Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Another piece

I mentioned in a previous post about a book Kelly loaned me. I wanted to share a little of what today's chapter was about because it fits so perfectly with what I've been learning and sheds light on many of the problems I have right now. I confessed that my struggle with infertility has brought out some elements inside of me I am not proud of: anger, bitterness, resentment, even hate. I said "brought out" instead of "caused" because these things were already there; it merely took this situation and the people to shed light on them.

From Path to Sanity, by Dee Pennock

Your environment is given to maximize your discovery of what and who you are, to maximize your realization of your sin and need for God, to maximize your incentive to reach out to him and receive Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27).

Nobody can elicit anger in you if there is no anger in you to inflame--as we see from the saints who experienced abuse and martyrdom without any anger. All people can do is spark a passion we already have in us, like anger. You can't lose your temper unless it's there in you to be lost. All our saintly counselors tell us, to use the words of one: Many passions are hidden in our souls, but they are discovered only when the object or cause which arouses them appears (Hesychius of Jerusalem).

If we have persons in our environment who cause our inborn passions to flare up in an obvious way, it can be a blessing for us. This disturbance, like the angel's troubling of the water in the pool of Bethesda (Jn. 5:2-9), can send us into the pool of God's mercy for help. Without such trouble we might not have stepped in and been healed. Healing is the purpose of conditions that reveal our passions. The discipline and trouble of this life, says John of Damascus, were designed to enable us to cast aside the evil that was foreign and contrary to our nature.

If a sin is not yours, you can't repent and be healed of it. We can't be healed of someone else's sin, only of our own. [. . .] Listen to what the saints teach. They say that whenever you keep feeling bothered by someone, tempted to impatience or anger or revenge, it's not because of the sin in the other person. No, it's never because of the sin in others; it's always because of the sin in you.

If you get into the habit, every time someone else bothers you, of asking Lord Jesus Christ forgive me and show me my sin, you'll be quite surprised at the adjustments in yourself that can be made...You'll find that repentance always works, enlightenment always comes, and the circumstances are always changed.

Monday, September 27, 2010

It's been that long?

We have a doctor's appointment scheduled for next Monday, October 4th. On that day, it will have been exactly 14 months since we began going to this fertility clinic. Throughout that time, we mostly have seen the nurses and technicians, not the doctor. This appointment, then, will be a time to discuss with the doctor what he thinks is going on, now that we've been at this for over a year. I'm anxious to hear what he thinks, as well as anxious to get some blood test results. We won't be doing any treatments, but it will be good to hear if he thinks it's even worth our time and money to consider another IUI.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A puzzle

There are many thoughts rattling around in my mind, and I can't seem to piece them together to make one coherent idea. A few things have contributed to this:

1. Two weeks ago at Elevate, the message was on Luke 1, the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth and God's promise to them to have a son, whom we know is John. I love that passage and even wrote a post about it earlier in the year. I can hardly hear it or read it without crying because I think of their desperate plea for a child, and God's gracious response to them, a response that was nothing they would have ever expected. I know God wanted me to hear that message and be reminded of His faithfulness and goodness. But something else stood out to me: the pastor talked about letting our dreams and plans go so that we may be part of God's plan. He said that God's plan will happen regardless of our decision, but we may choose to be part of what He is doing and let go of what we think our life should look like. That was hard to hear, mostly because I'm not sure how it applies to me. How do I let go of my "plan" to have a baby without letting go of my desire? How do I pursue what God wants of me right now without putting aside my "pursuit" to fix my infertility?

2. This past weekend I attend a simulcast of Beth Moore. The topic was the "law of kindness" and based on Proverbs 31:26. It was a fantastic day, convicting and encouraging at the same time. She provided us of eight "tastes" of what the law of kindness looks like, what it is and what it isn't. There were two main points that grabbed me. First, kindness is not an action, it's a disposition. Kindness isn't about doing something "nice" for someone; kindness is part of our character because kindness is part of God's character. That brings me to the second point: our kindness (unlike God's) wears down when we do. We must continually be in communion with God to become a truly kind person. If we aren't, and if we begin to try to be kind all on our own, we will fail. We will begin to wear down, and our kindness will, as well. This is where we see all sorts of nasty things come out of us: anger, hatred, bitterness, resentment.

This is when I began to cringe. My struggle with infertility has worn me down more than anything over the past couple of years, and specifically over the past year. I find it the hardest to be kind toward someone who has not had to struggle or who is (as I perceive) insensitive toward me. I would be a liar if I said that the only emotion I have felt is sadness. I have felt anger, resentment, and bitterness. There are not many things in my life that have brought up this response in me, but this struggle has.

