Saturday, January 2, 2016

Then and Now

Then
New Year's Eve 2011:
I'm in a new, sparkly gold dress and shoes I can barely walk in headed downtown with my ever so handsome husband to celebrate the best year of my life to date- 2011- the year we got married.

Here's the thing no one knew that night: Not only was I celebrating my brand new marriage, I was secretly praying for the rest of 2011 to hurry up and get over with because 2012 was the year I JUST KNEW I would become a mother...

The day after I got married I asked my husband if we could throw the birth control pills out the window. I was so ready to start a family with this beautiful, amazing man that I could hardly wait to be pregnant. I suggested that we try for a honeymoon baby. My very wise husband had other ideas. He told me he wanted to share married life alone with me for a year before we brought a baby into the mix. He said we would never have that special time as husband and wife back and that we needed to get to know one another in these new roles first. So, with disappointment in my voice, I agreed. One year. On April 1st 2012 I was disposing of all birth control and we were going to begin the rest of our lives (finally) as a family.

So the countdown began and became very real that last evening of 2011. I remember I even secretly cried at midnight- happy, excited tears. Tomorrow, I was starting the first year of my life as a mom. I was beaming with all the was ahead.

Now
New Years Eve 2015:
I am in a longer, more sensible blue dress and super pretty heels I can walk in without pain. I am downtown in a crowed club with a dozen of my favorite people, including, of course, my ever so handsome husband.

I find myself sometime after midnight having a conversation with a friend-of-a-friend. A girl I just met earlier. Her and her husband have been trying to have a baby for awhile and it's not working. She doesn't go into detail, and I don't ask. I've learned it doesn't matter really, anyway. She wants to know about adoption. Turns out her husband is adopted and loves the idea since his childhood was so special. Naturally, I am overcome with excitement for her and I jump in with all things adoption. She listens with light in her eyes and a big, genuine smile on her face. I know that smile, I know that light- she's ready. She's not just ready to be pregnant or hold onto hope that another fertility treatment may succeed. She's ready to be a mother no matter the mounds of paperwork ahead, no matter the months of waiting in silence, no matter the DNA.

There were years that I lost that light in my eyes. YEARS. I became very good at hiding my sadness. I became an expert at lying to people about my struggles and ultimately lying to myself. I honestly thought if I could just try harder, drink less coffee, exercise more, exercise less, stop drinking wine, drink more wine to relax, go on vacation, get acupuncture everyday, drink more almond milk, take my temperature daily, test my ovulation, see every specialist, test my blood, and TAKE ALL THE SUPPLEMENTS that I would finally become pregnant. Talk about losing your mind.

In the midst of my controlling and (let's be honest) kinda crazy behavior, there was one very important thing I wasn't doing. I wasn't asking God what He wanted for my life. Don't get me wrong- I was praying, BOY WAS I PRAYING! But my prayers had tunnel vision: that we become pregnant. I wasn't asking God what He wanted for our lives as parents. I was assuming I knew what He wanted and if I tried harder, He would grant me that wish.

So here's the thing I've learned the hard way- this is not how our loving God works. He is not a magical, wish-granting genie. He is not waiting for me to say or do the right thing and then BAM give me what I've asked for. God wants our heart, all of our heart and He wants us to trust that He has the best in store for us. Nothing but the best. Once I shifted my prayers and began asking God to use me, my life drastically changed and slowly the light entered back in.

Wow, yeah, so- I could have become pregnant that year of 2012 and we could have moved on with our lives like many do. We would have been happy. We would have had some struggles but ultimately, we would have made it through.

But guess what happened instead?

Instead, I've had FIVE amazing years getting to know my husband better and we've made the best memories, just him and I, that I will cherish forever. God gave me teenagers to love while I waiting for a baby (His sense of humor mixed with always knowing what I need) and I've had the joy of creating art with them on stage, giggling over their romances, and holding their hands while we pray (and sometimes weep) for their broken hearts and scary futures. And God brought me face-to-face with Him when I was at my darkest. I have been granted the best gift of all: coming closer to Jesus.

I can only describe it as being saved from drowning. I was deep, deep in sorrow, my heart was severely broken, and it was getting harder to breathe. In that moment God found a way to reach His mighty hand down in that place, look me square in the face, and LIFT me out. Once I was lifted, I was also given the gift of courage to share my story. I've never been brave enough before, I was always ashamed of our infertility, but suddenly, and with new passion that wasn't of me, I wanted everyone to know everything I'd been through.

That was The Plan. 
To share. To be brutally honest. To be translucent. For me, for you, and for all who come after me and need it. The Plan doesn't consist of just becoming a mother, that's just a part of the The Plan. God's Plan is SO MUCH MORE BEAUTIFUL AND GRATIFYING than that. The Plan was and continues to be about coming closer to God and giving my life over to Him, no matter  the *fill in the blank.*

So this year I have no other wish than to seek Jesus and wait on His perfect timing. Am I wanting a baby? Yes. Do I sometimes get impatient. YES. Is it possible we will go another year without having a child? Yes. Am I ready to fight the fight and trust that God will not let me drown, no matter what? YES LORD YES! LET'S DO THIS, 2016!