“Do not fear what this day, or any day, may bring your way. Concentrate on trusting Me and on doing what needs to be done. Relax in my Sovereignty; remembering that I go before you, as well as with you, into each day. Fear no evil, for I can bring good out of every situation you will ever encounter.”
– Sarah Young, Jesus Calling –
TTC can easily spin out of control into an all consuming state. And in some regards, there are limited options to keep it in check. Everything matters when you are trying to have a child. Each day (known as cycle days, ex: cd7 is cycle day 7) has an “agenda” to it. Everything in the month revolves around what specific day it is and then has a steady list of do’s and don’ts around that particular day. It can make the days seem short but the month seem long. It even comes down to the specific time of the day to do something like taking a pill or peeing on a stick. Minutes can tick by as you wait for the next “thing” to do. So even if you don’t want your life and world to revolve around trying to have a child (mental breaks needed!), it feels like you have no choice.
We have invited you into our journey this month. And after reading texts and messages, its clear that you have felt the ups and downs with us, the bumps and hopes and disappointments. You have gotten a glimpse into our world (or are living in this world yourself) – but this world for us has been circulating for 30-40 months. Granted, we haven’t been on highly monitored medical treatment cycles that whole time, that has steadily been off and on but still, this is the world we have become used to. The highs and lows, which still daily affect our hearts, are more of a “norm” now than you would imagine. It’s very easy to become more focused on the process than the outcome. I think that the day I finally get a positive pregnancy test will be the day I probably also faint in the bathroom. It will be such a pleasingly shocking moment that I can’t anticipate what that will look like. (But I certainly can’t wait to experience it!)
We all have days and moments in our life that can bring fear or uneasiness into our lives. For me one day it might be what an ultrasound has to say, or a pregnancy test, or a doctor. For you it might be a meeting with your boss or waiting for the phone to ring to tell you if you got the job or not – it might be sending your kids on the bus for the first time or waiting for test results on whether or not you have cancer. There are those moments where our worlds temporarily stop and uneasiness creeps in. Fear takes over. Doubt about God’s Sovereignty kicks in. And then all you are left with is a big mess in your heart, head, and likely, you have a stomachache too. (Well, at least I do.) If there is anything I have learned from this, it’s that perspective matters. “Rejoice! Celebrate all the good things that God, your God, has given to you and your family.” (Deut. 26:11). Changing our perspective and changing the mourning to celebration, the despair to delight, the discouragement to encouragement, the disappointment to enjoyment. It’s not easy, it has to be intentional. Know that you are waiting for something special. His time, not ours. I read the other day “Consider the work God wants to do in and through this experience. God never promises to remove us from our struggles, but He does promise to change our perspective.” Powerful stuff!
This brings me though to the idea and challenge for authenticity. One repeated message I get is one thanking me for my authenticity, vulnerability and openness. It has made me realize what a lack of that we have created in our lives and relationships today. No one wants to admit their faults or that their lives could be anything less than perfect. In the Facebook world of “OMG, LOOVEEEEE MY HUBBY EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY!” and “Here is the pictures of my perfect child who is always perfectly dressed and only smiles!”, we forget that each of us has issues, hard times, frustrations and temptations. Why the heck does it take so much for us to share these with each other? How lonely it would be if you were struggling with depression alone, smiling on the outside but crumbling on the inside, or wondering during your first year of marriage if you made a mistake? Granted, I am walking you through infertility struggles of mine on a very public forum but my prayers are that you have a private forum to take your Thing to. The “less than perfect” things. The temptation that you are struggling with – are you talking to a close trusted friend about that? The marriage woes that you need to process – are you sharing? Being vulnerable certainly isn’t easy, but it is one of the most rewarding things I have experienced. How else can we genuinely lift one another up in prayers if we have no idea what is really going on in their life? Too many of us are concerned with what others will think or say, or if we will be judged. Examine yourself today – are you someone a friend can trust? And if so, ask the follow up question to “how are you” – “how are you really?”. We need to start taking down some of these perfect life walls and circle around each other. Life’s too hard to go at it alone. I think insecurities are a big reason we don’t want to share the less than perfect moments. Steven Furtick says we struggle with this because “We compare our behind-the-scenes with other people’s highlight reel.” (aka Facebook Newsfeed, right?) How true is that? We have to step back and share a life that is not only “highlight reels”. We need to live the life of outtakes with one another.
My promise to you, my readers, is to continue to be raw and authentic. I hope you have gotten to know me well enough by now that when there is a tough day, I am gonna share that. And when there is a good day, I am going to share that. It’s challenging and I am the first to say vulnerability isn’t easy. But the encouragement that comes from it – priceless. And the people who sigh a sigh of relief when they realize someone too is in their shoes, that’s creating bridges and developing authentic relationships.
So now, an update – I can share the great news that the little follie didn’t turn into a cyst – YEAH! (Your prayers are at work!) While the egg is a big ol’ ripe one, there is certainly a God-given shot at this month being our month. But if not, we can go into next month knowing that we have finally found a medication that works for us. And next months plans include a few more bells and whistles to give us the highest percentage that cycle can offer (20%!). Insurance has proven to be a pain which is why factors this month (having a diagnostic cycle vs a treatment cycle) has slowed some things down. However, we are praying expectantly and continue to ask you to do the same.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I think you should know that I get really frustrated whenever I am reminded that Snooki is pregnant. (WHY!? NOT FAIR! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?! SHE DOESN’T DESERVE A BABY!) I may have hidden a magazine with that on its cover at Target once so I didn’t have to look at it in line. I also managed to eat 3 Dilly Bars in one day – my only “dinner” last Wednesday. (Don’t judge!). I bite my fingernails even though I hate that I do that. I get insanely frustrated with Josh’s sock lint laying around the floors. (WHERE DOES IT COME FROM IN SUCH INSANE QUANTITIES!?!?!) I think I actually might believe that my dog Cali is going to be around forever. I struggle to keep my closet clean. I take and upload too many pictures on Facebook and I am certain some of my “friends” have hidden me from their feed. (Sorry!). But at the end of the day, I’m human. And all of that is okay.