How is it already August?

Hi sweet friends! Thank you all for your support and love on my post the other day.  I just need to say that no one did anything to hurt me, I was just feeling, I don’t know, left out or left behind because I don’t travel on the path of seeking medical treatment.  I just get worried sometimes that people will think I have no reason to be sad or express my feelings because I’m not doing anything to change my outcome.  I’m not sure if I was able to express that in writing, but I just want you all to know that I care about you all very much and this blog has been therapeutic to me as well as inspiring.

Although I never would have chosen this road to walk on, I’m thankful to have met some of the most incredible, kind women through this community.  After writing again the other day after a mini-break from blogging and reading all of your thoughtful comments, it brought so much needed healing to my heart and reminded me that yes, this is a safe place to share my heart, and you all care about me too.  So thank you for that!

I would also like to add a little disclaimer: I never, ever want to come off as judgmental about beliefs or decisions that we make in our trying to conceive journey.  In the same way that I hope everyone will support me and not judge my decisions to not use medical resources, I don’t ever want to judge anyone for getting help from a doctor.

I was thinking that for a Christian that seeks medical treatment, they would probably struggle with feeling judged over their decisions to get medical help from doctors.  And there is probably a lot of that coming from outside of the infertility community, which means that it is all the more important for those of us in this community to support one another, even if we travel different paths.

My decisions not to use fertility medications at this point in my life have very little to do with my faith and more to do with what I’m comfortable with.  Although we have been on this TTC journey for over three years, we are still very young.  We were married when we were 23 and we are just now 27.  When we are older, we might sit down and talk about our options if we still don’t have a child and pray about what the Lord would have us do in regards to getting help from a doctor.  But in the mean time, I feel very comfortable trusting God to protect me during this time and believing that in His perfect time, He can heal me.

In the bible, the apostle Paul discusses the freedom that we have in Christ and I’d like to share a verse that I think goes along with the different decisions we all make in our infertility journey:

“Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.  One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.  The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him.  Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls.  And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike.  Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.  He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord.  He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.  For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone.  If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord.  So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.  You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.  It is written, “As surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.” So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.” Romans 14:1-13

Do you see in the above how it actually calls the person who restricts themselves from doing certain things, as the one with weaker faith?  Of course my pride takes a blow when I read things like that, but I will admit that I often place a lot of restrictions on myself.  Now, I will add that the bible shows us how to live our lives.  There are certain things that we should not do, plain and simple.  But sometimes, humans have a way of adding TO the bible, putting restrictions on others, where God has not given such instruction.

In the case of seeking fertility treatment and help from a doctor, this is something that a Christian will have to pray for God’s guidance, seek biblical counsel from wise Christian family and mentors, and pastors.  The bible just doesn’t talk about IVF, embryos, and frozen sperm LOL! It’s kind of one of those things that is a decision that you, your husband, and the Lord can all work through and see where he leads you.

So my husband and I have prayed and talked about this many, many times, and as it stands, God is not leading us in that direction.

But He might lead you in that direction.  My brother and his wife used fertility medication to bring my beautiful niece, who is a miracle, into the world! She is a blessing from God!

We all will travel different paths, and our faith is not going to look the same – praise the Lord for that or we would be boring!  The most important thing is that you are praying and talking to God about what He would have you do with your life and being willing to follow His lead, even if it scares you.

I know I kind of rambled on for a bit about that, but I just had to get that off my chest.  If I’m ever talking about my decision not to use medical treatment, just know, from the above verses, that I do not look down on you for your own course of treatment and I support you and pray that God will give you peace in the journey.

Now, onto a different topic! What have I been up to lately?

The new job is awesome – I’m just loving pet sitting.  I’ve also been trying out a lot of new recipes lately and I can’t wait to share them with you all. I have a mix of healthy dishes and “yum in the tum” cheat night dishes.  Today is weigh in Wednesday but this week was a total bust, so I’ll be back next week with a video.

