First Things First – Thank You for the Warm Welcome!
Wow, I feel like I am writing the “second” hit, as follow-up to my first post. I can now empathize with musicians who are now deemed “one hit wonders”! This second post better be GOOD! Ha! I was taken aback by the warm reception of my blog and first post. I was amazed by the phone calls, texts, Facebook messages and posts. Yes, the support and encouragement was wonderful and needed. My sincerest thanks. Also, hearing of the connection infertility has with others’ experiences was daunting, yet awe-inspiring. It reminded me that no matter our issue, others are enduring their own battle – and the pragmatics of the battle may differ, but we can all relate to struggle. Not only can we relate to struggle, we need each other. We are not meant to battle on our own. There is power in hearing of someone else’s experience, finding connection to battle our perception of isolated pain, and feeling a bit more hope to journey on!
Rest Stops on the Journey
Immediately after receiving the news of my infertility, I longed for a particular Bible story about infertility. I could not remember the details, I just remember hearing a minister share the story, and how this woman’s infertility was almost invisible in the story, but the news that she would bear children was a testament to many. I racked my brain ALL the next morning looking for this story in the Bible. Google is usually on point. Type (even with incorrect spelling) what you want, and BAM! Not this time…I found other awesome stories, but I felt as if there was something my soul needed from this story.
I felt that I HAD to start my blog immediately. I had multiple tabs open – one for the blog, one for my “how to write a blog” information, and one for trying to locate this STORY. I really just felt a whirlwind of emotions (like a tornado, girl!) 😉 A part of me was numb, I also felt inspired to share my experience, but I just felt a deep longing and sadness. Even though I was trying to process my emotions, I knew that the day must go on.
Almost a week before August 12th, the date my known battle of infertility began, a good friend informed me that she would be in South Florida. It has been a busy time for us both, but we made sure to plan our hang out time. We were scheduled to meet August 13th. I had another great friend in town, and we were also scheduled to meet August 13th. (No, I did not double book – I would meet one for lunch and the other for happy hour. As mentioned, I am serious about my food!) Once I found out my news, I really wanted to cancel. Nothing sounded better than to turn off all the lights in my place, wrap up in a blanket on the couch, and just cry. But honestly, I thought it would be too emotionally draining to request to cancel, explain why, and then have to endure the soothing rituals friends go through when they know you are hurting. I was seconds away from canceling, but I went…it felt easier. I literally jumped in the car after publishing my first blog post. I gave my friends a heads up the night before our scheduled meetings, as to avoid the awkward questions of me and David trying for a baby. David and I had already discussed how NOT looking forward we were to these first conversations post-“the news”.
As I drove to meet my friend, I boohoo cried. I just needed to let it all out. My thought was, “Cry this out now, and put on your happy, smiley face in the parking lot.” As soon as I allowed myself to sit with this plan, I became so scared. I am used to having control (or at least thinking I have control) over my emotions. Not even just my emotions, but who sees certain emotions and who I allow in to my emotional space and process. I became scared, because I realized that this is bigger than me, and I simply do not have control. I finally just prayed, “Lord, help me get through this first conversation about what I am going through right now. I need you.” It was not audible (I would have jumped out the car and ran…being honest), but I did feel as if God’s reply was, “Yes, you do need me, and you are not in control. You cannot control this. You also need others. All I am asking of you is to find your rest and peace in me and those I have connected you to.”
Guess what….as soon as my friend sat down she said, “The Holy Spirit woke me up at 6am. I was moved to read about stories of infertility in the Bible. He led me to this…” She pulled out her iPad, and it was the EXACT story I had searched for all morning. The story was of John the Baptist’s mother, Elizabeth. Only one sentence mentions her barrenness, but she was of old age when it was revealed that she would have a son. Sometimes our afflictions and issues people are not able to see – literally or figuratively, but we must endure them. Elizabeth must have endured so much being a woman who was deemed infertile. Yet, the promise was given, and was fulfilled. Her son prepared the way for Jesus! The miracle of Jesus was preceded by a miracle. (snaps to that!) You can read the story here: http://www.womeninthebible.net/Elizabeth_bible_text.htm.
***There are over 200 women mentioned in the Bible who battled infertility. We who are in this battle are not the first, and we will not be the last. It is critical that we connect with resources that can assist us. This book was recommended to me by my best friend, who also battled infertility, but is now the proud mama of TWO children. The book has helped MANY women, and I want you to read it. You can find it on Amazon for the low. I, personally, know over 10 women who read this book after battling with infertility who are now mothers. No, this is not a magic book, but it helps to connect you with the PROMISES and PLAN of GOD. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Supernatural-Childbirth-Jackie-Mize/dp/1577949986
The Holy Spirit leading my friend to the exact passage that my soul searched for was a reminder from God that He has this! I cannot even control how He will provide peace and direction. He will REVEAL it…in a place of rest…a rest stop…
For the next two hours, my friend and I had a BALL! It wasn’t the, “Okay, let’s act as if we are having a ball, but ignore the huge gorilla sitting on the bread basket.” Our conversation was just what we both needed – honest, transparent, and a rest stop. I left feeling replenished, supported, supportive, and so much lighter. I also left with a reminder that God is so present and concerned with each of us. It is amazing how God not only knows of our personal journey, but has prepared “rest stops” along the way. A pit stop allows one to “fill up” and get replenishment for the next leg of the journey. I love a good road trip. Not only because I get to see and experience cool things on the way, and end up at my destination, but for the STOPS along the way! As many know, I LIVE for a good snack. I also love the road. No matter the route, I have my “go tos” for my snacks! It can be my stop at Woody’s if I am traveling between Dallas and Houston, I must have my Tastee’s in Kenner, Louisiana for my Atlanta to Dallas trip, Earl’s for Tallahassee to Miami, and the list goes on and on. As I write this, I am smiling, because God wants us to be aware that He has not only a planned destination for us, but replenishing rest stops along our way. These rest stops may include a “coincidental” lunch date arranged to occur the day after you receive shocking news. I had no idea how much I would need this time with a good friend, but God did. I am so glad that I allowed myself to connect with my friend, compared to keeping myself isolated with a bag of Doritos and television. In this time with my girl, I found some needed rest!
I admonish you to allow yourself to embrace that you do not have control, and do you really want to be in control? Control leads to responsibility. If I try to control conceiving a baby, I will fail. I cannot conceive a baby. Really, no one can. Life is given. I am not the Life-Giver. Releasing control allows for peace. I am thankful for the peace that I have accepted. Although we will all have points in our journey that feel so low, we can rest assured knowing that there is a REST STOP coming up soon!
To My BabyLoves: Mommy loves you so much, already! I am leaning on God more, for His strength. Sometimes, I really think I can handle things on my own…but I cannot, nor should I try. He is so willing, able, and waiting on us to learn to trust Him. Hopefully, these words will be helpful for you at this moment as you read this. “Trust in the Lord with ALL of your heart! Lean not onto your own understanding. In ALL of your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” (Proverbs 3:5-6.)