Part of me is grateful, then. I would not have known that those dark things lie in my soul if I did not have this struggle. God has used this to bring up this dirt and muck, and He is cleansing me. It is not easy, but I'm grateful for it. The other part of me, though, would rather those had stayed hidden. I just feel like I can't overcome them, and I feel defeated even before I begin.

3. Kelly gave me a book a while back called the Path to Sanity. I'm not very far into it, but already God is using it to speak to me. I'm not ready to go into much detail yet, but the main thing so far is I am recognizing that my soul is sick and needs a Healer, and for me, the sickness is most clearly seen with how I view God (and myself) in light of this struggle. In that sense, the book has been wonderful; however, every time I put it down, I feel exhausted and confused. I don't know if it's because there are a lot of new concepts in the book, or if there is a serious struggle going on inside of me. Either way, that too has contributed to where I am right now.

4. I have been officially a stay-at-homer for about a month and a half now, and I'm afraid this wasn't the fix-all I thought it would be! It has been great. I absolutely love being home. But I still have the problems I had last year, just maybe with a little more sleep and rest to go along with them. I still feel frustrated, I still feel loneliness, I still feel sadness, I still want to see our life complete with a family. And more than ever, I am concerned about my life, and specifically its future.

So, that's where I am, with about another 100 thoughts to go with these. It actually was quite helpful to try to write this out, even if I know I can't perfectly convey what's going on inside of me.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Decisions, for now at least

Robby and I have decided to take a break. This month was hard: it began with a strange sense of numbness about it all, then great excitement, then utter disappointment. This emotional rollercoaster is more than I can handle, and that's just part of it. Physically, things have been tough. It seems the cysts just get worse and worse (which makes sense, since some are left over from each previous cycle), my hormones are all over the place, and I absolutely hate the progesterone suppositories (they cause all kinds of problems!). As sad as I am about another empty month, I feel relieved to have some time off from this again. Maybe we'll try another IUI in a couple of months. In the meantime, God is still working in us and is completely able to do a miracle when He chooses.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I hate pregnancy tests.

So, it's official official: I am not pregnant. I already knew I wasn't, since I took a test on Wednesday and Thursday as I was supposed to. However, because this stupid progesterone I'm on doesn't let me start my period until I go off of it (and it can take days for the progesterone to get out of my system and signal to my body it's time to start a period), I still live in suspense for a few more days. It finally came--as it always does--so here I am again, at the same place I am every month, starting all over.

You know what I look forward to? The day when I pee on a pregnancy stick and see something there! I use the ones from Target because they're cheaper, and they have the control window and the "a line will show up if it's positive" window. That window is always blank. Always!! I would love even a false positive here and there. (Okay, maybe I wouldn't, but I would love a true positive for sure!)

I have shed many tears this past week and asked many questions. Right now, I'm doing all right, but it seems that can change in an instant. The hardest part about this particular IUI (besides the fact that everything seemed so right) is that it may be the last one we do. We are changing insurance companies and changing the way our medical allowance works with Robby's job. This means that everything will now come out of our pocket for anything regarding infertility. An IUI cycle costs about $800 a month, including the medication, ultrasounds, visits, and procedure. Although that seems inexpensive if it works, it gets quite pricey when one has to do it multiple times. With the change of our employment situation (ie me staying home), we recognize that continuing fertility treatments may not be an option, at least not like it has been.

I know that fertility treatments are not necessary for me to become pregnant. I know that. However, it is scary to say we aren't going to do these anymore, even if I hate them. At this point, I don't really know what we are going to do, but what I do know is that God is with us, God can do anything, and God loves us.

Thanks for your sympathy, your support, and most of all, your prayers. I can't express how much they mean to us.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I thought I'd quickly share that our third IUI was not a success. We are, of course, so sad. Like the last one, everything seemed to point to a good outcome. It is both disappointing and frustrating.

God is not silent during this time, and I praise Him for that.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's okay to hope.

Hope, is that you breaking through?
A tiny chink of light?
Is that you upon my wall,
dancing pure and bright?

Are you growing speck by speck,
glowing in my dark?
Can I take you in my hand,
and place you in my heart?

I know I've often thrown you out
and driven you away.
But this time, please burn by my side
and turn my night to day.

For fear of disappointment
has made me lose my sight.
But I know you come from my God,
Creator of Hope and Light.