It’s been a long time since i decided to write. (I’m realizing that my introvertedness requires a fairly slow process of rumination before things form for the outside.) For a while, I just had nothing to say… It was an angry silence at first, then some despairing confusion about why I had been led on that wild goose chase to India and back. Then, mysteriously, pieces of acceptance started to be present in my heart without my knowing how it got there really. One moment of comforting clarity I remember happened on a day in Jan or Feb when I drove out to the Gorge to find a peaceful spot to dig in to my heart to see what was in there and try to listen to the Spirit and hear what God might speak to me. I drove by waterfalls and sat atop a ridge looking out over the mighty Columbia River that cut that giant Gorge splitting Oregon and Washington. The song I listened to as I drove praised God saying “You are beautiful in all Your ways..” It was easy to agree with the truth as I thought about God’s power and creativity to carve so beautifully the land I was looking out on. It also begged the question of my heart about my journey to India: “Do I believe that Way was beautiful as well?” My heart stiffened at the idea. At that time, I had very little appreciation for the gorge He had been carving through me via this journey to bear a child.

He answered for me, knowing my heart already. The answer I perceived from Him was full of gentle grace and mercy, yet unwavering in His own confidence and His work in me. He just said, “You don’t have to say it was beautiful right now. You don’t have to manufacture feelings or reasons to say you’re happy with how things went. But stay with Me and you will see the Beauty.” I imagined Him and I (Him as Aslan the Lion from Narnia since Josh and G have been reading thru the series at bedtime again) standing on that ridge, and looking at the remnants of a battle below, a laborious climb we’d just finished together. I sensed Him looking at me, understanding and patient with my weariness, but not sorry because He knew this moment of intimacy and partnership was worth more. It was a picture of that element of Risk that binds relationships of all kinds. The people we risk with and the ones we really know and love (and sometimes love-hate!), right?

So I took one step forward into acceptance and trust that day. I felt free to be where I was in the process, knowing His love for me was patient and confident. I don’t know how it happened except that I started to put down my right to understand and choose my way. I drove home still lacking answers or resolution but feeling comforted nonetheless. and THAT was the real breakthrough that day. How many times before had he asked me, prodded me to let Him comfort me…and I couldn’t. Now He did. and my broken heart finally welcomed it.

this is where I sat to be faced with both the beauty and the pain of God's work in the world.

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Well, there’s almost been about a month of silence here at the Making of a Mama. Fitting perhaps, since there’s been none of that happening around here. (yep – Bitter, party of one :-). Really I haven’t had much to say. I’ve been ignoring, avoiding, and dealing with other stuff. But of course thoughts are churning and I want to be honest about this process still.

The truth is I wanted this “process” to be over. But it’s not. That has felt exhausting to me.  As you might have expected, or felt yourself, my initial response to God was anger and confusion. And betrayal really. I spent 2 months away from my family on the other side of the world because I felt invited to hope for what I had previously believed I was cut off from.  What a great labor it was for both Him and me to get to a place of trust and hope in that. So, why all that for what feels like nothing? And He knew the outcome all along?

Here are some journal entries from those first days…

“Why would you lead me on such a wild goose chase, drawing me out to hope for a pregnancy? It feels so cruel now. F’ing messed up really. I don’t trust You and I’m not going anywhere with you again. You say those who trust in you will never be put to shame, but we look like fools for following you now.”