On Saturday, I shared my testimony at the homeless ministry.  It went well, but everyone could tell I was nervous.  Even when I’m feeling confident, my body still shakes from the adrenaline.  It gets easier the more and more teaching and presenting I do at church and different ministries.  Even though I was nervous, I really enjoyed sharing my testimony and I hope I’ll have more opportunities to share other testimonies from my journey since becoming a Christian.

After the ministry was over, we head over to my nephew’s birthday party.  I didn’t want to go, but somehow I managed to pull myself together and participate.  I’m not sure how I’ve done this now for 4 years.  I remember his first birthday party was about two months after my first miscarriage.  I don’t really remember it all that much.  But the next year for his 2nd birthday, we had then had 3 miscarriages and were on a TTC break because I was a depressed disaster.  For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to not only attend the party, but to make the cake and cupcakes.  See the awesome Elmo cupcakes and smash cake below:

418616_10100390305496795_363387807_n

599571_10100390305955875_1815448859_n

376662_10100390306399985_1481309580_n

 

I was pretty excited about showing off the cupcakes that year, but then when it came time to sing happy birthday and my sister-in-law held my nephew and smiled at him while singing happy birthday, it hit me that I would not get to do that with my own babies.  I went home after the party and cried my eyes out for hours.  The next year for his 3rd birthday (last year) I wasn’t planning to attend at all, but then my mother-in-law insisted we all go and she planned a day trip to Sea World.  I pretty much had a bad attitude the entire day and we ended up having to leave early because Jon’s Aunt Shirley got sick.  Me and Jonathan ended up fighting over the entire party last year, and I’m not even sure why.

Well this year, we have had a LOT of family drama.  I can’t give all the juicy details because it’s not my business to discuss, but it has been really difficult participating in family events.  Jonathan’s sister is getting a divorce and now has a new guy in her life. She is also much younger than us and had her son when she was 19, so I’ve often struggled with being upset that she was a teen mom, while we have struggled to have children.  It’s the ugly part of me that God is working on.  Anyways, we met him a few weeks ago and she introduced him as, “Matthew.”  I thought his name was Matt and I didn’t think anything about it.  But then when she said Matthew, my heart started pumping and I thought I was going to get sick.

That’s the name of our second baby.

Matthew

Last week when I started to think about the upcoming birthday party and another year passing without a baby, I felt angry.  And then I thought of this new guy named Matthew being there and I started crying and begging God to deal with this situation.

I’m not sure how or why, but the day of the party I decided to just go for it and try to be as positive as possible.  The party ended up being nice and I spent most of the time taking with Jonathan’s Uncle John and Uncle Robert.  They live in Dallas so we don’t often get to see them, but I always enjoy when they come to visit! I was really thankful they were there for the party – it was definitely much easier with them to talk to.

During the party though, we pretty much avoided Matthew and didn’t go out of our way to be polite (for reasons beyond just him sharing our child’s name that I can’t talk about on this blog).  Later that night, Jonathan’s sister called him on the phone asking why we didn’t talk to Matt.  Jonathan made a few excuses but she kept on going at it, making him mad, and asked another time, “Why didn’t you talk to Matthew?” That’s when Jonathan snapped and said, “When you stop calling him Matthew, then I’ll talk to him!” She said, “Why can’t I call him Matthew?” And Jonathan said, “That’s our dead baby’s name!” Of course she started crying and felt terrible for not remembering and then I felt bad that she was crying.  Afterwards Jonathan texted her and apologized for both of us for not being polite.  He said that most of the time, our family doesn’t think about us and what we are going through and it makes it more difficult, but that we would try to not take that out on Matt.  He also reminded her that we aren’t perfect and we struggle to be Christ-like, but that we would like to spend more time together and get to know Matt.

Although I hate dealing with that much confrontation, I’m glad that ultimately God’s hand was involved and He’s working to heal our family.  I think it’s absolutely still going to be a struggle for me, but I’m going to try with everything in me to be mature, kind, and loving regardless of how I feel.

