I Shall Come Out As Gold

God is in the middle of doing something huge for me–and I’m afraid to jinx it.  I’m afraid if I notice it he’ll take it away.  If I rely on it he’ll withhold it from me.  I know that’s some sort of psychological issue from the infertility, but I really am truly afraid.

God is in the middle of giving me a new job.  In my hometown.  Near my family and my husband’s family.  If it works we will buy our first home.  My husband has been unable to find gainful employment for the past three years in our current tiny rural town.  If we make this move to this much bigger city he will have so many opportunities he will probably have to turn job offers down.  My husband would also be able to pursue his career in music in this town–because we grew up here and he is plugged into the network.

So…maybe we could afford IVF with double our income.  Maybe we could own our own home and put down roots and really belong somewhere…  Maybe we could build into our “tribe” and really have family and support.

The sheer magnitude and velocity of this change is overwhelming–in a good way.  I feel like Cinderella–like every wish could come true overnight.  Please, God, make it come true.

“Behold, I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive him; on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him; he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him.  But he knows the way that I take;

When he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.

My foot has held fast to his steps; I have kept his way and have not turned aside. I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.

But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back? What he desires, that he does. For he will complete what he appoints for me, and many such things are in his mind.”  Job 23:8-14

 

 

It’s Not God’s Fault

It’s been awhile since I’ve written.  Mostly because I’ve been too ashamed of myself to even utter the truth of my heart anonymously.  You know those five stages of grief?  I feel like they’re a never ending merry-go-round.

The denial stage happened for the first two years.  That was hard, because my subconscious kept finding ways to grieve, even if I didn’t know consciously what was happening.  I tried to sabotage my marriage, to leave my husband, to dream about a completely different life, to immerse myself in fantasy worlds online that pulled me away from reality.  I removed myself from all social media so I wouldn’t have to be confronted with the reality.  I did the same with family.

The next stage was definitely depression, although I know they’re not supposed to happen in that order.  This one needs no description.

Recently I’ve been dealing with anger.  And I know it’s silly, but there is one realization that has changed this for me.  I still get angry.  I think maybe I’ll always be angry.  But the simple knowing, and I mean REALLY KNOWING that we live in a sin-cursed world is what is pulling me through this.  It’s ok to be angry at sin.  I know we need to understand that Jesus was perfect, so his anger was perfect, and ours probably won’t be…but that’s what I need grace for.  I’m going to be angry at this sin-cursed world from time to time.  And I think it’s ok.  Things here are just broken.  And it’s not God’s fault.  It’s ours–humanity as a whole, and sometimes myself specifically.  So I guess what I needed was to really know that God isn’t on the hook for my infertility.  That God isn’t the author of evil.  ((Which of course I knew mentally, but emotionally was quite concerned about.))  I just really hope that information helps someone out there, because if you’re anything like me you struggle with this.

I also went through bargaining/hypochondriac phase, which I still feel is lingering about.  There’s some kind of horror that grips you when you realize that there could be some other problem you have that hasn’t been diagnosed.  You feel so out-of-control, and you just want some peace of mind.  You just want someone to look at you and say that, NO, there is nothing else wrong with you.  But that can probably never be accomplished.

I would really like to get to the acceptance phase.  All I need to accomplish this I think is to be able to stop crying at every church/small group gathering, and to be able to participate in a community again.  I’m so ready to move on to this phase.  Any advice would be quite welcome.

“…the Lord had declared that ‘everything that he had made…was exceedingly good’ (Genesis 1:31).  Whence, then comes this wickedness to man, that he should fall away from his God? Lest we should think it comes from creation, God had put His stamp of approval on what had come forth from himself.  By his own evil intention, then, man corrupted the pure nature he had received from the Lord; and by his fall drew all his posterity with him into destruction.  Accordingly, we should contemplate the evident cause of condemnation in the corrupt nature of humanity–which is closer to us–rather than seek a hidden and utterly incomprehensible cause in God’s predestination.” John Calvin, Institutes

Leaving Peace & Follicles

I feel strangely numb.  After two weeks of hormone-intensive drugs I feel…quiet.  As though somehow the hormones created a feedback loop with my inner turmoil. However, now that the turmoil is gone, there is no more feedback.

