A few years ago I would never believe that I would be sharing this publicly. See infertility was my dirty little secret. Only those closest to me and those in the YouTube Trying to Conceive (TTC) community were privy to this part of my life. (Click YouTube icon to see some of my journey).
I share a little today to let even just one woman know she is not alone in her journey.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would go from years of preventing a pregnancy to praying for a baby. I’m blessed to have birthed one daughter from my body 16 years ago and another daughter from my heart who is 13. My husband and I have been married for almost 8 years and always knew we desired a child together.
Infertility manifested as unexplained recurring miscarriages for us. I allowed this issue to cause me many years of depression, anger, jealously, laziness, and low self-esteem. I literally felt as if the God I love and serve was punishing me. For sure he must hate me, I convinced myself.
I had to forgive myself for past mistakes and trust God’s ultimate plan for my life. Praise God, I’ve been able to move on and not let this issue control my life.
I’m at peace! Do I have moments where I mourn and think of all I’ve been through? Yes! But now they are just that, moments. The moments are overtaken by:
Faith that God will bless me in his perfect timing and way
Hope as I see the miracle babies my TTC Sisters are now holding in their arms
And comfort in knowing my God has great plans for me. Jeremiah 29:11.
Whoever said tears are a sign of weakness has it so wrong! Tears serve a purpose when used the right way. Now, I can’t deal with a whiny adult or someone that manipulates with their tears. But when you are really hurting, grieving, frustrated or even angry letting those tears flow can be a way to get relief. Combining those tears with prayer, journaling your feelings or sharing your testimony are also great ways to weep with a purpose!
My Pastor, Joseph Graham – The Church on the Rock Ministries, preached a sermon entitled “How to recover from a devastating blow!” One of the steps is to cry until you can’t cry no more!
1 Samuel 30:3-4, 16, 18 So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.
Finish reading the verses and you’ll see that David wept until he had no more tears, encouraged himself in the Lord, asked God for instructions, and in the end RECOVERED ALL.
I’m going to be a little transparent and hope it blesses someone. There have been many times that I felt like I failed my child as a mother. When pregnant with her, I cried almost every day about my relationship with her father. This continued on during her infant/toddler years. And in her pre-teen/teen years I had periods of depression and physical pain after suffering many miscarriages and infertility.
Now I always showed affection, and ensured her basic needs were met but looking back I wish I was just more “present.” She is now a Junior in High School and it seems like I blinked my eye and she’s almost grown. Now that I’m no longer depressed, “Praise Jesus!” I’m enjoying life and our relationship. I’ve been honest with her about my shortcomings. We love mother daughter days where we shop and eat at our favorite restaurants. We talk about any and everything though she doesn’t always like what I have to say, what child does? “smile”
One of the areas I still feel like I’ve failed her is with her education. See I always got good grades in school. I barely even had to study. But, she and I are not the same. Though she’s struggled in school, my daughter is so talented, so creative, and so much fun. Her teachers always tell me she’s a pleasure to have in class. I wish I was that carefree at her age. I can’t tell you how many tears I’ve cried over grades. I’ve disciplined, talked, prayed, encouraged, hired tutors…you name it! I wanted to give up, thinking to myself if we haven’t gotten this school thing down now, it’s too late. Wrong! I kept praying and got the idea a couple of weeks ago to start taking her to the library after school to get her work done. Man…why didn’t I think of this sooner. She has a desk in her room, we have the dining room table, and the comfy couch. All these were places she would sit to study but they weren’t effective because of distractions. The library has been PERFECT. I think it’s the atmosphere. Everyone in the library is reading, studying, or working on something. She can see the study skills we’ve been trying to teach her in action. There’s nowhere to take a nap or get a snack (smile). She just has to sit and get it done so we can go home. It’s even helping me get my work done.
I just want to share with other parents that may feel like a failure to not give up no matter what’s going on. Give it another try. If you have issues with your relationship with your children confess your mistakes. I’ve done that. Instead of blaming others, I’ve accepted responsibility for my actions and have told her what I’ve learned so she won’t make the same mistakes. I’ve also explained that instead of being depressed over trying to conceive I will keep the faith and trust God. All things work for our good, even the mistakes we make as parents if we admit it, confess it, and make steps in the right direction. It’s not too late to get it right!
