During the time leading up to our IVF and during the process, there were so many emotions swirling around me bouncing back and forth between excitement, frustration and fear of the unknown. I had a continuous stream of disappointment for the 2.5 years before and I was convinced that it (IVF) was not going to work and we were going to end up being that couple with no kids, forever. Which meant we would need to find a new group of friends, you know, the kind of people you can call up at a moments notice to get together without having to think about childcare. I felt myself starting to dread the family events, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE both sides of our family and enjoy spending time with them, but…it was hard fielding the “so what have you been up too” kind of questions and I got so tired of talking about work because if I didn’t talk about work then I would be forced to talk about our all consuming fertility struggles which resulted in a huge headache because it took everything in me to keep myself from completely losing it and crying from frustration. So it was just easier not to talk about it at all. When other family members bring their babies to family events it becomes the focus point, which is great, that’s how it should be. Families grow by making more babies and it is a wonderful thing…except when you can’t have a baby and so desperately want to and it kills you to see the joy in your grandparents or parents eyes when they light up at the sight of a baby and you can’t give that to them.
I spent so much time trying to figure out what my purpose was, I was trying to figure out how I was going to make some kind of change in my life if we didn’t have kids since I was not happy just going to work every day, coming home walking the dog, making dinner, going to bed and then waking up and doing it all over again for the rest.of.my.life. I guess you could call it an identity crisis, I was depressed at times and clueless to who I was. It was hard…really hard. And during that time we did not tell anyone what we were going through, I did not want anyone feeling bad about talking to us about their kids or making their pregnancy announcements or feeling awkward about inviting me to their baby shower or kids birthday parties, we really truly were happy for those people and wanted to celebrate these special times with them.
Other than talking to my (wonderful, loving, supporting) husband as a release, I also turned to a journal. It was not a consistent thing, but when I felt like I needed to get things off my chest and sort my emotions I would write them down. They ranged from pure venting, to prayers, to listing the things I had to be grateful for and anything in between. It really helped me. Once I found out we were pregnant I stopped. I think since I started this blog I figured it would replace that. And I do plan to be honest and truthful about things here and will eventually post more about our journey to get to this point. But sometimes my thoughts can be pretty random and if I posted them here them you all would think I was crazy! 🙂 Lately I’ve been feeling that urge to start writing in my journal again (don’t worry I won’t give up the blog). So I got it out and started reading through the pages. One of my entries had an email print out attached to it that was sent to me by Justin’s Aunt last December. It was a daily devotional from Truth for Life and it was called ‘Why Do My Prayers Go Unanswered?‘ During any busy time (it was almost Christmas!) any emails I receive that require any lengthy reading, extra work or any kind of deep thought just sit in my inbox until I have time to do it, so I didn’t read it right away…But I didn’t delete it, because the subject Why Do My Prayers Go Unanswered? was right up my alley and I desperately wanted the answer to that question. God knows I prayed many desperate prayers to him over the years and the big question I had was ‘Why Me?‘ I know God has his reasons for the way things happen, but I so so fixated on why, what was his reason, and if not kids then what, what do I do with myself?? When I had time to sit down and read the email and think about what it was saying, I loved it, it gave me a sense of peace which was what I needed at that time, I printed it up and wrote about it in my journal that night. I love how God is always there even when you feel like he’s not. Here’s the devotional:
Why Do My Prayers Go Unanswered?
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!
God often delays in answering prayer. We have several instances of this in the Bible. Jacob did not get the blessing from the angel until near the dawn of day-he had to wrestle all night for it. The poor woman of Syrophoenicia received no answer for a long while. Paul asked the Lord three times for “a thorn . . . in the flesh” * to be taken from him, and he received no assurance that it would be removed, but instead a promise that God’s grace would be sufficient for him.
If you have been knocking at the gate of mercy and have received no answer, shall I tell you why the mighty Maker has not opened the door and let you in?
Our Father has personal reasons for keeping us waiting. Sometimes it is to show His power and His sovereignty, so that we may learn that God has a right to give or to withhold.
More often the delay is for our benefit. You are perhaps kept waiting in order that your desires may be more fervent. God knows that delay will quicken and increase desire, and that if He keeps you waiting, you will see your need more clearly and will seek more diligently, and that you will treasure the mercy all the more on account of the wait.
There may also be something wrong in you that needs to be removed before the joy of the Lord is given. Perhaps your views of the gospel plan are confused, or you may be relying upon yourself instead of trusting simply and entirely in the Lord Jesus. Or God makes you wait for a while so that He may display the riches of His grace more abundantly in the end.
Your prayers are all filed in heaven, and if not immediately answered they are certainly not forgotten, but in a little while they will be fulfilled to your delight and satisfaction. Do not allow despair to make you silent, but continue to present your requests to God.
*…because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me ~2 Corinthians 12:7
Who knows why we had to go this route to start a family…but I do know that I wanted it more now then when we first started. I even had the thought that I have had such a great life growing up and to this point never really had to deal with any major pain or suffering so this was a lesson to me so I can mature and grow in other ways. Whatever the reason this process has strengthened my relationship with Christ and maybe that was the reason itself.
One day while shopping this sign caught my eye and it made me think about this, so I bought it and it is hanging in my house as a reminder.
No matter what you are going through in life God’s grace can carry you through.
Aunt Lee if you are reading this, thank you for sending me that email! You sent it for a different purpose, little did you know that God was using it in other ways 🙂