Friday, January 29, 2010

Jumbled mix of thoughts

I've hesitated in posting because I just can't really get a good grasp on where I'm at.

In a prolonged period of delayed gratification of a virtuous and God-given wish, I think it's pretty normal to ask the why question. I think people who lose a loved one ask it. People who long to be married but remain single ask it. People who want to go on the mission field but are prevented ask it. And most certainly, women possessing of a mother's heart ask it.

I've asked it myself over the years, at different times and with varying intensity. Sometimes I'll arrive at an answer that satisfies me. Several years ago, early in our TTC journey, DH admitted something to me that really rocked our marriage. So for a while, I was grateful that God held off satisfying the desire for children while DH and I worked through that issue and rebuilt the trust that was lost.

After the shock of our initial diagnosis of permanent infertility wore off, we were grateful that God had heightened our desire for children so much as to pursue medical care, as we discovered DH's condition, got him on the medicine he needs and potentially warded off serious complications later.

When a friend's wife had an affair and split up their marriage and he moved in with us, I was glad his room was not yet a baby nursery. My brother has also lived in that room twice and even now it is occupied by another friend in a transitional place in life. We couldn't have done that for any of them had we been a household of 3.

Then, when DH lost his job last year, I thought it was because having a baby during a tough transitional time would have been too difficult.

Just recently this spring, I was sure that it was because our friends needed us and with children we would not have been able to drop everything and jump into their lives the way that we did.

And I have been grateful for all of those things. I really truly have. I appreciate the other prayers God has answered, the opportunities He's given us, the protections He's granted, the growth He's directed. But again, I'm back to asking "why?"

I'd previously always dismissed thoughts like "God doesn't let you have kids because He knows you'd be a terrible parent" or "You don't really want a child-you want a baby. You would get tired of it quickly." I've never allowed myself to think that way because in my head, I knew it wasn't true--that God didn't work that way and that my desires weren't that shallow or short. But honestly, with all other options exhausted, I felt like there was no other explanation.

Then I jumped in to caring for our friends' kids every day-getting them up and making them breakfast, getting them ready for the day, playing with them, taking them on errands and outings, getting them in and out of strollers and carseats, taking them grocery shopping, disciplining them, playing with them, fixing their lunch, putting them down for naps, fixing their dinners, helping with homework, packing school lunches, giving them baths, doing their laundry, getting them ready for bed, reading them stories, praying with them, comforting them when they cried, singing them to sleep. I did their whole routine, from start to finish, day after day. And I loved it. And I was really, really good at it, just like I knew I would be. And DH was really good at it, too. And I couldn't wait to get up and do it again the next day. So in a way, it was a good encouragement, confirmation of the truth and reminder that I think the desire to parent is well placed in me. But in a sense it made it more difficult-I know we'll make good parents, so what is the hold up? And I guess that continually asking the question and hearing silence in return just gets lonely sometimes. I know I'm not entitled to an answer, but knowing that doesn't really make not having one any easier.

My best friend is pregnant again. January marks 6 years of trying for us. My best friend tried for a year and a half, got pregnant, had our godson at full term, he's 19 months old, and they're pregnant again. And we've still been trying longer than all of that time combined. I have friends who didn't even know their husbands or weren't dating them when DH and I started trying, and yet they're now married and on child #2 or #3. When we started our young married women's group a few years ago, one woman in the group had 1 child. Now 3 of them have 2 kids, a 4th has 1 child and Kim (best friend-part of this group) has 1 born and 1 on the way. And the kicker is that all but one of those women struggled with infertility. I'm literally being lapped in life. I'm standing still, and their lives continue to move on, away from mine. And I hate it. It's lonely, I don't understand, they don't understand, and I just want so desperately to go with them. I remain close with two of the women and of course they include me in their lives and I love and adore them and their children, but it's not the same with their lives there and mine here. And they don't understand that--or they do, and they're just too nice to let it bother them.

