Somewhere along the line, I convinced myself that I no longer wanted to get pregnant. I realize now, that in order to move on with life, I had to. With unexplained infertility, the door is never fully closed. Since the doctors couldn’t find anything officially wrong, there was always the possibility that it “could” happen someday. Emotionally, I couldn’t handle that. It was like this tiny carrot of hope that was being dangled in front of me, only to never be reached. So I closed the door myself. If I didn’t want it anymore, I didn’t have to be disappointed anymore. I tucked the desire away into a deep corner of my soul and God did some tremendous healing to my broken heart.
I came to terms with never conceiving. I no longer grieved it as I once did. I no longer longed for it like I used to. I was at peace. This was what God had for me and it was good. I thought I had cried all the tears I needed to cry; that all that infertility pain was behind me.
Then, in the middle of a Holy Yoga class at retreat this May, my grief caught up to me again. The instructor spoke of our unanswered “whys” we have for God and spoke of her friend that just found out she couldn’t conceive. Out of nowhere, the tears came to the surface which turned into uncontrollable weeping. All I could do was lay in child’s pose and surrender to the tears that I didn’t even know were still in me. That was my first glimpse that maybe I still wanted this. But then I remembered all the pain, all the disappointment and FEAR pushed the desire away before I could even think twice about it.
When I saw that second line, I was filled with a joy and fear I can’t describe. For years, THIS is what I longed for. THIS is what I prayed I would see. And now that it actually happened, I wanted it more than I could have ever imagined. And that scared the hell out of me. I had been in such a good place, healed from the pain and now God was opening up my heart to be more vulnerable than ever before. In an instant, I realized how much love and protection I felt over this life, yet I was completely helpless. Soon, the fear of “what if” enveloped me.
From weeks 6-8, I was a wreck. I couldn’t shake the fears. I fixated on all the things that could go wrong. I analyzed every pregnancy symptom or non-symptom I had. I googled WAY too much. And all around me, there was a dark cloud of fear that followed me. Even when I wasn’t seeking it out, it seemed bad news regarding pregnancy and miscarriage was all around me. I read so many blog posts/prayer requests on FB during those weeks, and I worried that I was going to be next. I am certain that the enemy was speaking loudly when I was most vulnerable. And it was robbing me of my joy.
The verse that God used to comfort me is one that I know well. It is one of the main verses that formed the mission of Beneath the Olive Tree. John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
I was letting the enemy steal what was mine, when Jesus was right there beside offering me something so much greater. Life to the FULL. Fear is a thief. It robs us of the joy in front of us. That is so like the enemy; to distract us from the beauty in front of us by focusing our attention on all the horrible “what ifs” instead. Fear, at the core, is a form of distrust. It’s not trusting that God is good, no matter what the outcome. It’s not trusting His plan because we’re scared that that plan might not line up with ours. And I sure was having a hard time trusting Him.
The day of our first ultrasound was so hard for me. I was an emotional wreck all day worried about what we might find out there. What if the baby stopped growing? What if they can’t find a heartbeat? What if there never even was a baby? All I could do was get down on my knees in surrender and cry out to Him. And gosh, isn’t that just where He wants us sometimes? To remind us of our need for Him. To show us that faith is more than something we talk about, but something that we experience firsthand in the deep, dark spaces when we don’t know what’s coming next.
By God’s grace, we got good news at our ultrasound and even got to hear the baby’s heartbeat. What a gift! I wish I could say that I’ve mastered the whole joy over fear thing, but I am definitely still a work in progress. I still struggle with the “what ifs” and worry about this precious life. It is a daily act of surrender to trust Him fully with this life inside me. I know that the fears will still come and I think that’s okay. But when they do, may I lay them at His feet and replace them with His truth; that He is good, He is in control and He has come to give me life to the FULL.