Tomorrow we have our first IUI.  I have three nice follicles; two on the left and one on the right.  We still don’t know if the right fallopian tube is working (probably not since it didn’t show on the HSG test), so we are just betting on the two left follicles.

But I can’t seem to bring myself to get excited about any of it.  I can’t get my hopes up.  Because I know that if it succeeds, that’s God’s plan.  And if it fails, that’s God’s plan.  And if it succeeds, but then I miscarry, that’s God’s plan.  And if it succeeds but then my child dies at birth, that’s God’s plan.  As you can imagine, this train of thought could go on and on…

Somehow my soul has come to accept this as truth, but at the cost of my heart.  I can no longer be excited, because I don’t know what to be happy for.  I don’t know how to be without a wish.  So, I am numb.  Maybe numb is the wrong word.  Could this be peace?  I’m not sure; it’s not especially enjoyable.  It’s more like resignation.  Is that peace?

But as my emotions have quieted I can actually stop to enjoy this journey, even though I don’t know where it will lead.  This abatement of extreme emotion has brought an appreciation for the mundane facets of this infertility journey:  quiet conversations with my husband that are so much closer than before, comforting him in his grief and anxiety, planning a lovely Valentine’s getaway after our IUI in the morning, intimacy with friends who want to share the journey with me, my furbaby pressing close to me every time he senses my mood might be shifting to the dark side, energy and weight loss from our pro-pregnancy Paleo lifestyle change, allowing my husband to administer an Ovidrel shot to me while I held a pillow over my head, and so much more…

I’m not sure that this is peace yet.  Perhaps it is the beginning of peace.  There seems to be a shadow of foreboding hanging over it all…

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”  John 14:27

God, thank you for whatever this is–peace or numbness, or whatever.  Maybe it’s strength.  Maybe it’s shock, or denial, or depression masked as apathy.  I’m not sure what it is.  Thank you for what seems like peace.  Would it be ungrateful of me to also ask for joy?  Could you help me to feel joyful in this world where I have no control or safety?

For now, this quiet is good and I am thankful.  Please consider my request though, Lord.  I could do so much with joy again.  No matter what I’m going to keep walking my path until you turn me aside to another.  Please be faithful to me. Please don’t forget me.  Please show Yourself to be the God I know You to be.

 

Made Perfect in Weakness

I couldn’t stop sobbing.  On the kitchen floor.  Although, some might say it was more like howling.  Whatever it was, it wasn’t very pretty.  It wasn’t something you brag about to your friends, or even admit to people around you.  It was dark, despairing, terror-filled sobbing.  My husband was too upset about all of this to even comfort me; he begged me to stop crying.

What started it?  My search for a reason.  Why am I infertile?  Why are my ovaries failing prematurely?  What’s wrong with me?  Is there some other terrible illness that is going to inflict itself upon me?

I searched the internet and came up with two possible answers:  thyroid autoimmune disorders (like Hashimoto’s disease) or a fragile X genetic premutation (linked with autism, POF, and a debilitating elderly disease).  Why was this so terrifying to me?  Because my mother has Hashimoto’s and my brother has autism.

My doctor told me we should definitely test for both things.  Somehow his validation of my internet search results made me more terrified.  The thoughts raced around in my head without pause.  I was being tortured by them.

I was also on letrozole–a medication to help me ovulate in preparation for my upcoming IUI.  I would like to blame the medication for my hours of horror-ridden sobbing, but I’m not sure it’s that simple.  I’m not sure I can.  They were MY thoughts.

I feel like I’m at the end.  Like any sort of terrible thing could happen to me, and it would be perfectly expected, perfectly allowable.  The truth is that I have absolutely no control over any of it.  I am completely nothing and completely weak and completely broken.  I walk around in a daze trying to remember what it felt like to be me.  I can’t remember anymore.  But I know that my strength is gone,  I’m just going through the motions.

I lost my voice from the sobbing.  I can’t sing.  I can’t even cry out anymore.  My throat is swollen and painful.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  II Corinthians 12:9

God–I am so shamefully weak and destroyed that this is your chance to show off–this is your chance to show up with your perfect strength.  I am nothing.  Please, please, please, please, please…I don’t know what to ask for, but I pray that you would fulfill your promises to me.  Don’t leave me here.  Please take me somewhere better.

Please mend my spirit and give me the strength and joy to glorify you.  Because I don’t have it on my own.