The word for my year is transformation and as always, I’m constantly looking to see how that word applies to my life. A few days ago I received news that I can’t stop thinking about. A little girl is gone and her parents, amazing parents who were great to us when we lived in NY, are shattered and forever changed. A tragic accident that took place in a split second.
Then I saw the breaking news coming out of the Fort Lauderdale airport. One minute passengers are focusing on travel, the next, diving for cover because of gunfire. I read on one of the sites I belong to that a cousin was one of the victims. Again, everything transforming in a split second.
I realize those transformations can come with good news, too. A marriage proposal. A birth. Hearing about a job promotion, or even getting a call that you got the job. It means in a second you go from that title to a new one. A change in address, perhaps. And always so much more.
I am one of those that is always so far ahead in my thinking that I am guilty of missing out on celebrating the present. My dear friend told me her goal for the year was to choose present over perfect. I love that. I want to embrace what I have in my life. This week showed me that can all go away in a moment. I don’t want to have regrets. But in search of perfect, I’ve missed out on the present. That’s not how I want to approach life.
Are there examples you can think of where your life changed in a split second? What are transformations you can think of?
This is it! All week I’ve been sharing my posts from the Facebook Love Your Spouse Challenge. I hope you’ve been encouraged and wanting to apply oneness to your marriage. It’s worth it. Not easy. Worth it.
LOVE YOUR SPOUSE CHALLENGE, DAY 7
Here we are. In a couple weeks we celebrate our 20th. There were people who questioned the age difference or the fact I was entering in a ready-made family. We went through infertility, miscarriage, parent deaths, job changes, near death of child and then the day-to-day.
We are not a perfect couple. In all honesty, this has been a tough year. We both changed our work situations. We had a child marry and a child graduate. We lost a beloved parent. Just one is what specialists suggest a couple go through in a year. Not all of them. We are both all or nothing personalities and we are both introverts. Affection is not natural for me, and he can be technical. We have different perspectives as parents, especially with medical issues. These truths are challenges.
But, God. We get each other’s jokes and laugh. The jokes we have are precious and goofy. We don’t get away a lot, so our hot tub dates are how we catch up on what’s going on, talk finances, schedule, etc…
We might get annoyed by failure to close cupboards or slurping, but if someone comes against one of us, we have each other’s back. If there’s a good action movie at the cheap theater, we’re all over it.
If you’re contemplating marriage or aren’t quite at year 20, realize those day 1 challenge pictures won’t look the same on day 7. You won’t be the same, either. I pray you are better, stronger, and more committed to oneness than you are right now. It is truly worth it.
Goodreads Giveaway…don’t miss out!
April is Infertility Awareness Month and the release date for A Walk in the Valley: Christian Encouragement for Your Journey through Infertility. I am one of the authors and I thought today I’d give a snippet of my life as an infertility patient. The book takes each author’s story from diagnosis to where things are today. None of our stories are the same, especially the endings. I believe any woman who has experienced infertility and/or miscarriage at any time, even years ago, would be encouraged by this book. It’s real, but infused with hope from God’s Word.
I was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries in 1995 but looking back, I had symptoms not long after puberty started. I had pelvic pain. Acne. Depression. As I grew into my twenties, each symptom became much worse.
I was engaged when the diagnosis came and the book goes into detail what life was like. But a typical wedding planning and newlywed experience wasn’t mine. Imagine monthly shots in the backside administered by someone scared to death to give them. The wide mood swings that took me very dark places. Pelvic pain so bad I had trouble walking.
My answer to prayer came in a surgery that is rarely performed anymore. I had a wedge resection where half of each ovary was taken out. At the time I thought that would end my chances to conceive. My surgeon explained it would enhance them. I was so desperate for relief from pain I surrendered it all. I just wanted to live.
After the surgery my doctor let me know why I was in so much pain. My ovaries were each 5x the size of normal. His words? “You were walking around with whoppers.”
I was pain free for years.
To pre order A Walk in the Valley, click here.
April is a month set aside to make people a little more informed when it comes to infertility. On April 28th our book, A Walk in the Valley: Christian Encouragement for your Journey Through Infertility releases. Our heart is make sure everyone who is walking or has walked in these shoes will have a copy so they can read our transparent stories and find hope and healing.