Then there's this whole thing with Mike being sick. Once the dust settled and we got into a little bit normal of a routine, it hit me really hard that we came so close to losing him and that there's a realistic possibility that we will lose him sooner than we should. So, that's been emotionally overwhelming in it's own right. But it also compounds my fear that our children will never get to meet or remember certain people who are so important to us. DH's grandparents are in their 80s. My dad and DH's parents are in their mid 60s. I praise God that all of them are healthy and God willing, we have lots of years with all of them left. But even if our kids were born tomorrow, by the time our children would be old enough to really develop relationships and lasting memories, a lot of opportunities will have been lost and there's a chance with any one of them that our kids wouldn't be able to remember them. And that kills me. Kills me. It literally makes me sick to think about and I just can't handle the unfairness.

And I hate that the only thing standing in the way right now is something so earthly and temporary as money. I just want to say "really?" After everything we've been through, something as stupid as money is the hold up??

I'm just exhausted of trying anymore. I'm ready to give up on ever trying again and if not for my children still waiting in a frozen state, I would throw in the towel on this journey. My heart is broken and I no longer believe that God is intending to fix it. I would have been ok with never having children, were it not for the God given desire to have them and the talent to steward them well. It feels like a sick and cruel joke though that He's placed those desires and talents in us and still remains silent. I don't even know how to get back to a place of hope right now. I literally expect God to forever disappoint me on this issue. And I know in my head and in my heart of hearts that that's His right and with my mouth I say that if it's His will, so be it. But I just wish He would take this desire away because I don't know what to do with it anymore. I just don't understand why He would give it to us, just to deny it again and again and again. I feel that no matter what I do to relinquish it to Him or pray about it or leave it alone, or walk away, or try to examine it in a positive light or try to minister to others in it or see the greater good that comes out of it, it continues to hold a power on me that I just can't break free of. I feel like it drives a wedge between me and my friends, me and our families, me and DH, and me and God. I'm only human--I can't force it to stop and it doesn't seem like He will, either. I am utterly helpless. I have nothing left to say or think or pray on the matter.

I read a book the other day and there was a quote in it that I'm really trying to meditate on:

"[She]...wrestled with relinquishing her will to the holy Creator. She stood on the precipice of doubt, clinging to her needs, desires, and goals, which the Lord beckoned her to release...release and fling herself and her future wholly unto his care. In her human weakness she struggled to comprehend that God was fully able to give her more in her release than He could in her clinging."

I do get that in my head. And I've really tried NOT to cling. I've tried to be patient and gracious and forbearing. I just don't know how to do anything different than I've been doing and yet my pain persists without relief.

As I've shared before, I try to tell myself not to ask the why questions. And on good days, I am content with the "because I said so" answer that I've blogged about before. When I am rational and calm and whole-hearted, I understand that God's purpose is better and bigger and more important than my needs and wants, however virtuous they may be. But tonight I'm just a daughter with a broken heart who wants her Daddy to fix everything, and I just don't understand why He won't. I'm trying so desperately to cling to the Character I know is true in spite of my grief, but my broken heart wants more than that. I don't want head knowledge right now, I want ministry to my heart and my brokenness, and I just can't feel it.

God, help me!


  1. "God, I do not pretend to understand what snowflakemommy is going through. I can see her pain though. And I know this: You say that if we seek we shall find (Matthew 7). You also say that we must pray for each other so that we may be healed (James 5).

    My prayer today is that You will let snowflakemommy find what she is seeking. That you will heal her. Only You know what to heal, I only ask that it be done. Draw near hear God, and let the Holy Spirit touch her.

    I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen."

  2. Hey Hon,
    When we lost baby #2 I went through something similar emotionally. I read through Job and found great comfort. Job asked WHY, but he never got an answer. He had done nothing wrong, in fact he had done everything right. The tragedy in his life had the dual purposes of displaying God's power/sovereignty AND (this is the part I had to cling to) to be an example to others in times of sorrow that He is still worth it. Even when evil or tragedy seems meaningless to us, it never is. God works ALL out for good. My friend sent me this quote once from CS Lewis. I laughed and cried when I read it. "We are not doubting God's best for us. We wonder how painful God's best will be."