“I remember telling You this was the scenario that I couldn’t handle, that I wouldn’t survive – following you to India and coming home with the same empty womb. You told me that I didn’t yet know the person I would be if that happened..that you were still making me, and that you’d be with me in any outcome. I believed you. I still do… because of the way you’ve been steadily making me…you’ve changed me, softened me, strengthened me. But oh how i hoped there was the possibility of a longing fulfilled! To your credit, You never promised me that. But it’s so hard to think about the fact that You knew all along that would not be the case. ah! How many times you invited me to risk hoping. It seemed like you wanted me to believe in the possibility. and in You. You helped me struggle out of my cocoon of fear and unbelief and I believed you. I just wonder if you ever intended to give me a baby – cause now it feels like you just played on my most intimate, tender desire to tell a disappointing story. I don’t get it. I tried to walk the line of hoping for the baby, but hoping IN You. I guess this is where the rubber meets the road on that. My energy for any kind of hoping feels completely drained now. Deep down I know you do good things, and that that eventually you’ll give me eyes to see the beauty in all you’ve done. Much I have seen already, but Lord, i feel beaten down with disappointment and so frustrated.”

So, I have felt pretty untethered in the last few weeks, mostly unwilling or unable to talk to God about it after this initial outrage. Immediately following the pregnancy test, we were traveling, enjoying the wedding of a dear friend and visiting family. There was new pain and complication on that home front that allowed us to ignore India for a bit. Josh and I only had a few moments to share a few thoughts with each other but mostly were looking at each other numbly – weary warriors, grateful at least for our love and partnership, even more intimately bound now.

We talked with a counselor who graciously listened to our story, affirmed the pain and confusion and the absence of easy answers.  She encouraged us to avoid trying to explain our pain away with theology (“but I know God is good…”) but to remain true to ourselves and to God by venturing to express our honest complaints to Him. and to do it together. She pointed us to the Psalms to give words to our hearts, ripe with it’s own expressed grievances to God Almighty.

So, reluctantly, I’m trying. I can’t avoid forever. And in the end, where else can I go??

Dang it. This is the one I didn’t want to write. The good and the bad of sharing this journey with so many amazing people is that the joy is multiplied when there’s something to celebrate, and so is the grief when it’s time for that. and that’s what today is for. My period came this morning and the test came back negative. I had already begun to grieve it yesterday, even before I really had proof. I just knew. Just like every other time. I was so sad and fragile. Today I am angry and confused, and tired. I have wanted to kick things. or smash some pumpkins. and I have so many questions for God.

maybe i’ll share some of those tomorrow. maybe you have some of the same questions for Him. Right now, my eyes are drooped low and sleep is calling my name…

Thank you so much for feeling this with me, friends. I know He won’t leave me here forever.

Tomrw (Monday) I have a dr. appt where we’ll find out the results of the blood test I took on Friday to determine pregnancy. I have remained peacefully optimistic for most of this 2 week wait but these last two days I have felt truly shaken by possible signs of a period coming. In my head this morning, it was absolute. And I started grieving the beginning of the end. I told myself it was too soon to do so, but I felt unable to overcome my doubt as the fear of disappointment became real again.

I cried with groanings that weren’t words at all, and when words came out, I asked him to give me any reason to hope still. I wanted to hide away for the day, but I knew I needed to be encouraged by the people and the songs and the truth and hope and the bread&wine I would experience if I went to our worship gathering. So I got my handkerchief and my sunglasses and prepared to let the tears flow there. (I cry every Sunday at some point…this time I was walking IN crying) I was met with long tight hugs and sincere pleading prayers from dear friends who have spent so much heart on me, walking into my wait and desire and pain. I heard a message that talked of pain being a portal of joy and experiencing real life and humanity as we were intended to live and be. I took communion with Josh and we affirmed to each other that we don’t have to figure this all out to believe that He is with us, and will bring us into full life.

I looked back at the verses I had started out with in India, and a few more from the same passage.

“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭10‬:‭22-23, 35-36, 39‬ NIV)

So, God has been gracious to me today. All this, plus we got to go sailing on a friends boat on this beautiful sunny afternoon! He has eased my anxiety, kept me from stumbling/falling off my rocker!

So we face tomorrow with Him.

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big squeeze

This was the hug I waited for for so long! Obviously, I couldn’t get enough, as it looks like about to pop my little Bug’s head off. It has been so good to be home, to have our family back together, and to get big hugs from our extended ‘family’ in Portland – so many friends who have been with us in heart and prayer while I was away.

