Friday, April 5, 2013

Living in the Now

Philippians 4:11-13
11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Take a moment to meditate on the verses above.

Today I want to speak directly to those reading this who are currently in the midst of infertility. Usually my posts are generic enough to apply to other life issues, and perhaps you'll still be interested in reading this, but I just feel compelled to level with my fellow infertile-sisters today.

My sweet sister, do not take the present for granted.

I know how easy it is and how often you dwell on your future hopes, and that's certainly not a bad thing. But you must be careful not to get so overly-focused on the future that you neglect the present.

Some "state-of-your-heart" questions to ask yourself are:
  • Have I been an active participant in my other relationships besides my spouse, or have I pulled away?
  • Are my husband and I focusing on our marriage well, or is there tension and strife?
  • Am I over-consumed with the potential of being pregnant that I'm neglecting having fun? (Have a drink occasionally! Don't fret about eating sushi...bleh, if you like that sort of thing.)
  • Do I become distraught over "wasting" another month when the timing of intercourse doesn't work out?
  • Am I allowing time to become a master over my attitude? (Fretting about my age, timing intercourse, the timing of fertility treatments/decisions, etc.)
  • Am I actually enjoying sex, or is my primary thought about the potential of conceiving?
  • Have I been putting off any life-goals or activities for the hopeful possibility that this will be "the" month? 
  • Am I angry with God for not answering my prayers?

Sisters, the present is full of wonderful adventures and beauty, you just have to allow yourself to live in it. And I get a free pass to say this next statement, because I'm still a member of the "infertile club": please enjoy the quiet house, the full night's sleep, and the spontaneity you have with your husband. Seriously ladies, enjoy it! Your house will one day have children in it, but not today. So don't let this time slip away without its proper appreciation. You are blessed today, and you will be blessed tomorrow. Be thankful for the present and learn to be content in your present circumstances, even if they are not the circumstances that align with your plans and desires.

Here's the latest update on us...

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We are loving life. We are filled with the Lord's perfect peace and feel completely sure we are doing what God wants us to be doing right now with regard to growing our family: patiently waiting.

A few months ago, as my mental health improved and I finally overcame my depression about infertility (thanks to the Lord and better physical health!), I can honestly say that I have learned to be content about our family situation now. My baby room is still empty, but my heart is full of peace.

I've truly been thankful for the ability to have so much quality time together, just the two of us. Free of interruptions, dirty diapers and spit up. Quiet serenity at home (except for the occasional dog bark of course). Getting to sleep in a little on Saturdays. The ability to keep a (relatively) clean house. Even though I desire to be a stay-at-home Mom, we have a lot more "fun money" at our disposal because we both currently work full-time. That also means we'll pay off our house much sooner than if we had gotten pregnant according to our plan.

I really do want God's plan over my own. Many months ago, I had to recite that to myself, hoping I would actually believe and feel it one day. But that day has finally come. However God plans to bring children into our life, that's what I want. And I'm totally at peace about that. I'm just dedicated to soak up as much of the present as I can before God reveals His plan to us.

I can relate this feeling to the time when we were living in a one bedroom apartment and saving up for a house down payment. It was all I could do not to get worked up with desires and dreams about one day living in a house. It was an eventual certainty - we would be living in a house someday, just not quite yet. A real house! With a yard for the dogs, and more than one bedroom. More than one bathroom! But I also knew that I would likely never be in that present situation again - living meagerly to save as much as possible. Having crazy stories about how cramped we were living with 2 humans and 5 pets in a one bedroom apartment. Making up nicknames for all our neighbors. Walking to church. I knew that I better take good mental pictures, because one day I would look back on those "tough" times with fondness and nostalgia.

The same applies to your life in the midst of infertility. It's fun, good, and exciting to look ahead and dream. But you should make as much effort as possible to enjoy the present, while you still can. Don't be in such a hurry to rush this process. God has His plan already laid out, so try your best to sit back and live it out. Your precious time of "just the two of you" is running out quickly. You may not feel like it's quick, but trust me, one day you'll look back at this time and realize just how quick it was. So don't miss out on today's opportunities to enjoy your time together. This time is truly precious.

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