Monday, September 25, 2017

Trusting Without Borders // Part 5

Well hey y'all!  It's been a long time since I posted when I last blogged about the grief I experience (present tense, y'all- it's definitely something you learn to live with and not an event in time) over the sudden and unexpected loss of my mom earlier this year.  And it's been even longer since I've opened up about our fertility struggles with the Trusting Without Borders series.  The reception of that series was astounding!  I received so many comments and messages from people that either related on so many levels or just wanted to encourage and pray for us... I felt the love!! 

Well where are we now on our fertility journey?  Have we given up?  Are we still "trying"?  Have our prayers been answered?  Has God completely redirected our hearts and paths?? 

Well let me go ahead and give you a spoiler alert... this is NOT a pregnancy announcement post.  I know that is so disappointing to those of you rooting and praying for us, but that's exactly why I feel the need to give a little update.

So a lot has happened in the last year of our lives (to say the least).  After I last blogged the last post in this series (actually just two days after) we had a flood, moved four times in four months, said goodbye to my mama, broke my hand that resulted in surgery and pins and months of therapy, and just a busy life in general. So to keep things in order, let me start right where we left off. 

In September, after the chaos of the flood started calming down and children went back to school, we returned to the doctor and more blood work was ordered.  To my complete and udder shock, my progesterone levels came back normal!  We were advised that no further fertility treatment was needed at that time, and to call them back if we weren't pregnant in 6 months.  Well okay... Let's make a baby already.

The next 6 months did not provide the ideal circumstances for expanding our family.  So month 7 rolled around without the first positive pregnancy test, and back to the doctor I went.  This time the blood work was frustrating. My progesterone results were too low for optimal fertility but not low enough to declare infertility.  So other tests were set up the next week.  And wouldn't you know it, I broke my hand that weekend and surgery was scheduled the same day as the fertility tests.  So we had to put it off yet another month.  The next month we repeated blood work and my levels were the lowest they had ever been... So back down the Clomid path we went.  Only this time, my fear returned stronger than ever.  All I could think about was what if I was ruining Jude and Aubrey Lane's lives by potentially conceiving another baby with chromosome abnormalities.  I was back to 3 years earlier crying hysterically and full of fear!!  After talking it over with Lane, my mother in law, and two best friends- they each reminded me that God's plans were good and just for me; that I needed to decide once and for all to completely trust and move forward. 

Then in complete randomness, I was texting back in forth with a sweet sister who served on the Prayer Team with me the last time I served at a Discovery Weekend.  Not only had this sweet sister in Christ faced secondary infertility, but this special lady really walks with the Lord.  I mean when this sweet sister shares what the Lord has shown her, you listen and you listen good.  Anyway, I shared with her my fertility frustrations and fears, and she told me she prayed that I wouldn't look to the left or the right but keep my eyes on the Lord.  Y'ALL!!  Do y'all remember that from here?? I just wept.  It was a bold reminder that God still sees me and has good plans for me!

When my trigger shot arrived, I had one last hard cry that morning, said lots of prayers, and drove to my sweet nurse friend's house so she could give me the injection!


We were going to COMPLETELY trust God and we were going to MAKE a baby!

Then it didn't work.

No worries.  We shall try again next month.

And it didn't work again.

That's okay! July will be our MONTH!

And it wasn't.

Are you seeing the trend here???

So after a few failed months, more tests had to be done.  More labs.  More sticks.  More doctors.  More money.  Lots more money.

Nothing (thank goodness) came back wrong or worrisome.  But why aren't we conceiving?  Our doctor believes that my balanced translocation is rearing its ugly head; that we are conceiving but the babies aren't implanting or "sticking" because they are genetically compromised.  So nothing to do but just keep trying.

This is where I started getting antsy.  I have cried and prayed,

"Lord, is this not your will for me?  Am I beating on a door you have closed and locked, and I just refuse to accept it?"

This started consuming my every waking thought...  Why isn't the Lord blessing us with a baby?  I thought I heard Him so clear??  If I didn't, have I ever really heard Him?? 

Thank GOODNESS, the Lord puts Godly people in my path to remind me of the Truths and get me out of my own head.  My mother in law reminded me that there was nothing shameful about wanting another baby.  And my close friend who has faced unfathomable tragedy shared that she thought God was lining things up to build a great testimony.... they have a wonderful testimony of faith and endurance, but it isn't the testimony she thought God was working out for her.  And then remembering a few years ago that our Sunday School teacher/ family doctor asked me if I believed I was in the Will of God, and when I answered yes, he told me that I would make the right decision...

All of this weighed heavily on my mind and heart.  As I sat on the examination table of yet another doctor waiting for yet another fertility test, I prayed heavily for God to keep directing me on the right path and to show me if I was on the wrong one.  When the reproductive endocrinologist came in, it was a man I had never met and doesn't know "my story", but for some reason he asked.  He asked how long we had been trying and if we already had kids.  I got to share that we have a 6 year old and an almost 10 year old.  He remarked that's quite a spread and asked if we had trouble conceiving either of those.  To his shock, I answered not a bit!  Our first son has special needs and was very medically fragile his first few years of life, so we were hesitant moving forward.  Then he asked the million dollar question-  you're not hesitant anymore?  I didn't have to think about my response.  Absolutely not!  Our daughter is such a joy.  Her birth and being has brought so much healing and restoration to our hearts.  And despite his needs, our son is our little sunshine.  Our lives would be shallow and empty without him.  He has taught us so much about God!

In that moment I was reminded that there IS PURPOSE IN THE JOURNEY!!  Maybe I walked down this path for such a time as this.  That encounter.  This blog.  The broken heart reading it.

So when you are seeking the Lord and praying desperately over that unanswered prayer, when is the time to just give up?  The answer is NEVER! If you pray for someone to come to the Lord, do you give up if it doesn't happen after one prayer?  No!  If you are seeking the Lord and walking with Him, then you are in his Will and remember He's the one that gives you the desires of your heart.  You NEVER GIVE UP!!

To the single Christian entering her 30's alone, keep pressing in.  To the couple facing yet another negative pregnancy test, keep trying.  To the person still praying over the health of a sick or dying loved one, keep the faith.  To the parent still praying over their child's salvation, KEEP PRAYING!!  God wants us to pray fervently and expectantly.  He says so in His Word!

Am I saying that eventually God will say yes to all the things you cover in petition every night?  I wish I could, but I don't know what's best for you... or me, but God sure does! 

What I am saying is that if I have learned anything in this life, it's that God works and is glorified just as much, if not more, in the journey, not just the destination!!  As a wife that has seen way too many negative pregnancy tests, a mother who faces the reality that it is likely I will outlive my son, and a daughter who lost her mother to cancer, I can still say I am on this road for His glory.  YOU ARE ON THIS ROAD FOR HIS GLORY!!  Your testimony may not look like what you thought it would, but it will still be a testimony of God's goodness and faithfulness.

I don't know if God is going to bless us with another baby.  I'm not sure I'm on this path for that exact end result.   However, realizing that there is purpose in this pain and journey does encourage me to keep pressing in because there just might be another doctor who needs to see and hear what God has done and is doing. There just might be another woman in the waiting room that needs someone to talk to.  And there just might be one reader who needed the encouragement to just keep pressing forward.

So tonight when you lift up that unanswered prayer yet again, I will pray that the Lord sends you a sweet reminder of why you're still on this journey and your zeal be revived.  That you continue to trust Him without borders.

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