Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Eyes Wide Open

Prior to the start of our journey, I vaguely knew that infertility existed. I was aware, but not truly aware. It's like you sort of know what cancer is like, but until you or a close friend or family member have gone through it all and you've seen up close all that it entails, you don't really "get it." At least that's how it is for me. And that's exactly how infertility was too.

Thinking back, I knew of several women who struggled with infertility. I knew them while they were still waiting, still hurting, still hoping for a child. I was in Sunday school with them. I was in Bible studies with them. I worked with them. And I never. said. anything.

I don't recall offering any encouragement, or telling them I'd be praying for them. Worse yet, I don't recall actually praying for them. I was completely insensitive to it. Not maliciously so, just naive and failing to understand the depth of the pain.

In essence, I was blind. I failed to truly see how each and every day that passed in their lives was spent battling between hope and hopelessness. Between a heart's desire and a lost dream. I was blind to the reality of how slowly time must have felt like to them. While it flew by from my perspective, it likely felt like it was crawling to them.

I carelessly asked people, "So...when are you guys planning to have kids?" Michael and I would make our plans and say things like, "He'll graduate and then we'll have kids." As if it's all a choice you make for yourself.

James 4:13-16
13 Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit." 14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15 Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that." 16 But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.

For me, this thought did not truly sink in before our journey began. Sure, I would mumble something along the lines of "If He wills..." but my heart was not speaking it. I was still on the Pill, making it my plan that no, at this time we will NOT have children. And then the moment we decided to stop using protection, that is now the moment we will have children. So much pride! Clueless, naive, silly pride.

But then...

Acts 9:18
And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight

My eyes were opened. I experienced first-hand the shock, disappointment, and pain of that first negative pregnancy test. And the next one. And the next one. And so on for 16 times so far. I've watched friends announce their pregnancies and then welcome their newborns - all within the time frame of our journey. Each day I battle with thoughts of hope and joy versus despair and gloom. Every time I encounter one of those unexpected moments, I have to work really hard (rather, God is working hard in me) to conquer the negative thoughts that strive to take over. It's literally every day of my life, several times within each day, that I go to battle.

But the truth is that I'm so thankful to finally be able to see. I despise the fact that I used to be so clueless about it. I would not go back and trade this experience if I could. I love all that I've learned from this. I love that I can truly relate to other women going through this. It's a sisterly bond that cannot be topped by much else that life throws our way. This journey reminds me to pray so much more often than I ever did before. Praise the Lord for giving me the ability to see this all clearly now!

Of course, if He asked me today if I'm ready to be done with this journey, I would say yes of course! But only if His will is accomplished through me already. I want to wait for the exact child He desires me to have. Not a moment sooner. No matter how hard it is each and every day to wait, I will wait. And I will praise Him as I wait. Just like one of my favorite songs. There may be a few tears shed along the way, but I will continue to praise Him through this, in awe of all that He is working out for good.

For those reading this going through a trial - whether infertility or something different - are you able to praise God in the midst of it? Can you see clearly what He is teaching you through it?

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