On Sunday, I woke up excited to go to church and was really looking forward to lifegroup.  But then like 5 different people had newborns with them and one of the girls in the class was talking about an upcoming social event and going on and on about childcare.  It felt like she would never shut up! And she is pregnant and was standing directly in front of me which annoyed me even worse.  And then she tried to hand the sign up page to Jonathan and said, “I’ll start with you guys first” and I kind of said with a bit of an attitude, “We don’t have children.”  Oops! I’m not really sure why I would react coldly – hopefully she couldn’t tell, but Jonathan did say I sounded a bit mean.  I was just so irritated with this girl.  She struggled with infertility and then had one child and then I remember reading last year in the prayer and praise email that she was struggling with secondary infertility and was having a hard time.  And here she was, standing in front of me, pregnant and just a few weeks from delivery, going on and on about childcare, and I wanted to scream, “Don’t you even remember what infertility is like?!?” How can you be talking like this as if there is not anyone in this class that might be in a lot of pain because of the same struggle you used to have? I’m pretty sure all of my feelings were completely not logical, but whatever.  Hopefully the next time I see her I can apologize and explain that I was just having a bad day.

I was totally happy with life until I walked into lifegroup that morning and saw all the newborns and parents and pregnant bellies.  Comparison is definitely the thief of joy!

I ended up trying not to cry all during worship service that morning and spent the rest of the day dealing with my ugly feelings.  And God’s grace comforts me the most in my weakness and gives me strength to move beyond my feelings.  Thankfully I felt better by Monday morning.

Well, yesterday, my period still had not started, 6 days late – the longest I’ve ever not had a period (unless I was pregnant of course) so I thought, “I think I’ll go buy some more pregnancy tests.  I’m thinking I might be pregnant!”  I was getting kind of excited and hopeful.

I got the First Response kind that has one test with the one or two lines and a second digital test that displays yes or no.

I don’t like digitals very much, so I took the line test.  Nothing! I tried to imagine the second line being there and twisted it every which way, but I had to face reality.  I took the digital test just to reassure myself and it of course said, “No.”  Ugh! For a post that will make you laugh and feel a lot better after taking a digital test, go check out Elisha’s post from Waiting for Baby Bird, “Did you just tell me no?”

I had been feeling really bummed out about getting negative tests all week long, but yesterday God was loving me and giving me confirmations and messages of hope that He is working in my life and this journey will not be wasted.  The first thing was actually another post from Elisha at Waiting for Baby Bird.  It was the first thing that popped up on my Facebook newsfeed yesterday morning and it was a video testimony.  Tears just filled my eyes watching that testimony and I thought, “What God has done for them, He will do for me too!” Go check out that video here.

A little while later, I took the tests and received the negative results.  Instead of being upset about the negatives, I thanked God and believed that in His perfect time, this will happen for me.  And I was thankful that he answered one prayer this month: my husband and I prayed that if it’s not our time to have a child, He would protect me and keep me from getting pregnant and miscarrying again. Even though it’s still painful to deal with negative cycles when you get so hopeful, it’s a lot better than getting pregnant and losing a baby.

Although it’s still not easy waiting and wishing this journey would end soon, I’m thankful that we can put our trust in God and try to conceive without fear.  For a long time, we were on a TTC break because of our fear that we would get pregnant only to miscarry.  But now, I feel like I can trust God and believe that He is able to protect me from ever experiencing that pain again.  I’m just going to go ahead and declare here, in Jesus name’, I will not miscarry again. I believe that with all of my heart.

After taking the tests, I went to go get some food because I was starving and had missed breakfast.  Ooops! On the way to the store, the song, “Healing Begins” by Tenth Avenue North came on.  Here’s the lyrics from the song:

“So you thought you had to keep this up
All the work that you do
So we think that you’re good
And you can’t believe it’s not enough
All the walls you built up
Are just glass on the outside

So let ‘em fall down
There’s freedom waiting in the sound
When you let your walls fall to the ground
We’re here now

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you’re broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark

Afraid to let your secrets out
Everything that you hide
Can come crashing through the door now
But too scared to face all your fear
So you hide but you find
That the shame won’t disappear

So let it fall down
There’s freedom waiting in the sound
When you let your walls fall to the ground
We’re here now
We’re here now, oh

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you’re broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark

Sparks will fly as grace collides
With the dark inside of us
So please don’t fight
This coming light
Let this blood come cover us
His blood can cover us

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you’re broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark”

In my post from the other day, I was talking about how in my ugliest moments, in the darkest hours of my life when I am completely unworthy and unlovable, Jesus’ grace abounds the most and He meets me to fix what has been broken.

