Wednesday, November 11, 2015

When Infertility is the Twist in the Plot of Your Life...

It was Mother's Day this year when I felt it again- that sting that came from somewhere inside and brought unease to my entire being. I had to shift around in my seat due to the discomfort, until the numbness that I had forgotten introduced himself again. Years of built-up acceptance seemingly vanished at the sight of one ornery little boy.

I woke up that morning with a genuine smile resting on my face. Music blaring, dancing around the kitchen as I whipped up a small breakfast, singing loud and proud... You know. It was another glorious day. I loved my life- every single moment- including this one. The ride to church was just as pleasant. Aaron and I shared some thoughts... some laughs... No negativity at all. I was basking in my blessings.

Until I saw that little boy. 

There we were "ooh-ing and aww-ing" at the adorable, well-put-together program our youth directors had planned for the mothers. Those adorable tiny little humans were singing and doing the motions so sweetly. Then, it's like we all saw him at the same time. Chuckles began rolling across the congregation and even escaped my lips. I could feel Aaron shaking with laughter as that little guy was in a world of his own. Arms flailing about, making faces that had well exceeded master status, and air guitar-ing it up like a boss. By this time, I could hardly breathe I was laughing so hard. I'm not even sure the little fellow realized what was going on. He was just living it up. 

I looked at my husband and laughed even harder. Aaron's a character, too

"Babe, that's our child. Seriously!" Aaron turned and joined in my laughter. But as I looked back at the stage, I literally felt the joy being ripped away.

But, that's not our child.

Our child is nowhere on that stage! Our child is nowhere on this earth! "Our" child doesn't exist!

And just like that, I felt the pangs of infertility again. How they managed to take up residence so quickly, I don't know. Nevertheless, there they were, settled down deep, all nice and comfy-cozy. 

The laughter was still going on, but I had somehow zoned it out. I was having a discussion with God, although I was refusing to let Him speak. The tears on my cheeks got Aaron's attention, and he immediately recognized this unwelcome guest, that I had years before banished, back at my door. He grabbed my hand and asked me if I was alright.

Of course, I'm alright. I've been alright. This makes no sense. This is immature. This is flat out ridiculous. 

I nodded my head.

Should I go to the bathroom? 
No... That'll make everyone pity you. 
Well, if I stay here and can't quit crying, what's that gonna do?

By this time, my "discussion" with God had turned into an argument with my inner self. Why was I being so weak? Why was there a sudden lack of faith and trust? I thought I had victory over this!

If you can at all relate, I want to let you in on a little secret before we go any further. If you have been unable to have children, a moment of "weakness" is never something you'll experience. Hear me now. It took a long time for me to understand that. You are strong, and you are shielded. The pangs of loss or confusion- sometimes even betrayal- only prove this. Those feelings are being aimed directly at you every second of every day. When you feel what you think are those arrows piercing your heart, it's not because God let His shield down to hurt you. No, He removed your shield that kept you from being honest with Him. 

It's okay to miss someone you've never met. It's not a selfish thing to long for a legacy of your own. It is okay when you see a mommy kissing a booboo and you feel a slight twinge of jealousy. It is okay when you drive by a yard and see a daddy throwing a ball with his boy, and you ask God, "Why?" And when those things become a little too much, it is okay to cry. 

I had bought into the lie that if I showed any kind of longing for any part of my life to be different, then I was saying I wasn't content with what I had now. I thought if I felt sadness about anything beyond my control, I wasn't a good Christian. So, I did what we all do... I built my own little wall as a way to protect myself. But I had to tear it down! God shields me from things that are planted to destroy me. That's not on me. The barriers we put up keep us from feeling all of God's love and grace. He already knows our hearts. He understands when we feel like things are unfair. He gets it when we become angry with His plan. Be honest about it with Him and yourself, and you'll see how quickly He applies a healing balm to those hurting places. 

He will never put on us more than we can bear, right? If you believe that, then you have to know that He must think you're pretty strong. He sees your end from the beginning, so He knows this will not defeat you.

Be encouraged today! Sure, there are opportunities that won't be ours to experience without children. We won't "fit in" with all the "families" that we're surrounded by. Certain types of joy will not be understood by us, if we don't have a child in our life. I get that. But, I've had 9 amazing years with my husband so far. I have friends on the same page as me, and others who write a place just for me in the chapter they're in. My life truly is incredible. I laugh a whole lot more than I cry. But, that only started when I was okay to be me... I mean, really be me. That includes angry me, selfish me, dorky me, confused me, agitated me, every last bit of me. When the walls come down, there's nothing standing in your way of the freedom to genuinely experience untold peace. So, if you've not been given the responsibility of raising a tiny human, use your freedom for something you're passionate about... and have fun!  Obviously, there's a grand task or purpose God wants you to find, that a busy-parent-you couldn't fulfill. 

Aaron and I took in my little brother when he needed us most. After nearly 4 years, he's about to venture out on his own. I'm beyond thankful that we had the time and space to dedicate to someone we love dearly.

We made some life-altering changes within the last few years. We made moves, cut ties, ventured out into new realms... We didn't have kids in the equation, so it made those hard decisions a lot easier to make. I can honestly say that I am thrilled to have the life and answers we have- especially knowing that when we are raising children with questions, we will know just how to respond. 

This year we started our journey with foster care and adoption. We just got our approval letter a few days ago. Any day now we could get a call saying that we're needed to change a child's life forever. Now that we're this close to this new chapter in our life, I can't conjure up words to even remotely describe the confidence that I have about this being God's plan for us. When we started the classes, I was bitter, scared, and sad- but now- I feel so honored to be able to do this with my life. 

I went back to school while living in another state and have plans to sign up again. I took on a new career. I even started a blog! to some may only be a name they see floating across their newfeed, but to me... It's the newest chapter I'm writing for my life. I refused to let any moment get past me without knowing I used it first to do something I loved. My dreams are bigger than ever before. My passion is more vibrant than I've ever known it to be. My hope for an amazing future is no longer in vain. 

The rest of your life is in front of you. You've been given a map, and at this point, can go anywhere you choose. You may one day have a child, but where do you want to be when they arrive? Who do you want to be? Stay focused on the awesomeness that is your life. I understand that infertility can feel fatal. When it first sneaks up on you, it's easy to live in the "what-if's" and "if only's." All the dreaming you did up to this point did no good, so you stop. Your happily-ever-after ending needed a few things to happen first that didn't, so you assume you're just not going to get one. But, don't let this place in your story be where you quit writing. This is where it can get good! When infertility is the twist in the plot of your life, go with it! This is the moment no one was expecting and now your story can take any turn at all it wants. Foster, adopt, mentor, travel, go back to school... You get to dream another dream! And who knows, it may even one day collide with the original one. You have a best seller literally waiting at your fingertips. Experience newness, vigor, and anticipation again. Write about those moments! 

Every single moment of your life is worth reading... but it can only be read if you pick up the pen... and start writing again.

This post was featured on The Way We Do Life!

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  1. So inspirational!! Surely the hand of God is upon you!

    1. Well, thank you! That is my biggest desire! Thanks for reading!

  2. You truly are gifted and so talented! I am excited to see God's plan be revealed in you!

    1. Thank you, dear friend! Means so much! Love you!