I write in my Senior memory book. What are my goals? Where do I see myself in ten years? I have this! I know what I want for my life, I have my plans laid out in this journal. Married with two children, living close to the beach in my white picket fenced in yard, and juggling a career as someone’s irreplaceable secretary.
Life happened and two years later, I am married for approximately two months before moving close to the beach. I have never minded not having the white picket fence, I had a home and a husband that loved me. I graciously acquired a job as a secretary (okay, honestly it was more like a “gopher” job) but I was excited nonetheless. My goals written down on paper were becoming my life. I started contemplating my next goal, a family. We both agreed that after five years of marriage we would be more ready to start a family.
For the next three years, I waited. I became discouraged. There were no solemn medical reasons why it just wasn’t becoming a reality. I struggled to understand the wait. Why me? when it is so easy for so many others. You start to notice every woman with a baby in her arms, every woman who abuses their children in your view, and continue to ask Why? I thought I was going crazy at times, my arms would actually feel the ache of being empty. I still don’t have the answer to those questions. It makes no more sense to me now than it did back then.
All the while, believing that I could own stock in the EPT company considering my number of purchases? One day in March, I finally saw a positive test result. I was determined it was an error, so I purchased two more. After a third positive test, I called my husband and with trembling hands, I dialed the number to my Ob/Gyn. Knowing my struggle, they told me to come straight to the office for blood work. My lab results would show that finally, I was pregnant and a due date for late November. What an anniversary present this would be!
Within a few short days after my appointment, my joy would be turned to discouragement once again. More blood work would show that my pregnancy hormone levels were not increasing, but declining and the signs of miscarriage would soon overtake me both physically and emotionally. I never wanted to know what it was like to be one of these women, the horror stories you read in the back of the “expecting” books. I am here. I am more broken than I have ever known, my dreams are turned to ashes. I ask again, “Why Me?”
I can be honest here in my whitespace. This is my story. I struggled. I questioned everything about myself, about my faith and even the lack thereof. I had awesome friends and family that encouraged me..and I had those non-compassionate ones that said all of the wrong things. It was during those times that I vowed to remember what it felt like to have someone discourage you, to make you feel less because of your struggles, to judge you because of your infirmities. I learned through my experience the kind of person I never wanted to become. I also learned of the power of encouragement, from the smallest amount to the largest. I also learned that it’s okay to just be sad with your friends.
The day came, the one I call – the end of my rope. I remember my prayer vividly. I asked God for a favor. I didn’t ask him for a child. He already knew the desire of my heart. I asked him to remove my overwhelming desire for one, if it was not his plan for my life. I had come to the place where I was no longer able to handle the disappointment. I again asked “Why Me?” and I heard …”Why not you?” (meaning, I am no different from others that have had the same pain) I can’t say that I “gave up” after that prayer, but He gave me a type of peace that I didn’t understand. I was functional again and at least I managed to handle my emotions little by little. Was I still heartbroken? Yes. Thirteen years seemed like a lifetime of hurt and disappointments. At times, it was some of my darkest moments. I shudder sometimes even revisiting them, but I am determined to learn. I am determined to use my story to encourage someone else. I know the dark places of discouragement and being broken.
My story would continue to unfold in those thirteen years, I had already begun writing the last chapter here, the end. I had come to terms with this part of life. The last dream I would have of my stepdad, nearly a year after his death..I saw him handing me a white wrapped bundle. He said “This is yours”.. end of the dream. I know that God uses things that are dear to our hearts, I don’t know why He used him. I still don’t understand, but it seemed important to mention.
I would reluctantly purchase one more test…after thirteen years of infertility. This would be my “beauty for ashes” … my daughter. Her name would be biblical, Hannah-not because she was a barren woman, but because she was diligent in her petitions, she was a prayer warrior who was “real” with God. She is now 13 years old..forever a part of my story.
Whatever your struggle…be real. Everyone has a purpose and a story. Who knows? The small things in your story, may become a huge spark of encouragement for someone else. If you find yourself asking “Why Me?” maybe your story has to be written for a greater purpose.
Isaiah 61:2-4 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.