One of the most underutilized ways to relax is a bubble bath. Just think about it, when you want your baby to relax and get ready for bed you make them a nice warm bath. Why is it that as adults, we stop taking baths? I know showers are faster and more convenient. But for me, I have rediscovered the healing properties of a nice hot bubble bath. Whether after a long day or for my sore aching muscles after the gym, a bath just brings me relief and relaxation. In caring for others and the business of the day we often neglect ourselves. Taking time to relax is essential to your well being. If it’s been a while since you’ve taken a bath, try it! You just make like it!
So I’ve been a supervisor before but on my current job I was just a part of a team until now. As team lead I had an experience that gave me such appreciation for my husband.
One of my teams members had an oversight and didn’t get the required participants an updated meeting date and time. Floods of email started pouring in asking if the meeting was still being held; it was conducted two days prior. Eek!!!
Once I realized what happened, I replied that it was our mistake and I took responsibility for the oversight. I didn’t give it a second thought. A good leader takes responsibility for the actions of the team.
After that mini-fire died down, I immediately thought of my husband. See I thought I was ready for the submission part of marriage the 2nd time around. My husband is an amazing man, and I know he loves me. But, as a single woman I made some promises to myself that were hindering my submission. I hadn’t completely let go of the hurt from my past relationship. I’ll go more into this one day.
I was reminded during this experience how my husband covers me. He protects me, my body, and my heart. He takes responsibility for our family and he will answer to God for all our mistakes. Being a leader is a huge responsibility to carry. In our marriage, I will gladly submit, respect, and support my husband as the Leader because he needs and deserves it!
So this week I realize that I found myself easily frustrated and somewhat overwhelmed. It isn’t even that I had lots of negative stuff going on. Though things in my life are going quite well, I just felt off. I knew that I needed to spend some quiet time alone with the Lord to get to the bottom of my feelings. Now, I’ve read many posts and heard many sermons where someone says, “you need to spend more quiet time with the Lord.” And I used to wonder what that looked like. Now, in my relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we keep it spontaneous. There’s no mandatory way that I must approach His presence. There isn’t even a mandatory place. There are no mandatory words. If I feel angry, I can tell him. if I’m hurt, I tell him. If I’m busted and disgusted…well you get the picture (smile). I just get to a private place away from everyone and the noise of the world and talk to Him. I confess my sins if I’m convicted. I thank Him for what he’s done. Sometimes, I lay on the pillow and just wait quietly for his voice. Sometimes I sing songs from my heart. Sometimes I read His Word or write my feelings in my journal. And at times, I just sit and cry until I get relief.
Well tonight I knew what I needed to do that had been well overdue. I needed to unplug (make myself unavailable to all but Him) and be renewed and restored. See in all areas of my life I’ve taken it up a notch. In my home, I’ve been working on being more organized. I’m even planning our meals and schedule for the week and posting them on the fridge for the family to see. At work, I’m a lead now with more responsibility. In ministry, at my church there is more responsibility and I feel God calling me to do more personally to “help hurt hearts heal.” I recognize that deep down I’m not sure if I’m able to do all this and do it well. There is still some doubt that I have to deal with.
I did what I said I was going to do at the beginning of the year. Make a book of affirmations. I have a journal that I write down thoughts, prayers, vision etc. But the book of affirmations is something different. It will be a quick reference for me to read those things that God has said to me and about me! Those things that I need to remind myself of. I only filled up one page and I immediately felt relief. I just needed a reminder of what my spirit already knew. I’m Graced to do this!
We all have different defining moments in our lives. Beautiful moments that are so captivating that it seems time stands still; I think of falling love, the birth of a child, experiencing the beauty of nature. Moments of failure that make us either retreat and give up or regroup and try again. Moments of great victory or achievement and the satisfaction that comes with it. And then moments of brokennesswhere we literally feel like Humpty Dumpty and wonder who can put us back together again. I will use this blog to share my past, present, and future journey of being broken but not ashamed. Though my journey has at times been tough, there has also been a great deal of growth, gratefulness, and compassion for others that are feeling broken as well. Welcome to Broken and Not Ashamed; A Journey to Freedom!