    Another thought that I had during a different, yet difficult season of life was that God was saying to me "As difficult as you think this season is, you can better glorify me now in this situation than you can if you were in a different one." Basically, it felt like he was telling me that IF and possibly when I could glorify him better in the situation I wanted, only then the situation would change. The hard part is that I wasnt the determiner of when that change would happen. I had to learn (over and over again, it seemed like) to be satisfied in Him alone, even if my situation didnt change. Thus is the challenge of the whole of our lives.

    Anyway, all that to say that I am not discrediting what you are feeling at all. I empathize and I know that there are heros of faith who have felt the same. You are not alone. I and many others are praying for you.

  3. Sweetest!
    Ever since you started this journey I have truly admired your patience and trust in God! If you sometimes want to curl up and cry in the unfairness of it all, I think it's perfectly okay!! Although I know it is unrelated, I can still have a bad conscience, as many times before, that I got a child and you haven't. I know rationally that they are not related, but in all honesty, you deserve a child so much more!! You would be GREAT parents, there is no doubt in my heart about that!
    I pray that you find your state of whole-heartedness again, that you will find the money to continue your journey, and that you will soon hold baby in your arms!

  4. Thanks for sharing dear friend.
    It brings me great comfort to know that we can ask all the "why" questions. Our God is so much bigger then circumstances he can "handle" our whys.
    He created your desires and passions and gifting. I am crying through the whys with you...though our journeys are so different in some ways they are similar and your writings here reflect my heart on many different occasions I am crying through the whys with you today and praying to our Father who is greater then all our questions and holds the answers to give you peace and grace through your suffering. I love you.

  5. Dear Snowflake Mommy,
    My heart and my prayers and going out to you. It is so hard. We've only been trying for 3 years- but the "Lapping" concept is so clear to me- as this is the time when our friends who were trying when we started are having their second, and this is the time when those married since we are trying are having their first.

    I've found great encouragement from reading your blog- to hear from someone with such courage going through similar things to me.

    Sometimes I think the hardest thing is the why. I want a really good explanation as to why God would have us wait, or maybe have us never be biological parents. But there aren't always clear explanations, and perhaps we won't know until heaven. So all I can do is cling to the love I know he has for me, and the wisdom that means that he knows what he's doing even when I have no idea. Some days I know it, sometimes I just can't.

    But he loves you so very much.
    Praying for you friend- all the way from Australia!

  6. Dearest Jen, I'm sorry you're having to go through this. I have no answers - just that somehow, for all of us, God is working out His purposes, and that process seems often to involve suffering. You are doing an awesome job with what you have, where you are, and I have admired your strength, your spiritual fortitude, and the depth of your faith. It's okay to have doubts. Much love!!!

  7. Your transparency is so GREAT! Nothing sugar-coated and "Christianized" about your real ache and feelings--thank you for sharing that with all of us! I've been coming to the realization in the last few years that as much as my "ideal" life seems like it would really honor the Lord and bring great joy to me and others, sometimes His ideal for me looks very different, with me continually being faced with my own weaknesses and failures(and the disappointment of wanting to be so much more for Him) when He is just so loving and reminds me that He shines so much brighter in providing for my weaknesses and that walking through that part of the journey enables me to say, on the other side of the valley, that HE ALONE BROUGHT ME THROUGH, I didn't have the spiritual maturity I needed, He provided it, I didn't pray enough or read in the Word enough or lean on Him enough, it was out of my utter LACK that He provided above and beyond all that I could have asked for or imagined, and now my gratitude and sense of unworthiness and un-entitledness brings Him ALL the glory...and I have ALWAYS seen His timing to be PERFECT on the other side, I can't say that if I could go back, I shouldn't have felt that longing, only the trust and perfect peace...I think He allows the thirst and hunger and longing because it does such good work in our hearts and makes the quenching and filling and fulfillment that much sweeter, He will NEVER leave us shortchanged! I pray His peace that passes understanding to rule your heart and mind, the kind none of us can conjure up for ourselves, the kind that overwhelms us to experience as His free gift...
    MUCH love to you both!