I have struggled with endometriosis for many years. Endometriosis is a very painful disease that affects approximately one in ten women worldwide or about seven million women in the US alone. It is also the number one cause of female infertility. For years I was unsure whether I would ever be able to have a baby. However, God blessed me with a healthy baby girl this past December.
My hope is that everyone who wants to become a parent will have the chance to experience what I feel when I look at my baby. But the sad truth is millions of couples that long for children face the anguish of infertility. My heart is completely broken by this reality, and I want to help. I believe that God has given us, the Scarlet & Gold team, such an amazing platform to inspire and encourage people, and we are hoping to do so with the Give Grace™ Campaign.
Some of you may know about our owner and founder Megan Smalley and her struggle with infertility. Blake and Megan have been battling infertility for over two years now. Exactly one year ago today, they began an IVF attempt that ended up failing. As you can imagine, the entire process of IVF is emotionally, physically, and financially draining. Megan and Blake have finally reached the point of being willing to try again, and the Lord has laid on my heart the desire to do whatever I can to help. The Give Grace™ Campaign is the fruit of this desire.
We as a team at Scarlet & Gold have decided to create a line of prints inspired by Megan and Blake’s story that will be available for pre-order starting Monday, June 15. One hundred percent of the proceeds from this line will go towards sending them to the top fertility doctor in the country. Once we have raised enough money for their treatment, we want to continue selling the collection of prints and donate the proceeds to help more couples struggling to start a family, whether that is through IVF or adoption.
Megan has helped me through some of my hardest times. That’s just who she is. Megan is always thinking about others and never hesitates to offer her assistance to me or anyone else that needs help. And that’s what we are all about here at S&G - lifting each other up through the hard times. Galatians 6:2 says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
Megan and many others have bravely agreed to share their stories and break the silence on a subject that many people avoid. Maybe it’s because they are ashamed. Maybe it’s because infertility is not a happy topic to bring up in a conversation. Maybe it’s because other people don’t know what to say and end up saying the wrong things. But we want to take charge and break the silence on such a hard subject because we believe there is healing through community, support, encouragement and prayer. We hope that through this campaign, we can encourage those struggling with infertility and also help people learn how to support someone dealing with this anguish.
Even if you have never gone through infertility, chances are you know someone who has. The CDC states that 6.7 million women struggle with impaired ability to get pregnant or carry a baby to term, and 4.7 million men have infertility issues. We want you to know that if you are going through this trial, you are not alone. Every story matters, no matter how short or long the struggle lasts.
We hope this collection encourages and inspires women going through infertility, but we also want these pieces to speak to anyone enduring a difficult season of life. We envision these pieces hung in your home as a beacon of hope seen every day or given as a powerful gift of encouragement to someone who is hurting.
Give Grace™ – This idea is so dear to Megan’s heart because grace is such a necessity during any struggle. One of the messages Megan shares about frequently is that because of the roller coaster of emotions she experiences on a regular basis, she needs extra grace from others. Grace when she doesn’t handle things right. Grace when she isn’t the kind of friend she wishes she could be. Grace when she is having a hard day and can’t find the strength to get out of bed. She also believes that giving grace to yourself in hard times is so important. During trials like infertility, it can be so easy to feel like a failure. We hope this message encourages you to find someone each day, including yourself, to show a little extra grace.
Romans 8:18 is such a powerful verse to us: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” This verse is a beautiful reminder that God is with us, especially through the hard times. To place our lives in God’s hands during trying circumstances, trusting that He has something far greater in store for each one of us, is a true test of faith. In the middle of hard times, it is often easier to lose hope than to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We hope this verse reminds you that even if that light at the end looks different than you imagined it would, God is still good and He will carry you through the darkness to the light.
The dogwood tree is a symbol of joy, a sign that something beautiful and unexpected is on its way. The flower of a dogwood is also a symbol of Christ on the cross. I think this symbolism is significant because we all have a cross to bear. For some, it may be infertility; for others, it may be an illness or anything that causes a person to question his or her ability to overcome. In times of doubt and fear, I refer to Psalms 55:22: “Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” To me, the dogwood flower symbolizes this assurance.
We hope that you will join us in our #GiveGrace™ movement to break the silence about infertility and to become more open about all our struggles. There is so much freedom in being real and sharing with honesty and vulnerability. With each purchase, we will be including two gold metallic Give Grace™ temporary tattoos. We encourage you to wear the first one and post a picture, telling your friends what giving grace means to you. Then, share the second one with someone who needs encouragement. Together, we can be a light in this dark world and can help carry each other’s burdens. Will you join us?