lean in :: a story of struggle and infertility
I stand at the mailbox staring at the small pink envelope in my hands and take a deep breath. I know what's inside. Another invitation for another celebration for another baby that is not mine. The flood of emotions pours in and I hate it. The sadness and the sting of jealousy and pain. The worry that I'll never be a mother. The betrayal that my body doesn't work like it's supposed to. The disappointment and the longing.
I pull away.
I stand in the middle of the dark room. Words come out of my mouth and fill the room landing on the ears of the man who is calm, but as frustrated and tired as his wife. I don't even recognize myself, the words and tone and thoughts not my own, but yet it's me speaking them and thinking them. They catch in my throat and I fall to my knees and my heart breaks again. I wonder who this girl is that feels so alone and angry, hurt and sad. The one who feels forgotten about.
When the dream is crushed again and again, month after month, year after year, the heaviness tightens and pulls.
I fall back, slow and fast.
I stand alone at the bathroom sink, a white ovulation test stick in my hands. My eyes study it, wondering if the line is too faint? Or dark enough? I don't know. I'm so tired and so broken. I close my eyes and try to breathe. When I open them again to look at the test, tears fill up and the line is blurred.
I snap it, the test, in half and throw it hard across the room.
I snap in half, too.
And I'm done. No more. But. Instead of pulling away, instead of falling, instead of carrying the weight....
I lean in. He pulls me close. I lean into Him. And for the first time in forever, I can breathe again.
And I let it go.
The worry. The weight. The control. The questions. The shame. The plans.
They are pulled from my tired, broken heart and placed at His feet.
During my struggle with infertility, I carried the burden and buried it in my heart, the pain erupting from time to time when it became too much. I refused to allow others to see my pain so I bottled it up and slapped a smile on my face and a "I'm doing fine!" on my lips. But there I was, wading through the mess and the hard, stumbling and flailing. Why did I try to carry everything on my own? I think back to that time and want to wrap that girl, me, up into a big hug and whisper His promises into her ear again and again.
Lay it down.
I knew my Jesus and His love. I felt Him near, close enough to touch, and still kept pushing away, allowing brokenness and worry and shame to hold me. I allowed my desires to consume me and trump God 's plan. For a time I thought my identity was in being a mom, but really it's not. It's in Him. I am His and He wants my whole heart. Even the part that so desperately wanted a baby in her arms.
I could write for days and years on this, without ever reaching the depth of it all. The circumstances of my pain spun me around and changed the course of my path to motherhood. Without the struggle, I wouldn't be holding my beautiful boy with the almond eyes and sweet smile.
Leaning into God and His promises doesn't take away pain or struggle or hurts, but He covers them with Comfort. Hope. Rest. Leaning in allows us to see and feel the Joy that's here in every breath. Because of Him. Leaning in brings a Peace that soothes and calms, a balm for the weary. And a Grace that sustains and strengthens.
Don't pull away. He holds you. He will carry you through. Lean in.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18