Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I Lied.

Written July 8, 2009 ...

My devotionals for the past few days have been on Ecclesiastes 3 “A Season for Everything”. Good chapter, good reminders … I kept thinking maybe my season of waiting would end soon. I kept wondering what season would end next, knowing that it wouldn’t necessarily be my “infertile” season.

And then she called. Terri called. Terri, my friend that God blessed me with on this infertile crappy journey called. She called to say, “I’m so sorry—but I’m pregnant!”

That’s it. The season’s over. I’m back to it just being me. Me, all alone. Me, “That Girl.” Me, the infertile one. Me, the non-pregnant one. Me. Just me. Not me and Terri anymore. Just me.

It never occurred to me that the next season to end would be the season of having a friend to slog through this with.

And I fully understand that Terri is still with me. It’s not like, now pregnant, she gets carted off to some other planet where pregnant ladies go to prepare for their children.

Or is it? They seriously are in another world. Going through things I can’t understand, experiencing things I haven’t experienced, sensing some deep need to bond only with each other…it really does put up a small wall when one of my friends gets pregnant. Course, I’m used to it now. I realized yesterday that every single one of my best, closest, “doing life together on a regular basis” friends are pregnant. Or just were. Seriously God? Really? When is it my turn?!

Terri and I have asked that question together now for almost exactly one year. Almost a year ago today we were commiserating over the fertility drugs we were about to start. We were joking about how cool it would be if we got pregnant together, on the same month’s cycle. We were venting about the side effects and imperfect processes of fertility drugs and procedures.

We have walked this journey, side by side for a year. 12 months. (Actually, more than that in all reality, but my email trails that I’ve saved go back to only a certain date.) And Terri has been with me on this path long before she started struggling herself. She has been a great friend, and I know she’ll continue to be. It’s just, this season is over. She’s pregnant; I’m not. I’m back to being alone.

The Friend who is Infertile.

I remember struggling with excited yet guilty feelings when I realized Terri was going to walk this journey with me. They’re still there. Now, I’m so relieved and happy for my friend—God has answered her (and my) prayers. She knows her answer now. I’ve always said how good it will feel to look back and be able to say, “Ah yes, this is the journey.” When Terri told me she was pregnant, she said, “I just wasn’t supposed to be pregnant before now. This is the right time.” Well, I hate to say it, but DUH! It’s such a relief to know her timing … and yet, I’m so jealous. So jealous of the answer, the timing, the wait that is now over. The excitement that will begin to grow as the reality settles in. I’m jealous of the morning sickness, the cravings, the sleepless nights. And the guilt is still there too. I feel guilty when I think why her and not me? I’ve been waiting longer! I’ve lost two! I feel guilty when I consider selfishly the change in our friendship. The non-similar experiences. The inevitable awkwardness, since she is and I’m not. I feel guilty. And happy. And jealous. And sorrowful. And so so so tired of crying my eyes out over a friend’s joyous news.

I told Terri that her getting pregnant gives me hope.

I lied.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sneezing, Bacon and Shampooing

So, I'm not getting much done today. I already know this to be true, even though there is a large portion of the day in front of me. I just have no desire to do anything. I knew I wanted bacon for breakfast (I often want bacon for breakfast, but i rarely indulge. Mostly because it makes the stove really messy, and I hate figuring out what to do with the grease...), and I knew we have friends coming over at 6. But beyond that, I have no desire to do anything. There's a new curtain rod to be hung, a garage to organize, a basement to organize, clothes to put away, two bathrooms to clean, cats' nails to trim, shoes to sort, flowers to debud and trim, budgets to balance, Christmas lists to write, letters to mail, business trips to plan for, a kitchen floor to sweep and strawberries to slice. And all I can do is lay on the couch, browse friends' blogs, and sneeze. Yep, sneeze. Because of allergies. I hate them. They are really bad this year. I am desperate for the first frost so I can stop being tormented. And to all of you who say, "No! Don't wish summer away!!" Well, you sneeze literally 17 times in a row, and have your eyes swell up to double their size and then see how fun summer is. It's not fun. Just one frost--that's all I'm asking for. One frost, and then we can have some more warm days (don't they call that an Indian summer? What does that mean anyway?) to satisfy all of our warmth longings. Just one frost...please.
We got a new couch. I love it! The cats peed one too many times (really, one time is too many, and they far surpassed that) on the old leather couches, so Erik had to destroy them and carry them out piece by piece. They reeked. But, now we have a new couch!! It's great. I love it. It's chocolate brown, is curved, and seats four easily. I'm so excited to sit on a couch without it crunching, to cuddle on a couch without having to hold my breath, and to feel free to invite friends to join us for movies! yea!
Erik is shampooing the carpets. Isn't he an awesome husband? the amount of cat hair that is coming up out of the carpet is DISGUSTING. If I could go back, knowing what I know, would I still adopt these kittens? Hmmm.....sometimes I think no. And yet, these kittens have been our joy. They have seen us through this whole infertile journey. They have brought such joy and comfort...and yet they pee. Ugh. Life is full of such hard decisions.

