Friday, August 12, 2011

Loss is Gain

*Be prepared:  this is going to be a long post.  Also, I will be as discrete as possible, but some detailed explanation is needed to ensure understanding.

This has been a dreadful week.  Not only for what has taken place, but also for what I have learned about myself.  It all started 3 weeks ago, & these 3 weeks have been a roller coaster ride, a continuously revolving cycle of hope, followed by ever-increasing anxiety & desperation, & culminating in crushing disappointment & confusion.  I have learned a lot of lessons in this relatively short time span - lessons about trust, hope, & patience; lessons about how deeply embedded is my sin, how truly depraved I am.

I am 3 weeks late.  Now, having PCOS, that is not unheard of; my longest gap between cycles before treatment was 2 years.  However, in the almost 2 years since I've been taking Metformin, I've never been this late.  Add to that the fact that I've been regularly exercising & have had a few of the classic symptoms, & we genuinely thought we were pregnant.  So much so that we immediately began taking home pregnancy tests every few days.  Because I have wacky hormone levels, we assumed the negative results were simply due to us taking them too early.  All throughout this, I have been forcefully reminded of how Harry Potter felt as he competed in the Triwizard Tournament.  As each test day approached, I experienced a mounting tension & anxiety, which reached a fever pitch to the point where I thought I would either lose my mind or my lunch.  Then, once we got the results, along with disappointment, I would feel a calm until the next test day approached.  For two & a half weeks, this has been my life.  It has drained me & left me frazzled.

During this time, God has been teaching me a few different lessons.  Patience has never been my strong suit.  I had no choice here but to be patient; there was absolutely nothing I could do to move things along.  I guess, though, come to think of it, perhaps God was simply showing me my penchant for impatience, because - while I did have fleeting moments or perhaps even a day here or there where I was calmly waiting - I was mighty anxious for answers the rest of the time.  I know that another lesson he wanted me to learn regarded hope.  Perhaps Proverbs 13:12 doesn't mean this, but I began to see that when I "defer hope" from God & place it on something else - in this case, being with child - that my "heart [becomes] sick".  Finally, of course this experience is meant to strengthen my faith.  Although that has been the end result, for a time I failed miserably in this area, but I'll get to that in a moment.

Even though we kept pulling up negatives, we could see no other logical explanation, so it was practically impossible to keep our minds from daydreaming about the possibilities.  We've had names picked out for a while, so we dwelled instead on how we would tell people & how we would have to redecorate the house.  We were so hopeful that we would be able to surprise our families, which - if that's you - explains why you didn't know about this until earlier this week.  We only told our closest friends that we thought we might be pregnant.  We were bursting to tell someone, & our thought here was that our friends would not be as disappointed as our family.  They have proven us wrong on that account, & I've been amazed at how they have entered into our grief with us.  Having to tell everyone that we're not pregnant has been difficult, but I can't even begin to express how deeply I appreciate the love & encouragement that we've received.  The fact that our friends are mourning with us means more than I can say.  Especially Sommer, Sweet T, Angie, Amber, & Katie.  These ladies have known me for less than a year, & the love that they have lavished on me has been overwhelming.  I didn't think I could love you more, ladies, & yet, I do.

The strain of the HPTs finally broke us, & we went to our family doctor on Monday for a blood test.  Michael was certain that it would be positive; I was terrified that it wouldn't be.  Turns out that whole "expect the worst, hope for the best" thing isn't helpful in the least.  Everything came crashing down when we got the call the next day that the test was negative.  I immediately called our OB, got an appointment for Wednesday, & then curled up in our bed & sobbed my heart out.  Here was my lowest point.  The point when my faith failed.  All of a sudden, I allowed myself to dwell on thoughts about God that I've never had in my life.  I questioned His love for me.  I believed that He was being cruel, that He was sitting on high laughing at my pain.  I could not wrap my head around why He was "doing this to me".  I would have been perfectly fine if my cycle had begun when it was supposed to, so I could not comprehend why He would dangle this hope before me like a carrot forever beyond my reach when He knows how much I desire being a mother.  I tell you this not because I'm proud of it, but expressly because I'm not.  Michael held me while I wept & railed.  After about half an hour, I lay there spent, calm.  And gradually, I felt peace & even happiness invade my soul.  Unbeknownst to me, Michael was silently praying for God to give me grace, & even though I had been arrogantly faithless & altogether undeserving, He gave it to me.  How deep the Father's love, indeed.  That evening, Michael & I clasped hands & I prayed a prayer of deep repentance & thankfulness.  I have seen anew the depths of my sin & the wonder of being forgiven by my Father.

By the time our OB appointment came, I knew that the results of another blood test would be negative.  I have accepted that we are not with child, even while I am left to wonder what is going on.  All through this, we have contemplated the glory that God would receive, the praise that we would give Him in front of everyone if He had given us this gift.  I've struggled with not understanding why this would not be the best way for Him to receive glory from us.  Because God does everything for His glory, I've come to comprehend that He means to receive glory from us another way - namely, by the growth of our faith in Him in the midst of this trial.  So, I stand here now declaring that God is good, that He loves me, & that He is working out His plan - even if He chooses not to share all of the details with me.  Trust is not always an easy thing to come by.  I have had times in my life where my faith in God never wavered, where I easily trusted Him even though I was hurting.  That was not the case this time; for the first time in my life, I doubted Him.  Now I know that sometimes you have to fight to trust.  I'm so thankful to have a godly husband & godly friends who have ministered to me & pointed me toward God throughout this, & even now continue to do so.  I'm thankful for the love & support of my Mama & Daddy, my sister-in-law Beth, & my cousin Scott.  I appreciate everyone's encouragement & covet your prayers.  Thank you for being the body of Christ to us.

Soli Deo Gloria


Lynn said...

I'm so sorry, Chrissy. I'll be praying for you both.