Identity Crisis

Aug 17, 2015

We found out when I was just shy of 6 weeks pregnant. People that we had told started asking me questions I wasn’t prepared for. Are you going to use a doctor or a midwife? Do you think you’ll want to do a natural birth? What about a home birth? When is your first appointment? Do you feel different? Why don’t you seem more excited? Processing a pregnancy after infertility was not an easy thing for me. There is too much to wrap your head around. I wasn’t sure what I felt because I found myself in a place that I never thought I would be. Before I could experience the vast emotions of having a life inside me, I had to believe it. It sounds strange, right? I mean, how could I not believe it? There were 4 positive tests in front of me telling me it was so. That should be proof enough. But it was so much deeper than that.

When we first started our infertility struggle, God stripped me of an identity I had held so tightly to. My entire life, I had put pregnancy and motherhood on a pedestal and had an expectation that I would experience both. When I couldn’t conceive, my identity as a woman and future mom was wrecked. I worked through some deep, dark spaces as I struggled to trust God’s plan over me. For so long, I refused to refer to myself as infertile. It felt like such an ugly, unwanted title and I wasn’t ready to claim it.

Eventually, God began to show me the purpose in the pain and I began to accept it. I was infertile. And eventually I learned to not only accept it, but embrace it. I was infertile and THAT is what made me a mama to the most amazing daughter via adoption. I began to wear it like a badge of honor. I embraced my infertility, fully accepting that God’s plan for us was good, though different than I once pictured.

I had moved from one identity extreme to the next without realizing it. I now owned the title of infertility so deeply as part of my being. So when I found out I was pregnant, it felt like God was stripping me of an identity once again. I had fully accepted that I was never going to get pregnant. I knew that God could do all things, but I fully believed that His plan for me was to never conceive. Though this news of life inside me was incredible and miraculous, it also caused me a great deal of identity crisis. I had a hard time believing it was true because I so deeply identified myself by my infertility. I kept saying to God, “This can’t be right. This can’t be right. I can’t get pregnant.” 

One night I had this crazy dream. I’ve always had pretty intense, symbolic dreams, but my pregnancy dreams have gone to a whole new level of crazy! I dreamt that I was burying myself. I know, super weird and creepy but when I woke up, it made so much sense. God wanted me to surrender myself completely; to die to whatever identity I had built of myself and allow Him to be the author of my life. I had to let go of both my identities. He no longer wanted me to identify myself as fertile or infertile, He wanted to identify myself as His. And from there, as His daughter, fully and completely hidden in Christ and accepted by the Father, I could accept His good gifts and plans with open hands and an open heart.

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