Sunday, March 22, 2015

Me. Me. Me

Some things have happened in the past few months that put me in a selfish space. Wait. That makes me sound like a passive bystander.  The past month I have chosen to be selfish, cranky, and distant. I have wallowed in my pain, my comparisons, my unfulfilled wants. I embraced it. Reveled in it. Sank deeper into a sanctimonious stew of selfish sin.

I have been mean to my husband and short with my son. Jealousy, bitterness, greed, anger, and resentment have been my good friends. The further I sank, the easier it was to add self loathing and guilt. I'm awful.

You see, I am impatient and frustrated. I thought by now God would have done something to show me what this is all about. I thought I would know the plan, but my version of the plan feels impossible. I feel old, and ill and worthless. I wonder when my husband will wish for a wife whose reproductive system works, or when my son will blame me for his lack of siblings. This is not what I want.

People are beginning to tire of me, of listening to my struggles or my hopes. At least that is my paranoid perspective.I don't want to be the weird lady who we feel bad for, yet how can I be anyone else? I have wrapped myself up in my feelings. Held on to rage, sadness, disappointment, depression and shame. I am so ashamed. Infertility feels shameful, choosing to deliver your child and ending his life feels shameful, being sad still feels shameful.

I wrap myself up and around this because I am embarrassed and afraid. This broken, hurting, lost and tired woman is not who I planned to be. Yes, I see a counselor. Yes, I am seeking medical care, yes I know lots of women lose babies. Yes I know almost a year has passed. Yes, I thought I would be much better by now too. Yes, I thought we would be pregnant again. Yes, I thought another child would come. Yes, I am almost 37. Yes. Yes. Yes.

I get angry. I ask God why this is happening, and when a clear answer doesn't come I get angrier. Everyday I am at the foot of the cross crying out. Everyday God takes me to Joseph rotting in prison, Sarah laughing at His promise, David facing Goliath, Paul in chains, Stephen stoned, and back to Christ on the cross. Everyday I tell God I got it and plan to not be selfish, bitter and angry. Lately, I have failed everyday.

Everyday I am coming back with the same cry and every day He is holding me again. Perseverance develops character and character develops hope. Romans 5:4. The past few days the pain is less. I can make it further. See others besides me. I have no answers. I am frustrated. I am struggling. All I have is obedience, so each day I am back at the Cross crying again.

Maybe faith isn't being perfect, or getting it right? This selfish journey is part of the plan, and I may never know why or how. I am starting to believe that just trying is a big part of this. Admitting I need God in all of it and learning to be content when I don't want to be. God is slowly unwrapping me, helping me make small changes. Today, I was bitter, but I caught myself. Tomorrow I begin again. Thank God for His all encompassing patience, forgiveness, and love.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Faith expressed through love

The only thing that counts is faith expressed through love Galatians 5:6

My son is singing. In his sleepy sweet voice he is crooning "grown ups come back". He has an unbreakable faith that those he loves come back to him. Mom,Dad, Nanny, Grandma and Grandpa, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Hudson, Brett the cat. These people love him, therefore they will come back. I am in awe, and finally get the goal of child like faith.

I never believed people came back. I was distraught to see them leave and sure they wouldn't return. I lived in constant terror of losing my family and being alone. The roots of my anxiety disorder are pretty clear. I still live two minutes from my Mom and see her almost everyday. I still get anxious when we travel apart from each other.

This fear has impacted my faith. If you believe you will be abandoned, you will always be looking for the "good enough" balance. I did this great thing, so they will stay, but I also was bad so they will leave. You need the right balance to ensure security. Don't mess up or bad thing will happen and you will be alone and worthless.

I learned this as the daughter and step-daughter of two emotionally abusive fathers. They both gave and took love based on inconsistent and petty whims. They both used their words to hurt and manipulate. They used anger to control, and they both left. At 16, I determined that I couldn't balance the scale for a God whose love would only turn out to mirror my fathers. I wasn't worth loving.