I thought I’d take some time to share aspects that are fresh in my mind as if they were yesterday. The book contains my full story but here is a topic that hurts to this day:
When people tried to say something about my infertility or miscarriage.
Our wedding song is Allison Krauss’ When You Say Nothing at All. As a title, it’s what I wish 99% of the people would have done. I know they meant well but the pain was excruciating. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:21, “The tongue has the power of life and death.” Oh, how true.
Again, you need to read the book to learn specifics but the Bible verses, pat answers and the replies I call the “Job’s friends comments” cut through me like a knife. People with no loss of their own suddenly had a ministry degree to measure my sins and level of faith against my menstrual cycle. Some gave advice for the next time. Others tried to make me understand in my pain it was the same as their one bad hair day or something that was definitely apples and oranges.
Then there was timing. When the first round of people did a great job spreading the happy news, but failed to mention the subsequent loss. So when an acquaintance asked about the baby, I had to give the update. It was awful. Or the glowing new mom sharing details regarding life post delivery. I wanted to sink in a hole.
The grief is that deep and that’s why most answers hurt so much. Years have passed but infertility hasn’t changed. It is a deep ache and sense of loss. If that’s not your story not even my own favorite Bible verse is going to help at that moment. Trust that in time, it will. But spouting it out as a “this covers all” statement makes things worse.
So what do you say to someone who is hurting from infertility and/or miscarriage?
If you haven’t walked that out, say nothing. Okay, nearly nothing. Admit you have no idea what to say but that you care, deeply. Open your arms and allow her the freedom to enter that hug and literally snot all over you. Give the opportunity for her to speak with transparency, which will include raw hurt. Don’t judge her. It is healthy to get those toxic thoughts out. When she is done, ask if you could pray. If she doesn’t want to at that time, promise you will, and do it. If you pray at that moment, be simple. Don’t wax eloquent, this isn’t about you. Be that gap that takes her hurt to the Lord.
If you have walked this out, I believe you can, with discernment, be bolder. I fell in a deep pit and my dear friend had the experience to call me out because she’d been there. She showed up when I said I wasn’t ready for company. She gave a deadline (after prayer) where I was able to share everything for one hour, no matter how vile. After that hour, she led me in a healing prayer. That. Changed. Everything.
I hope this helps and I hope you can read my heart here. I’m not about pushing a product. I am about women finding freedom through surrender in Christ. The toughest surrender for me was giving the Lord my infertility and then again the anger I had when I miscarried. I searched for a book that would help me feel less alone and I couldn’t find any. I believe A Walk in the Valley is a source of hope and a feeling of “they get it. They get ME.”
God bless you all.
Believe it or not, my schedule is already opening to May. June. July. Even August is filling up. Although as I type snow is falling, I’m planning ahead to days where tulips will be out, lilacs will be blooming and grass will need to be cut.
I’m a planner by nature and some of my events revolve around Mother’s Day. That used to bring about a dread and anger because I wasn’t a mom.
And I was told to plan for the fact I may never be one.
My infertility story centers about my PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) diagnosis. I miscarried. I truly thank God that I have two children but I will never forget those feelings. And I wanted God to use that story to encourage someone else.
A Walk in the Valley: Christian Encouragement for Your Journey Through Infertility is a transparent look at not just my story but Heidi Glick’s, Elizabeth Maddrey, Kym McNabney, Paula Mowery and Donna Winters. All of our stories are different but center around our infertility experiences. They are not happy-hold hands- cliche filled-pat answers stories. We were angry. Scared. Faced with expensive treatments. Given terrible news. And yet there is hope. We take each facet of the story and share how we made it through. We have Scripture because honestly, we’d still be in the pit of emotions had it not been for God’s love and Word. There are places for the reader to journal her feelings.
The book will be available April 28th but you can pre order now. If you are or have walked this road of infertility and miscarriage, I strongly suggest you consider ordering. If you love someone who is struggling or has, this book will help. I tell people it is the book I wish had been available for me.
Many have asked for my full story and A Walk in the Valley has it. May God take what I consider my broken place and create something beautiful for someone else.
To Pre Order A Walk in the Valley, click here.