"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
I've written and deleted a version of this post several times since September. Selfishly, I kept hoping I wouldn't need to publish this. I hoped it would remain as thoughts written down, but only for me to remember. 2013 was a big year for us: we traveled to Europe, Jordan successfully finished his first full year working for himself, we spent a lot of time visiting with family and friends, but I still apprehensively prepared for 2014.
I was ready to leave the pain that crept into 2013, but not quite ready to start all over again. I wasn't ready to admit we had set out to expand our family, but it still hadn't happened.
The blogosphere has been full of "word of the year" posts. While I haven't specifically chosen a word of the year, I have been thinking a lot about defining moments: how I would define last year, but more broadly how I want to define myself. Up until recently, I thought I would be defined by the labels I have had throughout my life: girl, daughter, sister, friend, wife, and someday mother. That's a normal thing, right? Except for the fact becoming a mother has taken me down a road I didn't expect to travel; the road of uncertainty.
I never thought I would struggle with infertility* (I sort of despise the need for that label) and yet, here I find myself at the one-year mark not experiencing any tangible progress. So many have walked before me with even greater difficulty, but how does one prepare for that? This has really turned my world upside down. I wasn't prepared to experience such intense emotional pain and embarrassment from this disappointment. Jealousy, envy and self-doubt creep into my consciousness, but I'm fighting those thoughts. I refuse to let this situation steal the joy in my life.
This whole journey feels like an out-of-body experience; I see myself growing in ways I know wouldn't have happened if pregnancy had quickly taken place. And yet, I so wish it would end. In moments of darkness I lean on this verse that has become my mantra. I repeat it over and over again to help clear my head."...not my will, but yours, be done." (Luke 22:42)
It is easy to forget that my life doesn't end or begin with or without children. I have to remember God hasn't forgotten about me, but in fact, He has even greater plans than what I could dream up. I write this so I won't forget. Maybe others will find encouragement in knowing having a child isn't always easy and they aren't alone, but mostly this moment will be stored for me.
This isn't a post I can wrap up neatly; it is an ongoing story, my story.
When I look back on 2013, I hope to remember it as a defining year in my life; one that has helped to shape and mold me, NOT one that has scarred me.
*FYI: I haven't been labeled by a doctor as infertile, I'm going by the medical term infertility given by the Mayo Clinic.