Dwell in Me

Seeking God in the Every Day


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Falling Down, Getting Back Up

You know that feeling, when you just blink your eyes and realize a month has passed? I can’t believe my last post was February 25!

I wish I had super exciting news to report, and some good excuses for why I’ve been absent and where I’ve been. But I don’t. It’s just been a different season for me lately, and although I’ve been missing writing, I’ve also been knee-deep in those things of life that have to be dealt with. Maybe you’ve been there too? Or maybe you’re much more organized than I am and know how to line up guest posts and keep things going. Ha. Someday maybe I’ll be there.

I’ve had a tough couple of days. To be honest, I’ve been kind of frustrated about our infertility lately. I feel like it should be over already. As we keep waiting for that elusive BFP, this sense that we’re actually trying yet it still hasn’t worked has dredged up a lot of feelings I thought I’d addressed and moved through.

Apparently they were just buried.

For months now I’ve been “so well-adjusted” and happy. I’ve been self-assured and confident that I’ve learned all the lessons God could possibly be teaching me through this trial. As we’ve been studying Joseph’s story and all about suffering in I Peter for my Bible studies, I’ve read along, nodding. “Oh yes,” I’ve thought, “suffering does develop good character in us. Look what it’s done for me!”

But I’m ready to be done with infertility. I’m ready to move on. When will God agree? Can’t I graduate yet?

We went to the rodeo on Saturday. The Houston Livestock show and Rodeo is seriously amazing. And that’s coming from a yankee suburban girl. I went to the rodeo for the first time two years ago. I had no idea what to expect, and I fell in love. We missed the rodeo last year, so this was only my second trip, but it didn’t disappoint.

The Houston Rodeo has an event that, to my understanding, very few other rodeos still have. It’s called mutton busting. In this extreme sport, 5 and 6 year old boys and girls who weigh between 35 and 55 pounds are plopped onto full-grown sheep. They hold on tightly as the sheep (hopefully) runs across a pen.

Sometimes they fall off after a short distance. And other times, the adults waiting at the end struggle to get the children to release the sheep. When they fall off, they almost always bounce back up and wave to the audience.

This is the highlight of the rodeo for me. I’m a little sad I wasn’t given the opportunity to ride a sheep when I was a child, and I fully intend to sign my children up for a ride one day. They may or may not have any say in the matter…

As we sat in the outdoor tent watching the mutton busing prelims, I was feeling so emotional. I kept feeling like I was holding back tears. But there wasn’t anything to cry about.

Over the next few days, I tried to process these feelings. It came as something of a surprise to me, but I realized that I was feeling really frustrated and angry about our situation. I’ve been irritated by the injustice of infertility. Some little part of me keeps welling up and crying out, “not fair!” Like a child.

Where is this coming from? I thought I’d dealt with these feelings. I’ve been matured and made better in my trial, right? I know I’ve been blessed through infertility and yet I lost the ability, for a few days, to find joy in my trial.

I don’t have a moral to the story here. Or even a good metaphor to tie the sheep in (though I kind of wish I did). This is where I’ve been lately. Processing. Evaluating. Re-processing. Re-evaluating. And praying. And asking God to give me some clarity here, and to give me some joy.

It’s easy to blog all the good lessons I’m learning, and the amazing finds in God’s word that just make my heart leap. It’s easy, on a blog, to put on a good face and seem like everything’s fine. To play this, “look at me and how I’m blossoming” card. But I guess that’s just part of the picture.

And the other part, the part that’s easier to hide, is the “this is really hard” part. The part that whines, “are we there yet?” The part that still cries out, “It’s not fair!”

I don’t like that part. But it’s a good reminder that I still have a lot to learn. And I guess I always will.

But maybe, just maybe, I don’t have to keep learning it all through infertility? We’ll see where the next month takes us, I guess.

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Asking, and Still Asking

Do you ever feel a little bit phony?

I’ve been riding a bit of an infertility roller coaster lately. I guess it’s been for the past few weeks, maybe even over a month. I am just so ready to be on the other side of this. So ready.

I think I’ve also reached a place where I think I’ve learned my lessons. Yes, I’ve been blessed in a number of ways by infertility, not least of which is getting connected to some absolutely wonderful men and women who are sitting in this boat with me–or who have been. I’ve grown closer to God and to my husband. I’ve seen intimacy increase in both relationships in ways I never expected. I know I’ve gained a new appreciation for what I’m missing, that I’ll be more joyful and slower to complain when things are tough in pregnancy or after. And I’ve benefited in some tangible ways: I eat better (or at least know better and try to), I’ve eliminated some potentially and actually harmful substances from my skin care routine. I’ve begun some new habits that will hopefully help my house run a bit smoother once I get them all down. And these are all things that will be good for my coming children.

I wouldn’t take it all back. Really I wouldn’t. I’m grateful, honest-to-goodness grateful for the journey that has led me here. But have I learned enough yet? Because I really, really am so ready to move on.

And the phoniness? It comes out on here sometimes, when I want to look like I have things more together than I really do. Mea culpa. Seriously. And I feel it when I’m with the people who don’t know. The ones who ask me, at my Bible study, “How are you?” with that look that says, “I know there’s something hurting you” or “Are you really okay?” or “No really, tell me, how are you?”

And I’m so grateful to have these women who ask me with depth. They know. I know some of them know. I’m 29, I’ve been married almost six years, I live in Texas, and I’m a stay at home wife. They know. But they don’t pry, they just keep asking, “How are you?” and meaning it.

And I keep deflecting. Like today, when I told a dear friend that, well, I have to get my house cleaned for DH’s grandparents who are coming to visit. I do need to do that, by the way. My house is a complete disaster. And I’m not exaggerating (though I really wish I was!). And I know why I’m not telling them, why I’m not exposing myself in that way and why we’re waiting. And I think we have some valid reasons not to tell, beyond just protecting ourselves. So I’m not actually rethinking that decision. Just, I guess, coming to terms with the feeling of phoniness that likes to sneak in.

And then, there’s God’s word. And I read it and I so want some of these things to be true for me specifically, but I don’t know how to take the promises specific to one person, or to one tribe, or to one time and place, and call them mine. I don’t know if they’re mine. And truthfully, the only thing that makes me want to say they are mine is because they line up so well with my will. But in my head I know that God’s will is best.*

And I’ll keep asking. And keep seeking. But I’m not yet claiming. I don’t know if I can, or should. So here I am, God, still waiting. Waiting to hear what your promises are to me. Hoping that, like infertility, having a child is a good gift you have in store for me. And waiting for this trial to end. Please let it end.

Sigh.

Keep on asking and it will be given to you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened.

Or what man is there of you, if his son asks him for a loaf of bread, will hand him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will hand him a serpent? If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give good and advantageous things to those who keep on asking him!
(Matthew 7:7-11, AMP)

With family in town from now through Thanksgiving, I’m not sure how consistent I’ll be (they are staying with DH’s parents, or I know I wouldn’t be able to do much blogging). I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed lately–not by the blog, but by other things–and I am striving to find balance. So, if I’m quiet for oddly long periods, please don’t worry. I’ll be back. I might be back tomorrow. But I appreciate your patience.