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Friday, August 17, 2012

What do I have to be grateful for?

When I sit down to write my blog post I always pray and ask for wisdom about what I should write that day.  Sometimes, I question why I am being asked to write on a particular topic and sometimes the words come freely and clearly without question.  My prayer is always the same "God show me what you would have me to share today, may it touch someone who is hurting and may my words not be harsh or judgmental for you know I have a long ways to go in my journey."  Today's post was definitely not one that came quickly or easily. Whenever I discuss my daughter, my heart breaks for those that don't have any children and are dealing with infertility.  I don't pity or feel sorry for them (I don't like people pitying me), instead I ache for what they are experiencing and know that their journey has to be one of the hardest.  So, my hope and prayer in writing today's post is that you will hear the message of my heart.
Yesterday, was my daughter's first day of school, she started 3rd grade.  I dread every school year because it reminds me of how much she has grown and how we will only have her at home for a short time.  I managed to hold it together pretty well as I took her into her school and watched her find her teacher in her morning assembly.  I even held it together as I walked to the car and drove away.  Driving down the rode to work, I was hit by the realization that I had dropped her off for 3rd grade.  A year filled with letter grades, state testing and many expectations on my sweet 8 year-old.  To be completely honest, I was not only filled with sadness that she was growing-up so fast, but also with anger that this may possibly be my last day to take a child to 3rd grade.  I am normally a rather optimistic, glass half-full person, but I was not thinking that way yesterday.  I begin to question God and why he would allow me to have this longing to have more children and not provide.  All day long I struggled with this question and was really sad and upset.  Needless to say, it was not a great day for me :-).
Last night, as I got my daughter ready for bed and I begin rushing around to get everything ready for yet another day, my sweet little girl out of the blue said to me "mommy, you are the bestest mommy in the world and there isn't another mommy I would want to have.  I wouldn't trade you for anything."  She then proceeded to ask me to tell her the story of how she was a miracle and how I wasn't supposed to be able to have babies.  I told her once again about how special she is, about how God healed her when she was still in my tummy and there was something wrong with her brain and about how a couple years after she was born we found out that we shouldn't have been able to have any children.  She then said the sweetest and most humbling thing to me.  She told me that she was glad that me and daddy had her, because it would be really hard if we didn't have her.  Wow, talk about a wake-up call from an 8 year-old! All day long, I was angry and sad about not having more children, instead of focusing on what I had right in front of me.  I feel truly blessed to have Kaitlyn and to have her call me mommy.
 So here is what I learned from my 8 year-old, rather wise daughter: I need to focus more on what I have been blessed with and not on what I don't have.  I need to spend each day thanking God for given me a miracle child.  I could sure use Kaitlyn's perspective on so many things I face and get frustrated about. 
I know we are told again and again to count our blessings and be grateful for what we have, but if you are anything like me that is one of the hardest things to do when you are facing this infertility battle. 
What do you have to be thankful for today?  A loving and supportive husband?  A roof over your head?  A family that loves you?  A job?  Food to eat everyday?  A church family?  Close friends?  Your health?  I know that it is truly hard to be grateful for what you have, when there is something that you pray for and want so badly, but please take a moment today to be thankful for what you do have and don't take anything for granted!  I know this is what I need to do more often, I bet if I do I will have some better days.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Healing

The meaning of healing according to Merriam-Webster.com is to make sound or whole; to restore to health, to cause (an undesirable condition) to be overcome: mend; "the troubles...had not been forgotten, but they had been healed" William Power.

The quote in the last part of that definition really stood out to me today as I contemplated the word healing.  I have recently been recovering from yet another surgery (hopefully the last) related to my endometriosis.  I was down for 4 weeks instead of the 1 that was expected and I am still dealing with lingering issues from the complications of this surgery.  When I sat down to decide how to write this new blog post and especially after reading the definition of healing, I was struck with how very appropriate this definition is for not only the last 4 weeks of my recovery, but for the last 6 years of my life and all the healing, both physically and emotionally, that I have had to face with infertility.  We are taught and encouraged to "heal" and move on with things.  We are allowed to mourn, but we are told "buck up," "deal with it," "get over it," and the always fun "it's okay to mourn, but you have to move on eventually." I often think that we push people to heal too quickly and in doing this we do not allow them to truly process what it is they are recovering from.  Do emotional wounds really heal?  After the physical damage or initial trauma has passed can you really move on?  Do you ever recover from being told you can't have children?  Do you ever recover from losing a baby?  Do you ever recover from not being able to reach a dream that you have dreamed since childhood of having a big family?  Do you ever recover from the heartbreak of having to explain to your child why they don't have any siblings?  Do you ever recover from watching people who can't provide for the children they have, have child after child while you sit back and try with no results?  Maybe the above definition answers this: the troubles had not been forgotten, but they had been healed.  I am not saying we live in self-pity, bitterness, or constant turmoil, but maybe we do heal and never forget.  Now, this is where I really want to challenge you (and me), maybe that not forgetting part is the reason that we grow?  Maybe you wouldn't be the person you are or I wouldn't be the person I am without having to heal from all the things we have experienced.  The Bible also speaks to this in Romans 5:3 3 but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. My very wise Father recently reminded that nothing in our life goes to waste, all of your experiences both good and bad have prepared you for what you are facing.  I encourage you today to know that it is okay for your troubles to not be forgotten.  Healing is truly a journey. I pray you can learn from the long, bumpy and unpredictable ride.

****I would love to hear from each of you, please e-mail me at currinfamily@cox.net with your pray requests, stories of healing, infertility, miscarriage, serious health conditions etc.  I would also ask that you include what has been or would be the most helpful thing(s) that people can or have done to help you in your healing.  Thanks in advance for sharing!****