My husband and I had been talking things over... After months of treatment and frustration... I was upset. Very upset. Over everything. My failure. My guilt. My loss. My shame. I wanted to rip out my defective ovaries. I wanted to give up. I couldn't do it anymore. I couldn't bear the weight of this "disease". I know to some of you infertility may not sound like a disease... but it sure feels like one. I started asking that same old question again... Why? Why was this happening to me? I was completely discouraged. COMPLETELY. My faith was literally crumbling beneath my feet with every negative pregnancy test... with every new failure. Then there it was... yet another unplanned pregnancy announcement. I lost it. Why them? Why not us? WHEN is it going to happen for US? When would WE get our miracle?? I was, once again, lost. I was lost in the emotion of our struggle. I had to find a way out... I had to find a way back to being me.
When someone says they need to "find themselves" I usually roll my eyes over how ridiculously cliché that sounds. I often find that people who are "finding themselves" are using that as an excuse to be selfish and hurtful and go live the lives they want, indulging in anything they can find despite the consequences and ignoring anyone and everyone around them. Those who choose to be wild and free and just want to "sow their wild oats". Eye roll... So back to the story... finding yourself. What does that even mean? I see these cutesy quotes that say "life isn't about finding yourself... it's about creating yourself." Eye roll.
I was at a point where I felt abandoned. I felt alone. I knew Mike would never abandon me in this and that I was not completely alone. But I felt like we were alone in this... The more discouraged I got, the more I doubted. It started as most things that go straight to my heart begin, with a song.
I remember when, I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You and You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on, if I can't find You?
But as the thunder rolls, I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you."
And as Your mercy falls, I raise my hands and praise the God who gives...
and takes away
And I'll praise You in this storm and I will lift my hands
For You are who You are, no matter where I am
And every tear I've cried, You hold in Your hand
You never left my side and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm
That is when it hit me... what I was doing wrong. I was trying to trust God along this journey, but when the journey is hard? The trust doesn't come easily. I was not praising Him in our storm. I was questioning him... I was trying to give it over to him, but I wasn't doing that completely. The more I held onto everything, the heavier the burden got. The heavier the burden got the less I trusted. The less I trusted, the harder the path became. The harder the path became, the more I held onto anything I could. It was a vicious cycle. Hearing this song one day in my car on my way home from work, I burst into tears. I was finally listening. "I'm with you. I have a plan for you... even though it isn't the plan YOU want. It is a plan that will lead you closer to Me... am I not enough for you? I have so much more planned for you, I need you to trust me." Although I had been working to change my life... to be better as a Christian wife and mother... I was still missing the point. I was living in "my" world... when I needed to be a child of God in His world.
I have heard people say that I am tough... I am strong. I am neither of these things. I wanted to be faithful... but it was so much easier to fall into my discouragement. I knew this was going to be hard.
Count it all joy, my brothers,1 when you meet trials fof various kinds, 3 for you know that gthe testing of your faith hproduces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be iperfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
If any of you lacks wisdom, klet him ask God, lwho gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But mlet him ask in faith, nwith no doubting, for the one who doubts is like oa wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 phe is a double-minded man, qunstable in all his ways.
So I started with a prayer that I had prayed many times before... each one different than the last. "God, help me" It was a prayer much like the story in the book of Mark, where the father brings his ill son to Jesus and asks for him to be healed. The father says, if you can do anything have compassion on us and help us. Jesus replied "If you can! All things are possible for one who believes." Then the father cried, "I BELIEVE! HELP MY UNBELIEF!"
This is exactly how I felt. I trust you God, but help me trust you... Sounds almost silly right? I was believing but I had so much unbelief because I felt like our situation was not changing. Our pastor put it perfectly when he said "the need for submission to God comes when our hopes are dashed and things aren't happening like we want." I was going down this path, praying along the way but was not giving it all over to God. I had a long, long talk with God that day... I knew I had to finally give him everything. I had to devote this journey of loss and infertility not to having a baby... but to bring glory to my God. So that is where I am, with my faith constantly being tested as we go farther along into new parts of our journey... and now? The more I am tested, the stronger my faith becomes. The more I lean on God, the less I have to worry. The more I let God lead our path, I finally know that we will not falter because He sustains us. When I start my prayers with "Lord, thank you for this journey for it has brought me closer and closer to You." I know I am finally getting closer to the point. I will praise Him in this storm. I will praise Him every day. I will praise Him even when I am scared and start to feel discouraged. I will ask him to give us wisdom to choose the paths that HE wants, regardless of whether it is the path we want.
Our pastor made the point that "God doesn't have to check in with you before He puts His plan into action in your life." I had unintentionally embarked on this infertility journey and ended up learning who I needed to be. I did not need to "find" myself... I knew who I was. What I needed... was to learn to become the best version of myself. That is who I was meant to be... the person God made me to be. I am not tough... I am not strong. But my God is... and His grace is sufficient. I am a child of God. I am walking this path with Him by my side. I trust him. Completely. Whole-heartedly. I have no doubts that God has used these circumstances in our life to bring me to Him as the child He knew I could become. I am not perfect, but He has so much grace for me in that respect. He knows I will stumble... but now I KNOW that as long as I trust Him I ultimately will not fail. He has amazing things in store for us. This story will end only the way He wants it. Now that I have learned to get of the way and let him lead me? I feel free. I feel so free! I can trust in this!! After everything that has happened... all the times we have fallen... all the times we have failed, I finally learned the lesson...
Faith does not make things easy... Faith makes them possible.
With God... all things are possible. And that is the one thing I will never again deny.
Yes, there will be times when I am weak... I will absolutely never be perfect. There will be times when I, most likely in my discouragement, falter and question things once more... but now I know the real answers. I can better discern the thoughts of the enemy from the thoughts of my God. God will never abandon me in this. NEVER. And when I fall? I will fall straight into the arms of my Savior.
These revelations came just in time (as all things of God do... in His perfect timing)... because things were about to get serious... as we prepared to see a specialist and find out what our very few options would be.
I also know that getting our story out was His idea... not mine. I was not keen on the idea of putting these intimate details of my life, my lack of faith, my short-comings and my emotions out into the world. Vulnerable was not a place where I was even remotely comfortable, but He was clear that He wanted our story to be told... to help others... to give us the opportunity to bring glory to Him. I am trusting Him to help me with that... to say the right words, to put the thoughts out that He wants to get across and not follow my own agenda.