I’ve been slowly getting in the groove and remembering what my life as a full time mom and house manager and airbnb proprietor entails. oh yeah…the laundry!

While I’m catching up on laundry and catching up with people this week, I’ll be WAITING. and praying and trying not to analyze every little thing my body is doing.  Technically I can take a pregnancy test on Friday, but Josh will be out of town, so it will be Saturday or Monday before we find out. I was telling a friend last night that I actually feel less anxious about finding out than i thought I would. 1) The 2 week waiting game feels pretty normal to me now…It’s part of the deal. 2) I’m hopeful. 3) I know God will be with me whatever the outcome…this is what He has spent so much time and pursuit and pain and care to try to prove to me, right? He has proven faithful. So today, no fear.
Ask me again on Saturday! #ohmeoflittlefaith

Still praying that that little embryo has been multiplying like crazy and is growing even now. Sometimes it’s hard to pray that, wondering if it even exists at this very moment. But, a girl can hope. and pray. 🙂

Embryo Transfer day and I didn’t get any calls this morning from Dr K or the embryologist. When I got to the clinic they sat me down for discussion about the embryos. They (Dr & Embr) both sort of had bad news faces and even said the words bad news at one point. They told me of the 4 left from yesterday, today one had arrested (aka stopped growing), 2 remained at just a few cells, and only One had reached 7 cells, enough for a transfer. Only one?! Well…That’s perfect! That’s all we need! I couldn’t believe it. My heart swelled with relief and thankfulness and excitement.

I have thought several times in the last few days of the story of Gideon in the bible. He is the leader of an army of 32,000 men, tasked with a battle, and he’s scared. He keeps testing God and asking Him to prove beforehand that their victory will be sure. God answers and says that it will, but He says there are too many men. The army is reduced to 10,000 then. God says it’s still too many, and that He wants Gideon and the nation of Israel to know that the victory would be by the Lord’s hand. So even though they were up against thousands, he tells Gideon to reduce the army again – this time to only 300 men! And through miraculous means, they win the battle.

I feel like it would have been easier on all of our hearts if we’d had embryos to spare, but man! The number just kept shrinking. thinking about these very few tiny cells made me and I know so many of you pray so hard. I was literally praying for cell division hour by hour.

Josh texted me just an hour before the transfer here, as she was going to bed so far away, that Galilee prayed this earnest, pleading prayer, as she has many times before. He said:
“Our daughter just prayed the sweetest prayer…begging the Father to give us a baby. “I don’t know why you haven’t yet, but please please please give us a baby. We want one so bad.” I was just weeping as her words reflected my heart”

Oh my. Her faith and humility to ask for what we want is more than I’ve had many days. She has been our mouthpiece sometimes. I know God hears those prayers. And I know we’re not out of the woods yet. We still have no guarantee of a baby, but we have the promise that God’s presence is with us and we believe in His power to bring life, so we continue to hope for that.

So – after that tangent – To be clear, the deed is done. The transfer happened a few hours ago and I am now resting and thanking God and praying for This tiny little thing to settle in and get cozy in it’s new home. 🙂

I leave Bangalore in the wee hours of Thurs morning and will have a long layover in Frankfurt where I will get to hop out of the airport and see a dear friend of mine for a few hours before I’m on to Portland!

Thanks as always for following and feeling this and giving yourself to this journey with us. I can’t believe this piece of it is coming to a close. And I can’t believe the joy and gratefulness in my heart. I’m hopeful about the next adventures.

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Ps. How crazy is it that we all start from 2 cells?! And that the cells know how to divide and make a person – with personality, and organ systems, and an unfathomably complex brain. Blows my mind.

Just got a call from the embryologist who says that we have several embryos that are growing. This is GOOD news! They have divided at least once but need to do some more cell division to grow big enough for a transfer tomorrow (Sunday). So keep hoping and praying for more growth! Excited and still waiting. 🙂