Friday I start a new medication. It’s one I haven’t tried before and the thought of the unknown both excites me and makes me nervous. The exciting part is in knowing the while the previous medications haven’t worked, this is very different than those medications. And may work! The scary part is that it is a chemotherapy drug used in early cases of breast cancer and the side effects can be, well, annoying. I’ve been told to expect anything from hot flashes, nausea, excessive tiredness and headaches, to swelling, vomiting, and hair loss. Simply put, only God knows (literally) how my body will react and I am trusting that my limits are only pushed to a bearable amount.
The start of this new medication brings hope. But the more I think, the more I realize that I have to be certain that my hope is not in this drug and what it can bring me. My hope needs to be firmly cemented to the Lord and His plans. Jeremiah 29:11-13 promises that He will give me hope and His plans for our future is good. (“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”) In this journey, it is easy to trust in the doctor. What she says. What she promises. The encouragement she gives us hope! “10-20% conception rates!” she says “This is a medication that many have success with!” Our hearts climb the rollercoaster hill, excited and trusting that “This is it! The magical medication! The one we have been waiting for!” … and yet God still taps on our hearts, reminding us that only He is truly the one that our hearts should be waiting on. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1).
But here is what we can do this month – pray expectantly. Those who are TTC, don’t ever feel like your situation doesn’t qualify for expectant praying. So many people share with me that they have “only been trying XX months/years”. It doesn’t matter how long you have been trying, if it’s as long as we have or longer. Your every need is important to God. Starting asking Him to bless you with a child and expect it! And be bold in asking others to pray for you too. “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” (John 16:24). And when and if God doesn’t answer your prayers in the specific way in your specific timing, don’t give up hope that He is answering your prayers. “Everything is possible for you … yet I want Your will, not mine.” (Mark 14:36 NLT). I find persistent praying helps me resist the temptation to doubt Him. Again, actively taking the worry off my shoulders and placing it on His.
None of this is without saying that bad days don’t happen. Days where my prayers are relatively silent and I can merely sit in His presence. But I know he hears the silent cries of my heart and yours.
TTC has been teaching me the importance and need in letting others help me. Typically I am the helper, the encourager, the cooker, the supriser, the leader … not patting myself on my back, it’s just the role I find myself playing based on my strengths. But being in this vulnerable position has taught me that it’s okay to accept encouragement. (Honestly, feedback on this blog touches my heart in a way I can’t even articulate.) It’s okay to let someone cover for me on a work project because I am not feeling well. It’s okay for Josh to make dinner for me some nights (be jealous ladies, he makes killer grilled cheese and tomato soup.). It’s okay to burst into a huge grin when someone sends me mail to brighten my day. To say thank you when someone offers to buy me a cup of coffee or drops me off flowers. It’s easy for me to feel guilty in being taken care of. But some days I don’t have the strength to fight back – and I am more blessed than I can express. By pushing people away, I realize that I don’t give others the joy of giving and taking care of someone. I don’t allow others to be blessed for blessing me. It’s still an incredibly humbling thought and place to be, but that’s okay. I’m working on it.
Lastly, cravings are brutal. I have never been a pancake person in my life but now, all I do is think, dream, and talk about are pancakes. I am pretty sure I have never thought about a carb so much in my life – and that’s saying a lot from me. I am still not certain what that pancake fixation is all about, but in the meantime, I apologize to my friends and family for my obsessive attempts to negotiate lunch at the Original Pancake House and dinner at IHOP. And granted, I acknowledge that pancakes have nothing to do with the subject of this blog, but felt you should all know this – Pancakes. Are. Delicious. Enough said.
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
Romans 12:12 ESV