“O Lord, You are the God of the early mornings, the God of the late nights, the God of the mountain peaks, and the God of the sea. But, my God, my soul has horizons further away than those of early mornings, deeper darkness than the nights of earth, higher peaks than any mountain peaks, greater depths than any sea in nature. You who are the God of all these, be my God. I cannot reach to the heights or to the depths; there are motives I cannot discover, dreams I cannot realize. My God, search me.”
I’ve been wrestling this week with my faith. It’s funny how, for me at least, it’s easy to believe the big stuff like creation and resurrection, but harder to see God working for good in my daily life and struggles at times.
Fertility/having babies has been a-if not THE- big issue in my life for 8 years. I detailed that journey so far yesterday, and in doing so, was reminded by the beauty of God’s timing in giving us Lexi. I mean this with all my heart: every tear I cried before I held her was worth it the moment she was in my arms. The joy and bliss of being her mother far outweighs the pain of the wait. Knowing that, why am I at this place again where the wait is so very difficult and painful? Because, though God has taught me so much about Himself on this journey so far, I’m stubborn, and there’s a lesson I refuse to learn. Trust me, He says, I’ve got this, and it will be better than you can imagine. Every day of my pregnancy He tried to tell me that, and some days I listened far better than other, but most days I was stuck in fear. I was afraid beyond measure that I would lose this child like I did my first, that I was undeserving of this beauty that I’d ached for my whole life, and I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen, yet I knew it was out of my control. There are no promises or guarantees in this life, not in specific, and I find that frightening, to be honest. I’m not a risk taker at all, don’t ride roller coasters, even though supposedly super safe, won’t drive, the stock market seems idiotic. But the best things in life require risk, or rather, faith. For me, having children is the most beautiful thing imaginable. The whole process from conception to birth is magical, and the newborn days even more so. I knew long before she was conceived that I would love Lexi, but I could never have been prepared for what our relationship would be like, from that first moment. I could go on for hours.
So, it’s only natural that I want all that again, for me, for Scott, and now for Lexi too. I’ve learned so much, enjoyed so much, become so passionate, and have so much love to give, I’m craving it like a big juicy burger. But this requires stepping out on that ledge of faith again. trusting God for His timing, though I want it NOW, for His protection, because I never want to lose another baby, for His love and blessings poured out on me, though I know I’m undeserving.
That last part is key to my struggle, I think, and the difference between the time of TTC for me and for many other women(the “it’ll happen when it’s supposed to” types)-I feel like good stuff doesn’t happen to me, and when it does, I’m afraid, because it seems too good to be true, and I lose a lot of joy for awhile waiting for the other shoe to drop. This happened when Scott and I were first together (the shoe never dropped with him, but dang did other people create some opposition!) and when I was pregnant with Lexi. Now, those things have not shattered into a thousand pieces, and I should have hope, and be assured of God’s love for me, and I am…more than I was, but I still have this concept of never being good enough. I’ve failed a lot in life, at big things and small, and though I love my mother, and our relationship has transformed in recent years, I grew up never feeling good enough for her even though I was a really really good kid. So, taking this risk and trying to have another baby when I’ve failed at it before (our loss in 06, all the years of infertility) in my own estimation, feels so scary and heartbreaking. My mom reminds me often that feelings lie, and while that’s true, it’s where I live, it’s part of who I am, and while I may get better at separating what I feel from what is true, to some degree, that’s not changing. I’ve learned to quiet, if not silence, the voice that calls me a failure, that tells me I don’t deserve another child, but the need to protect myself and my heart often squelches hope. And then, on the occasions I allow myself to hope, that hope is often shattered or at least deflated.
Which brings me to this week. My period was due to come on 12/31 in theory (since I’ve never had a regular cycle). A week before that I started feeling like I might be pregnant. Just a lot of small things physically that I’d only ever experienced when I was pregnant with Lexi. It was clearly too early to test, but on 12/30 I did. Negative. The things that made me think I was pregnant didn’t lessen, let alone go away though, so I planned to test again on 1/5 and let myself dream about a September baby. Wouldn’t it be cool if we had our second child in September, Scott’s birth month, since Lexi was born in my birth month? Well, on 1/4 someone fairly close to us announced a pregnancy. Now, this is far from the only pregnancy in my sphere to be announced while we have been trying this time around. My best friend from high school is 9 weeks from giving birth to her second, my guy best friend from high school is welcoming his second child in a few months, at least 2 of my friends at church are expecting, and numerous others I’m friends with in life and/or on social media. Other women getting pregnant in general doesn’t sting much. What ended up being the straw that broke me is who this person is in my life. See, over the past 8 years since we first began trying for a baby, five different times someone in this exact role in my life has announced her pregnancy. It shouldn’t bother me any more than anyone else, but it does. And this time I am gonna have a much harder time hiding from it than I have before. So I broke down. I cried. A lot. I vented my frustration and hurt, I cried more, i prayed, I I felt confused, and I took a pregnancy test. Negative. I cried some more, I prayed some more, I felt confused and guilty because the “right” thing would be to gush all over and be excited with this couple, but I wasn’t, and I felt like a terrible person for it. I sought some advice, and ended up writing what was a difficult and humbling email to communicate that I have a huge struggle, a lot of pain and sadness, but it is neither the fault of, nor does it have anything to do with them, and I might need some space, but I don’t want them to think I’m mad at them. I had Scott read it, and he was really proud of me. Over the next few days I wrestled, prayed, talked to some more folks, and started to heal a bit. Then she wrote me back. This response email starts fairly nicely but evolves quickly into “I’ve never experienced you’re particular struggle but here is how I was oh so godly in a totally unrelated situation” followed by a condescending scripture lesson on idols and contentment, followed by a guilt trip about how I’m robbing their child of a friendship with Lexi. I was gutted. I really hoped that my honesty and directness would have been the beginning of some honest communication in a group of people who rarely if ever communicate honestly and openly, but, nope. Yesterday was a really difficult day, and I felt
Iike I was pushed back to the start in dealing with this situation. I’m really wrestling with how I can move forward in love in a godly way without causing more harm to my heart, because while I never write anyone off, I’m learning that it’s not healthy for me to keep going back for more either.
So, here is where I’m at with the entire baby/fertility/this person situation right now: my period is eleven days late. The things that made me feel like I might be pregnant are present and in some ways more prominent, I’m praying hard that God will help me let go of the hurt and anger I feel towards this person, and I am, for now, keeping my distance from her in all possible ways. I’m trying to live each day pencil to paper, one foot in front of the other, giving everything I do all I have, and God the glory for every victory over pain, sin, and heartache, and love and appreciate those who God is using to show His love to me. My devotions so far in 2014 have been just what I’ve needed every day and I know He’s orchestrating that too. Your prayers for healing, joy, peace, and Baby Two are much appreciated!