First off, I love Carrie Underwood but at first I wasn’t super into her song “You Can’t Cry Pretty” until I read an interview about the song and the reason she wrote it. She also walked through the ache of miscarriage and she too ugly cried.
In case you haven’t heard it.. here’s a taste of the lyrics.
“I’m sorry, but I’m just a girl. Not usually the kind to show my heart to the world. I’m pretty good at keeping it together. I hold my composure, for worse or for better. So I apologize if you don’t like what you see but sometimes my emotions get the best of me and falling apart is as human as it gets. You can’t hide it, you can’t fight what the truth is.”
I am a super ugly crier.
Like I would for sure never make the cut on a holiday movie where the lead actress sheds a single glistening tear whilst keeping her mascara where it belongs. Nope.. I cry hard, ugly and frequently.
We went to the doctor this week to consult on next steps.. and y’all this is hard. Not hard to decide what we want to do, that’s easy.. whatever it takes to have a family.
Hard to find joy in another failed round of treatments.
Our doctor walked us through the process of IVF (in vitro fertilization) and helped us to understand why the last two treatments we have done so far have not been successful with IUI (intrauterine insemination.)
We decided to move forward with a more aggressive treatment plan and do our very first cycle of IVF in January and left the office in relatively good spirits. Then… I got home and my tears busted loose like a broken flood gate. My tears weren’t because I don’t believe God can do this for us- I know He can.. they were from the place in my weary soul that wants things to come easily.
Can’t you relate to that?
Maybe you’re not walking through infertility but chances are you are still walking through something difficult.
Loneliness. Financial stress. Marital disfunction. Depression. Hurt feelings.
I think one of the hardest parts of walking through something that hurts is that you also have the inability to control any part of it. For many years I would include “have a baby” on my list of goals for the new year.. there’s nothing wrong with the idea that I desire to grow a family and to decide to believe for it.. but the issue is, I like to line things up in an orderly fashion and put a check mark next to them.
The problem with smooshing God’s timeline into my checklist is that they rarely line up. This leaves me feeling less than at the end of the year when items on my goal list remain unchecked… particularly items that have been left unchecked for 5 years..ouch.
Pride is really tricky business.
When you’ve been told your entire life like I have, that “you are so kind.” “you are so deserving.” “you are such a good person.” It’s easy to let these words bleed into beliefs that begin to shift the way you make decisions. Being told I am kind, deserving and a good person leads me to believe that I should be rewarded for my behavior.
As in if I do good things, I am good.. therefore I should have the things my heart desires.
Even just typing that sentence makes me cringe because I know without question I am a sinner who despite my best efforts falls so short of “being good.” If I got what I “deserved” phew I can tell you what.. it wouldn’t be a baby. That being said I know that I am forgiven and loved by the only one satisfies the empty, barren places this side of Heaven.
Instead of “you are so kind”= I prefer “you do a great job extending grace.”
“you are so deserving.” = “you are worthy of good gifts.”
“you are a good person.” = “you are enough.”
This idea of “being good” has led to a lifetime of performance and that has built into a type of anxiety I wouldn’t wish on anyone.. (not even the person who stole my identity last month.. although I might not mind if they had a few nights of rough sleep or lost their car keys for a few hours.) Living in performance mode can lead to really long seasons of:
frustrating cycles of starting and stopping,
& Ultimately the kind of fear that traps up your talents and God given abilities because of the anxiety of not living up to expectations.
Expectations that may or may not exist but the idea of them is enough to derail you from any kind of progress. (at least this is true for me.)
I think the most freeing thought a person can have when they are trapped in this cycle of anxiety is.. no matter what you do people will have an opinion that you wish they didn’t have.
If you go for it, you take your shot, you don’t hold back.. someone who doesn’t understand you or your purpose might question your ability.
If you live in fear and never take the risks necessary to get where you dream of going.. someone is going to think you were a coward.
The bottom line is WHOEVER “THOSE PEOPLE” are… they do not have permission to impact your decisions.. unless you give it to them.
And if you gave away the permission.. you can take it back.
I know there will be people who don’t understand our fertility story.. that’s okay. It’s not for them or about them. It’s our story, hand crafted for us with the promise that God will finish the good work He began in us.
There are going to be people who think you are too young, too old, too dumb, too broke, too far from Jesus, too tall, too short, too fat, too fit. IT DOESN’T MATTER. If God wanted them to understand your passions, vision, dreams & goals He would have given them the understanding. Keep going, don’t stop long enough to pause to hear what other people think.
Sometimes though, it’s not even the opinions others may or may not have about our dreams.. it’s that we get stuck on the fact that our life looks nothing like we planned and therefore we decide it can’t be as good as we imagined.
For me, I would have written our story so differently.. my guess is that you too, would have edited your story heavily. You would have changed some hard no’s into yeses. You would have taken the messy middle and cleaned it up a bit.. less suspense, less struggle, less heartache. That’s sounds good.. only have you ever read a book without those things.. a book without struggle, suspense or hard times wouldn’t make for a best seller, that’s for sure, thats’ the meat and potatoes.
These hard, messy, wish you could edit out parts of your story are the parts that hold together all the good stuff. They build the foundation of your greatest love story, your triumph, the happily ever after needs a muddy middle or there’s no need for the magic at all.
My point is you might be stuck in the part of your story where the evil queen has overcome the kingdom.. but we both know how this story ends. Good news is coming…your redeemer lives. Hold out for the surprise ending,..we are.
We are still believing that our story is going to have the kind of ending that is so good we can’t even dream it up. We are praying with expectation and believing again.
You should do the same.. go breathe some life into that dream that you keep talking yourself out of.. go be someone who went for it.
PS. over the next few weeks we are going to be sharing a few ways you can partner with us financially in bringing home baby James! We are so thankful to those of you who have been praying, believing and helped to cover the cost of out first two treatments.. we are eternally grateful.
See you next Sunday,