Infertility can bring out the ugly side of us – a side that we never knew existed.  The pain that my infertility has caused, the feelings that it has brought out, the thoughts I’ve had, the jealousy, the hatred, the dark feelings, have only made me realize that much more how much I need the cross and how thankful I am that Jesus paid the price for me so that I can live.

This has been a brutal journey.  There have been moments when I did not know if I could survive.  But God has been faithful through it all.  He has healed and redeemed parts of me that I didn’t believe were possible to fix.  There was even a time when I was so depressed and so unhappy that I wrote in my private journal, “Even if I have a rainbow baby, I don’t think I’ll ever feel happy again.”  But God has restored what has been taken from me.  My circumstances remain the same, and yet, I have so much joy.  There are still days when I cry and get upset.  Like on Sunday, when I felt really bad for myself and angry.  But I didn’t remain in that pain like I used to.  God has brought me to a place of healing where I’ve been able to understand that while I am sad and grieve, it is not without hope or joy, and it is not without His love and mercy flooding me with strength to endure this trial and to come out of the other side better than I went in.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

There is still a long road ahead of me and I still have much maturing and growing to do in Christ, but I’m thankful that in 3 years of this infertility journey, I can see His hand changing my heart and my faith, slowly but surely.  I’m not the same girl I was when I started this journey, I’m not even the same girl I was a year ago.  I’m Amber, under construction – my blog name in case you didn’t catch that ;-)

And I’m thankful that now I can look back at the worst moments of this journey and be amazed at what God has done in my heart and what He is still doing.  This song has become my anthem for my infertility journey:

He has been faithful through it all.  If you are new to your own infertility battle or are struggling in the midst of miscarriage, my heart pours out to you.  It will not be without pain and it will not be easy, but Jesus can give you strength when you think you have nothing left.  I promise that you will not always feel broken, you will not always hurt.  There will come a day when you will be healed again and will smile at all that God did.

Well, I think I rambled for too long and I’m terribly sorry for another life story in what should have been a short update.  This is why I need to blog more :-)

Love and prayers to you all,

Amber

 

10 thoughts on “How is it already August?

  1. There is so much to comment on in this post. hehe! First, the title totally caught my attention because I was just saying this to my husband yesterday! Secondly, your cupcakes look amazing! I bet that tasted just as good and thirdly…thanks for the shout out! Love ya girlie! xo

  2. i read every bit of it all too! And there is definitely a lot to comment on, for sure. :)

    1. I’m so glad the testimony went well and that you were able to share your heart. I know many were touched. It’s okay to be nervous, it shows you care. I shake like a leaf in situations like that too. I wish I had more control over my body! LOL
    2. I’m sorry about the birthday situation – I know that can be hard because I’ve been in those same situations and have not been proud of my attitude. It is just a difficult sitatuon to be in. Period. But the cupcakes and the cake looks AMAZING. You are so talented.
    3. I love your faith and that you share it here with us, that you are so open and honest. You are amazing and I’m choosing to believe with you – GOD IS GOING TO BLESS YOU and He’s going to use this journey that you’re on to bless others, as well. He’s already doing that.

    LOTS OF HUGS, my friend! Love ya!

  3. Great post hon. So honest and just perfect. I love how you referenced your blog name. Isn’t it true that we’re all under construction. Great reminder that we are all at different stages in this journey and what works for one may not be the right fit for another, and of course that’s always changing. Just keep having faith and keep looking to God. He won’t steer you wrong. Hugs girl.

    P.s. I just LOVE those Elmo cupcakes and cake. So adorable!

    • Thank you :-) The Elmo cupcakes were so much fun to make – I used funfetti cake mix for both the cupcakes and cake and everyone enjoyed looking at them and eating them too (this was back in 2012). I haven’t done much baking since becoming gluten free, but I’m looking forward to getting back into baking again – I’ll share recipes of course along the way

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s