So, anyway, I'm still not going to get anything done today. I'm sneezing too much, ate way too much bacon, but at least Erik shampooed the carpets!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My Almost Rebellion: Part Three

My flight was delayed. The inbound plane was coming from Chicago. I hate Chicago. Nothing gets out on time. It’s like that place eats planes or something. So, I was stuck in Wichita. It’s one of those tiny airports where everything shuts down at like, six. So no magazines to purchase, no munchies to buy. Just me, my thoughts, and I. I think I talked to my Mom again … yeah, we chat quite a bit. I love my Mom.

You know when someone’s standing near you and you kinda get that sense that they would talk to you if you let them? So you avoid eye contact, and make sure your body language is not open. And you know when sometimes those people choose to ignore all that and talk to you anyway?

Well. I was standing, as my muscles were a little tired from all the sitting I’d done. A shorter woman, probably in her late 50s or early 60s, with frizzy blonde, shoulder length hair, blue capris—the kind of denim blue that shouldn’t be allowed anymore—a button down, oversized pale yellow shirt, and, you guessed it, a hip pack leaned toward me. She motioned toward the big window we were near and said, “Amazing sunset isn’t it?” I turned, and saw the most beautiful Kansas sunset I’ve ever seen. (Truth be told, it was the first Kansas one I’ve ever seen, but honestly, it rivaled the Colorado sunsets at that moment.)

“Isn’t that just the silver lining on this situation?” she asked. I knew she meant the delay of the plane, but …. I could not tear my eyes away from that sunset. I watched and watched and watched … and ducked my head because I was crying. I couldn’t help it. It was like God was saying here look—there’s still beauty in this world. I know you are hurting and broken, but life is still beautiful and I Am still here. I watched that sun until is disappeared behind the horizon. And I’m pretty sure when I turned, with tears still glistening in my eyes, I saw that funny little woman watching me and smiling to herself. I think she knew I needed that.

On the plane, near the end when I was no longer allowed to play obsessive, back to back games of Solitaire on my iPod, I rested my head against the stored tray table in front of me, and cried some more. Simply because it felt good to cry. I just felt so sad. And it felt so good to allow the sadness, still keeping out the anger and bitterness and jealousy. I was just sad.

I pulled it together and got off the plane, helped calm a lady and direct her to her connection, followed her there just to be sure, smiled at her reassuringly, as if her problem was the biggest in the world, and went to find my car. And drive to Colorado Springs, where Erik awaited me in a castle, in the highest room atop the highest tower.

I’m not joking—he really was in a castle, and really was waiting for me.

And so I went. I’d love to tell you I spoke to God the whole way and allowed Him to help me heal. But that wouldn’t have helped me stay awake, so I definitely danced my way to the Springs to the good ole music of America’s very own Britney Spears. Hey—don’t judge me. I got there safely.

The next morning, I went to the beginning of Erik’s conference session. (worship conference, morning session = worship songs). I sat at a table and just watched the words. I could not sing; I know myself too well. I couldn’t do it. But I did soak it in. I heard the words, and I allowed the tears to flow. The song that got to me the most that morning, just this morning actually when I think about it, was:

Matt Redman - You Never Let Go
From the album Passion 06: Everything Glorious

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back
I know You are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And that’s when I realized. I really can’t run away from God. He’s got me, and He’s not going to let go. Just like my Mom is always telling me, God is big enough to handle my little emotional moments. He’s big enough to handle my questions, my doubts, and my yelling. He created me with these emotions, these hormones, and He knows what it feels like when they’re swirling inside of me, making me an emotional monster. And He’s big enough to handle said Monster. He’s not going to let me go.

What’s so funny about all of this, is I knew that. I know that. I’ve always known that. And yet, from August 26th-August 29th, I really really thought that I’d almost ... I don’t know what. But “almost”. I almost quit. I almost lost it. I almost attempted to run away from God. And then I realized something—it’s not that I can’t, but I don’t want to. Why would I?