It’s no secret that we’ve experienced infertility for over four and a half years.
It’s also no secret that infertility led me to a dark, desperate, and depressed place. I can see it in certain blog posts or even journal entries. (sorry no link to those!) 😉
I was oh so very wounded and emotionally drowning.
But in time that pain started to evaporate.
Jonathan and I began communicating in healthier ways. We launched into the adoption process. We took a break from medical treatment. I induced lactation so I could breastfeed. And finally Josephine Rose Teixeira came into our lives.
All those changes occurred within a six month window and they left me feeling AMAZING!
It was as if everything that had been wrong was finally redeemed. After a long and dark night, the sun began to rise. That’s where I’ve lived a good majority of the past couple of years and to be honest – it was wonderful. It was good to be my happy self once again, free from the stress and pressure that infertility brings with it.
In January I got my cycle back after discontinuing the medication I’d used to induce lactation and I started to feel the old nerves creeping back in. The pressure began to compound silently.
I started medical evaluation. I made major lifestyle changes. I started having anxiety attacks when I had to go to the doctor.
The ultrasounds showed no signs of ovulation. My hormones were headed in the wrong direction. Then the final death blow – I have a uterine septum that may prevent me from ever successfully carrying a pregnancy. The septum requires me to undergo two extensive surgeries in June.
And just like that I fell back. Way back to that dark and lonely place I used to know well.
All of a sudden pregnancy announcements killed me. Gender reveal parties felt like a mockery. Baby showers brought on glazed over eyes and numbness. I grew bitter, sad, emotional, and began isolating myself.
This was as shocking to me as it was Jonathan, since those wounds were supposed to be BEHIND us. I’ve spent the last two years being happy! How could I slip back into this desolate place once again?
It was in reflection and spiritual direction that I realized somewhere in the past couple of years, I threw a band-aid on a bleeding and gaping wound.
The wound was my refusal to trust in God. The band-aid was the excitement of change.
Let’s examine my stubborn refusal to trust God first:
I have trusted God to a certain degree with our fertility issues but never fully. Or if I did really surrender, I grabbed control back faster than you can say “Bob’s your uncle!” Trusting God fully in this area means total surrender to his will. To prefer his will to my will. To trust that he will provide for us and grow our family. To embrace this cross and allow it to make me holy. That even if his will is NOT my will, I choose his instead.
The fruits of a surrender like that involve peace, trust, contentment, joy, and love. When I abandon my heart there isn’t room for jealousy or comparison because of trust that I’m living God’s will for me and “Fertile Myrtle” is living God’s will for her. There isn’t room for depression because yet again there is JOY in knowing I’m in the midst of God’s will for my life. There isn’t room for bitterness because peace exudes from those who trust in the Lord. There isn’t room for self-loathing because of a firmly rooted identity in Jesus Christ that defines me over anything else.
Now before anyone else battling infertility stones me, I am not saying there aren’t human emotions to battle after abandoning infertility to God’s will. Jealousy, sadness, bitterness, and depression will still rear their ugly heads from time to time. Taking those emotions and allowing our intellect and will to direct them appropriately to the Lord is what we have to do. Then we can be filled supernaturally with HIS peace, joy, and contentment in the midst of heartache and loss while seeing others blessed around us.
Now let’s peek at that band-aid sitch:
I am literally addicted to being busy. A full calendar, multi-tasking, getting things done, slashing to-do lists, hectic schedules, thinking about an epic and productive day…those are what get my blood pumping. If I even look at a blank calendar, I have anxiety and must fill it immediately…even with simple things like “Lunch” or “Nap” when Josie was a tiny baby. I just have to have things written in to make my day feel packed.
I love busy, so it makes sense why all my infertility woes sort of faded into the background when we were swept into the momentum of adoption and new parenthood. Busy was my band-aid and busy is what I’ve been for two years. I hadn’t stopped being on the go nor have I had anything disrupt that pattern.
Until major negative medical news smacked me over the head and ripped my band-aid off…leaving the same old wound bleeding and exposed.
I don’t want any more band-aids.
I want healing…and it will only come from reckless abandonment to God’s will for my life – no matter how well it matches up to the life I’ve dreamed up. I want to trust Jesus fully with our lives and without conditions or clauses. This surrender won’t be easy and it will probably take a bit of wrestling with God before it’s just how I see life…but I’ll get there.
I want to exude the fruits of abandonment in my life: peace, joy, love, and freedom. I want to be so confident in my identity as God’s daughter that infertility (or any other suffering) can’t shake me. I want to hear about pregnancy announcements and be filled with JOY at the gift of new life for another family. I want to walk up to a group of moms complaining about pregnancy and be able to empathize and listen to them without getting irritated. I want to stop comparing my infertility to others’ fertility.
I want to stop comparing God’s will for my life with his will for others’ lives.
I surrendered control to Jesus over 10 years ago but it was drenched with fine print that dictated under what situations I would actually trust him. I didn’t know I’d done that…but suffering showed the true colors of my surrender, as I think it does for many.
I’m done. I won’t do it anymore. Band-aides won’t help me become the saint you’ve called me to be.
Infertility is all yours, Lord. Kick me out of the drivers seat and help me contentedly trust that your taking me exactly where I need to go – no matter what the circumstances.
No more band-aids. I give you everything Jesus and I will follow you wherever you call me, no matter what it looks like. Give my grace in my weak moments and transform my desires to match perfectly to your desires.
And help me to slow the heck down. Take this Martha of a girl and teach her how to be a Mary from time to time. Bring me into your presence and help me to be still and know that you are God.