|Luke's birthday balloons|
I love the movie, Hope Floats. Not only is it both hilarious and heartbreaking, but the movie's message of when you are down, and life has thrown a few big curve balls your way, hope just has a way of eeking its way back into your life and floating its way back up to the top...giving you the courage to believe again that things can be different and that brighter days are ahead.... Well, it's just plain good old encouragement for my often weary soul these days.
As I mentioned before, 2012 was an immensely difficult year for me. Not only were we trying to move and waiting for our house to sell and waiting to find our right home, but what I did not really dive into here on the blog was that we were also trying to have another baby at the same time. And while the house related waiting was difficult, the baby waiting was next to impossible. We watched friends get pregnant with ease and have baby after beautiful baby and we joyfully celebrated along with them. Like so many in our situation, our tears of joy mixed with tears of disappointment. We wanted another baby so badly for ourselves, but for whatever reason, it just was not happening for us despite our best efforts.
We were blessed with being able to conceive Luke and Lily without any difficulty and so naturally, we believed that it would just be a matter of planning when it came time for baby #3. But as we began trying for baby #3, well, things were a bit more challenging for whatever reason. Not only was it a crazy emotional roller coaster each month with the rising and crashing of hope, but it really rattled my faith. I mean REALLY rattled it. I struggled deeply with feeling abandoned by God, forgotten, like I was being punished for something and that I was destined to be unhappy for the rest of my life here on earth. That probably sounds dramatic, but that is how I felt all of last year. I know I was depressed and were it not for Lily, I could have easily spent a lot of days in my bed just wanting to hide under the covers until things worked out the way I wanted them to. Luckily that was not in the cards otherwise I would still be there!
I know God's word says he has good plans for my life, but I do not understand why God is making my journey into motherhood, so utterly scary and deeply painful...first with losing Luke and now this. Not to mention, I'm rapidly approaching the end of my 30s which does nothing to quiet by biological clock or my own worries about statistics and difficulties with pregnancies etc.
So why share all of this now? I don't know. I just feel like I'm supposed to. I was asked a question, "Where do I think fruit could develop from my struggle?" And the only answer I could come up with was here on the blog. If I wrote about it and said some of these things out loud, maybe there would be other people who would read and who needed to know that they are not alone- and maybe I would find out that I too am not alone. I know it really helped me to write about Luke here, but I just did not want to have another saga that I had to process here with you all- I wanted to have the happy blog where things are great and rosy instead of writing about infant loss or infertility. But if I'm being honest, infant loss and now infertility ARE a part of my story along with the happy and joyful moments of our lives with sweet Lily. So- I am writing again in hopes of clearing these ashes of fear and disappointment away in order to make room for some beauty in 2013.
For whatever reason, I have also been afraid to write about it here, it feels so deeply personal and the word 'infertility' seems so scary and final even though it's not. Writing about it makes it real. It puts my truth out there into the world. We were receiving some initial treatments from my OB over the summer in hopes of them helping, but they did not. We were referred on to a reproductive specialist back in September, but I just could not make the phone call to set up the appointment. I so desperately did not want this to be a reality for us. I think it was fear, lack of peace and feeling overwhelmed by the move (we moved in September) and did I mention fear?- but I did not set up our appointment until today. Part of my heart was still hopeful that this next month (whatever month it happened to be) would be different....but one month has led to another to another to another and here we are in 2013 and nothing has changed aside from new bruises to my heart and faith. Our initial appointment is still several weeks away, but something inside of me feels a little bit stronger having scheduled it. I feel like I took a proactive step forward instead of being pinned down by the relentless fear called 'what if...?" Where the only scenario played on the loop in my mind is the worst-case one. So today, I feel happy that I took a step to change that channel.
Another area of strain is our finances. With the move, we pretty much depleted our savings, so taking on doctor visits and exams and tests while paying out of pocket seems daunting, but with my age, time is of the essence. We are praying for God's hand over our family both biologically and financially as we enter into this season. As we work to build our savings back up, I am working on praying from a perspective of abundance instead of scarcity. I strive to remind myself of all of the ways God has been faithful to us and continues to be and provides for us even in this season of struggle and facing the unknown.
We have so much to be thankful for and when we stop and look back, there are flashes of moments when we can see God's hand. We have seen Him using Luke's life in so many beautiful ways, we are positive that this new home is where we are supposed to be as a family- surrounded by these neighbors, our Lilybug is the brightest joy and greatest gift in our lives.... I know I would be lost without her. We are rich in friendships, blessed with a solid, loving marriage and graced with opportunities to grow....and our list could go on... I have struggled with keeping my eyes and heart focused on gratitude this past year because I have been struggling so much and seeing only what I was missing, but I also know that seasons like this one I'm neck-deep in, are when I need to practice gratitude the most. The enemy of my soul is out to take anything and everything he can and while I may be struggling, there is still so much joy to be had and life to be lived. I'm deeply thankful for that.
Hope can be both your worst enemy and your best friend. I think one of the things I was telling myself was that if we had not called the doctor yet, there was still a door open for hope and possibility, but by calling the doctor, the process is set in motion for us to receive an answer one way or another- yes, there will be another baby in our family, or no, no more biological babies for us. Hope will rise or hope will fall and we will soon know one way or another...which is scary. But whatever the outcome, there is truth in the saying and eventuality: hope floats. I'm thankful for that too.
|Getting ready to send off Luke's balloons|
Lord, we pray that you would continue to open our eyes to your hand on our lives and to the ways you are moving in our lives. We thank you in advance and believe you for your mighty ways and miracles that you have planned for us. We love you and thank you for loving us even when we (myself especially) struggle, fall down and doubt your goodness and your plan. You are bigger and your ways are higher than ours. Help me to remember this always...and especially as we wade into these uncertain waters ahead. Thank you for giving us your courage when we are scared.
|The joy of letting go! I want some of that!|