through is a blessing. When we are feeling overwhelmed, there is only one true source of relief. No advice column can take away the pain that you feel, but the Savior can. Appeal to him in sincere prayer. Share what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling it. Search the scriptures for how prophets and apostles have dealt with disappointment and the strength and comfort they’ve found in the reality and hope of the gospel. Then have faith that you can experience this same strength, too.
The next time you feel like a “horrible person” for your human feelings, please remind yourself that a part of life is learning about our weaknesses and working with Jesus Christ to become strong in those areas.
I hope some of these thoughts are helpful, let us know how you’re doing.
Readers: Can you relate to this writer’s feelings? What advice would you give to Confessions of a Friend?
Angela Trusty gives advice about religion and relationships. Submit a topic to firstname.lastname@example.org