On January 30, 2021, people from four countries and 13 states attended the first Living Through Infertility Summit. A year earlier, this event had been a mustard seed of an idea in my heart. One of those things, I kept telling myself I’d get around to doing when I had more time or confidence, whichever came first.
Through a series of events that only God could orchestrate, life presented me the opportunity to make this idea a reality. I was able to secure an intern, giving me an extra set of hands and time, which was exactly what I needed to pull this off. Coupled by motivation from a friend who recently hosted a very successful summit, I declared it was going to happen.
It’s scary and exciting when we speak things out loud; when we take it from an internal idea to an external experience. It takes it from impossible, to possible and God, friends, family and mentors keep us accountable to follow through.
As planning began, I set a goal of 30 people. But I said, I’m believing and trusting that God is going to multiple it. I prayed this daily, trusting God to bring this idea together, all for the purpose of serving, loving and supporting those navigating infertility. I knew He wanted this to be just as successful as I did. Truth is, He wanted it to be WAY more successful because He knew the opportunity this event created to bring people together in community; to connect, encourage and share the love of Christ. It was no longer only me striving to make this event successful, I had Christ in me, sharing His power to do supernatural things with this. In the end, we had 175 people sign up!
This event was a much-needed reminder that God can and does show up in BIG ways in our lives. He longs to show His faithfulness to us and this was just the loving hug I needed from Him.
It’s hard to put into words the experience one has attending an event like this. I knew it would be powerful, and it was, but it was so much more than that. Each person who logged on brought their own journey, heartache and hopelessness to the summit. Getting an invite to their story is such an honor and so humbling to have them trust me with it. The one word that comes to mind to describe what transpired during the Living Through Infertility Summit is life-giving.
I’ll do my best to give you some insight into what the half-day event was all about.
I wanted this summit to be one big conversation. A place where people felt safe to open up and feel heard and seen on their journey. So many reached out prior to the summit sharing their candid and vulnerable questions about what keeps them up at night when it comes to their journey. You all reaffirmed that navigating infertility, is more than doctor appointments. It’s also about the day-to-day stuff, like supporting your spouse, managing relationships, wrestling with your faith and coping with a rollercoaster of emotions.
During the summit, many sought clarity and guidance in handling the difficult situations, experiences and feelings often associated with this journey. Based upon the conversations we had prior and during the summit, it’s very clear this community is seeking these types of resources. People are eager for education, connection and support during this time. One attendee shared how “approachable everyone was.” I hope to offer another summit in the near future. Keep me accountable to that will you?!
What makes an event so powerful and engaging is the content. The value being provided that’s relevant to one’s personal experience and current urgency. We had a variety of topics centering around some of the main themes one experiences when navigating infertility – Acceptance, Connection, Love and Control.
We had four speakers from all over the country share their expertise in the fields of infertility, mental health and relationships.
Our speaker line-up included:
- Mary Bruno – Living with Acceptance and the Hope it Brings, a Creighton practitioner who specializes in women’s health and fertility education;
- Erin McCollough – Loving Yourself Through the Practice of Yoga, a yoga instructor who specializes in fertility yoga;
- Kimberly Keiser – Building a Strong Connection with Your Partner, a psychotherapist who works in the sexual therapy and trauma therapy fields;
- Shelley Furtado-Linton – The Power of Owning Your Story, speaker and author
We had powerful, freedom filling and life-giving conversations and I encourage you to visit any of the speakers websites and social media accounts for more information about them and their works.
There is comfort in knowing you have a posse of people who get you. Who truly understand what you’re experiencing; who can totally relate to what’s happening. The Living Through Infertility Summit reminded all of us, the importance and need to be in community with others. This is not a journey meant to walk alone.
I’m still so humbled to have been a part of these honest conversations. Many shared knowing someone could relate, took the time to listen and empathize with their situation, meant a lot.
This is a community I didn’t want to join. I never imagined infertility being part of my story. But something I recently saw brought this experience full circle for me. Know this, God has entrusted us with a certain group of people. He has called us to serve a people. This summit reaffirmed that for me and showed me just how faithful our God is.
Please share with someone you know who could use some encouragement in the wait.