Friday, August 29, 2008

Lessons...

I have been kicking this post around for days in my mind.  This is how I have always known in some form, I was born to write.  When I have significant occurrences in my life, I always write out my thoughts mentally, until I process through what is necessary.  In my quest to be authentic, this post may be somewhat messy and hard to read but I want to be honest and share what God is doing.  So here goes.
I continue to be baffled with this infertility nightmare.  Both with a desperate desire to understand my body and what is causing pain and infertility and with the whys of the delay.  See, I completely, 100% believe we will have more biological children.  I also am far from despair.  However, some of the consequences of this delay are getting to me.  Like Abby Kate getting a month older each time the pregnancy test shows only one line.  And realizing yesterday that she will be going to Kindergarten around the same time this next child becomes old enough to really play with her.  And having yet another due date pass.  And seeing my husband become more and more saddened.  And feeling the weight of trying and then trying not to worry.  But I am certain that God does not waste pain so I am sure this trial has come with great purpose for us.

So here I am, trying to figure out the whys.
And perhaps that will never be revealed, but here are some of the things I am learning.

1.  Generational sin stops here.  
I ran into a precious couple at a wedding a few weeks ago.  They had heard we were pregnant and asked if it was going to be a boy or a girl (I was wearing an empire waist bubble dress...NEVER AGAIN!) and I laughed and said I was not pregnant but quickly told them I had miscarried a few times.  They were so sweet and shared of their struggle to conceive their son who was 4 years younger than their first.  She shared that she really believed that delay for them was so they could pray through some generational sins and break free from them so they would not be passed down.  Great insight and something Bobby and I are praying through as well.

2.  A strengthened marriage.  
We are currently doing a Bible study called Growing Kids God's Way that has been incredible.  One of the things we have learned is how foundational and essential a strong marriage is to a child.  So much of their security and identity comes from seeing their Mom and Dad interact.  This is where they see love modeled.  They shared through this study that if there is a lot of conflict in the home, a child as young as 18 months will sense it and can act out to try to unify the parents.  They suggest having 5-15 minutes of couch time, to show your children that they come second to our marriage and to allow them to see quality time played out (we usually have that time after she is asleep thus never allowing her see us together as husband and wife rather than Mommy and Daddy).  They warn that the child will act out at first (she does) but it will eventually bring her great comfort to know that Mommy and Daddy are in love and are not going to go anywhere or rock her world.  
Bobby and I have sought help, as well as consistently prayed through conflict in our marriage.  We have had to learn and relearn how to communicate, how to resolve conflict, how to best love the other.  We are still FAR from perfect but have truly come so far from where we began.  One thing I now share with every newly engaged girl or newlywed that welcomes advice is if I had it to do all over again, I would work extra hard at esteeming my husband.  One thing we learned through counseling is men and women have many needs, but ultimately, men need to be affirmed and women need undivided, quality listening.  As a woman, we are guilty of putting off affirmation for numerous reasons.  Like thinking, "well, why should I thank him for working?  It is what he is supposed to be doing."  or "I am not going to say anything because it may lead to sex and I am way too tired."  or "I am not going to say anything because it is just going to give him a big head and begin to take and never give back."  
Bobby had become an expert at appearing like he needed nothing.  He was aloof during conflict as if it was not touching him AT ALL while I was a weeping mess.  I thought early on that he was a confident monster while I felt like a needy wreak.  But over time, I recognized his actions as coping mechanisms and that he was truly as insecure as I was.  If I had affirmed early on, the walls we are still trying to take down would have never been erected in the first place.  I now know that he will GO TO THE MOON AND BACK if I just affirm him.
And I would try to squash my expectations and as we vowed at our wedding, "accept him as God's perfect gift for me."  Expectations are founded in selfishness.  It is what we think we deserve and if they are not met, frustration almost always occurs.  I would try to expect little and love big.

3.  God is an abundant lover, no matter what I do.
I have ran.  I have wept.  I have despaired.  I have quit reading my Bible and prayed little.  I have spent a lifetime trying to perform in order to receive blessing.  I recently felt God clearly say to me, "come and rest."  And I began to experience His love in a new way.  Because before, I  was always the good girl, doing what was expected of a Christian.  I responded well.  I attempted to jump through the right hoops.  So when blessing came, somewhere deep, it felt expected.  And now His extravagant grace has been heaped upon my life and though my heart's desire has not been given, I know it is coming.  And I know this wait will be for not.  WHAT JOY!
My friend Whitney posted on her blog a while back this precious quote that has been a battle cry for me.  It has given me strength when I felt nothing.  Hope it blesses you where you are as it has blessed me.
"THERE IS NOTHING- no circumstance, no trouble, no testing that can ever touch me until first of all it has gone past God and past Christ, right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with A GREAT PURPOSE, which I may not understand at the moment. But as I REFUSE to become panicky, I LIFT UP MY EYES TO HIM; AND ACCEPT IT as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart. No sorrow will ever disturb me, no trial will ever disarm me, and no circumstance will cause me to fret FOR I SHALL REST IN THE JOY OF WHAT MY LORD IS--That is the "rest of Victory."

2 comments:

Jill said...

Thank you Stephanie...truly, thank you.

The Trons said...

Stephanie,
I really enjoyed our time together at the rehearsal dinner. It was good seeing you!
Thank you for your honesty. I am sorry for the pain you are in right now. I am committing to pray for you...I appreciate having specific things to lift up.
This post was so challenging for me and my marriage. Thanks for sharing your heart.
Cary