I was a failure. An ugly failure. An ugly, fat, failure. I couldn't figure out what I needed to do to earn the love I wanted. Then I married a man who knew my worst secrets and loved me in spite of them. I begin to wonder if I knew anything.

I spent the beginning of my marriage waiting for him to leave. Waiting to tip the balance, waiting to be proven unlovable. He told me he wasn't leaving. He worked through the rough patches, held me while I cried, he had faith in us and he expressed it by continuing to love me when I didn't deserve it.

There is no "good enough " balance. All that matters is faith expressed through love. My husbands love impacted my faith. If I believed that God brought me Justin, then I had to believe He could offer me the same love.

I had to come to the Cross with the same faith my son carries everyday. Jesus was always there for me because He loves me. His love makes my faith possible, and that faith grows when I allow the Spirit to teach me to love.

A girl so like me returned to my life a day after I asked God to give me someone to share His love with. She is struggling to fight demons and be good enough. Unlike my son, her faith in those who should love her was shattered a long time ago. She lies, and runs, and manipulates. She cries, and begs for help, and I have a longing to love her. A fierce desire to protect her. She isn't my child, and the help I offer is small, but I love her. I have no scale. I can only offer love.

Of course I feel the same love for my son, but that love was born with him. This love came to me in an assurance of faith. This is Jesus using me to show how big His heart is. This is faith expressed through love. I am not good enough to love like this on my own. Scarred hands softly make my heart bigger and through that my faith grows. Loving this child is a gift.

I am not an exceptionally good or loving person. Anyone can have this love. Anyone can feel this joy. Anyone can be this hopeful. Anyone can revel in this faith. Ask for it. You don't need anything else. Jesus will do the rest. Your faith will grow when you accept His love. It will explode when you share it. No scales. No good enough. Just faith expressed through love.

Thursday, March 5, 2015


At what point do you break free? How do you you keep believing your pain will wnd and that all you are going through will be for the glory of God? My body is my prison. For almost a decade I have fought it. The constant struggle to get pregnant, lose weight, take a drug, have a procedure, workout but actually gain weight, a new drug, fertility meds, acupuncture,a miracle, no milk, non stop focus on getting milk, failing to feed my child, back to the weight struggle, infertility, surprise miracle two, exhaustion, illness, anemia, ANCEPHALY, baby kicks that disappear, too much unneeded milk, exhaustion, anxiety, exhaustion, anemia, cysts, exhaustion, precancerous nose, biopsy, precancerous face, menopause? Oh, biochemical pregnancy, acupuncture, trying to lose weight, hormones to balance your crazy, has made me hate my body.

I am trapped in it. It has failed me. I hate it. White hot, fierce, why don't you work. Hatred. My body's inability to meet its main biological imperative forms the chains that way my down. I keep expecting them to be miraculously removed, but the past month they have only gotten heavier.

Paul died after years of imprisonment. Peter too. Joseph went from slavery to prison, had hope of release and still waited two years for freedom. How did they do it? What staved off bitterness and self pity? These guys understood that suffering was nothing when compared to the love they were offered.

They still hurt. Paul complained of a pain,Peter was tortured, Joseph languished in prison for a decade. He had to bathe and shave to see Pharaoh. Their faith didn't grow because they overcame their prison. It grew because they submitted to their imprisonment and still chose to say, "you will not mie. Your plan not mine". Freedom came in death for Paul and Peter and a glorious promotion for Joseph.

I hate my body, yet God loves it. I want to give up, but God holds my hand. I want to fight, but He tells me peace. My miracle fix will most likely not come. I really physically and financially can't do more than one last round of treatments, and letting go of a baby leaves me with cysts and hormonal weight and a decision of how to proceed.

I have fought my prison,but I am learning to submit. To show my body love with healthy food and workouts, to use sunscreen and do yoga. My body sucks but my faith is growing stronger each day.