“There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you.” Maya Angelou
(Click here to read Part 1, Part 2)
I have 12 blog posts half written in my series DARE to HOPE that I am releasing on the blog in the coming weeks. But this one, #3 I have been fighting to write as I can’t bring the words up from my soul and and get them onto paper. How do I condense 3.5 years of journal writings exposing my battle with my reality into one blog post short enough that people will read? I’ve spent weeks mulling through my journals, in the Word, and in prayer, and I found myself at a unique place. Sadness has blanketed me and fear has gripped my fingers from typing. I’ve kept this story locked up and hidden it. Do I have the courage to share what God has called me to? I underestimated the depth of the pain I would face writing, until I dug it up and sorted through it. Every moment I’ve come to sit and write this post, it drained all the life in me for the day. I am sitting face to face with my reality, and it’s not easy to look at it in the mirror everyday. In my cute little, perfect world I was never going to have to write this. It was all going to get healed and fixed, and I was going to move on with life. But God has different plans for me. As I write these words my prayer is that they come from God, and that He would speak through my fingers as I type, because I don’t know if eloquence can come from my uncomposed heart.
If you are a dreamer like myself you may often find yourself lost in time as your mind slips into the outer edges of life, dreaming and hoping for all life has to offer. Looking back, I think expectations of American life formed in my childhood days when I spent hours watching the Walton family every afternoon. John and Olivia raised 7 beautiful kids, and every night wonderful John-boy ended the nightly family ritual of good-nights that rang out through the farmhouse. Here the beginnings of the picture of family life-a spouse, big family, a dog, and house with a white picket fence began being painted in my heart. From the Walton family years ago to the current American family, the white-picket fence mentality has painted expectations.
We dream of all that life has to offer and each of the phases it brings forth. No matter what phase of life you find yourself in, you continuously dream of what is next. Anticipation grows as these dreams and life stages become reality. But, slowly these dreams have molded into expectations whether we know it or not. I call these phases the dreams of white-picket fences.
Turning 16, getting your license, and buying your first car
Graduating high school
Graduating from college
Dating and being proposed to
Planning a dream wedding
Getting your first puppy
Buying your first house
Landing your dream job
Having a family
Becoming a grandparent
For most, each life stage is approached with great joy and anticipation. We rarely approach these dreams with any hesitation that they may not happen. In our minds, this is how you enter the next phase, naturally and expectantly.
Most all of my dreams were accomplished easily and with abundant joy because I let nothing stand in the way of where I was going and what I wanted. I make it happen. I work hard, pray hard, and dream hard. The fruits of God’s grace and my persistence brought forth a beautiful and pretty easy life. And, fence post by fence post my pretty white-picket fence was being built around my life.
Then it happened. Reality crashed hard into my white-picket fence, knocking me to the ground.
Over 3.5 years of a broken white-picket fence. A broken dream. A broken heart.
Every day passes slowly and each morning reality stares me in the face and drops me to my knees as I come to grips with my life. I struggle with infertility–this is my reality….
Infertility crashed into my dreams.
Here life has stopped.
Here my daily life looks similar to Hannah ,“In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly… I was pouring out my soul to the Lord… I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.” My life has gone from thriving to surviving as I attempt to find my place in this world as I am daily greeted with rivers of my tears from down in a dark pit. But in this pit I found Jesus. A God who can handle me and my emotions when no one else can, and when everyone has walked away or hurt me with their words. A God who sits with me every single day in this pit and catches my tears in a bottle. “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” (Ps. 56:8)
Personal journal entry November 2011, “I’m sitting on my dog’s bed near my bed tonight as I sort through my heart. It seems fitting to sit here. Today as it feels all our friends and peers celebrate their pregnancies, their gender reveal parties, we take the walk of shame into the infertility clinic. While joys are ringing out through Facebook congrats and all attention points to their big news, we walk quietly and all alone to the clinic. Trying to be strong and hopeful we grasp hand and enter the clinic. We sit nervously awaiting tests we wish we didn’t really have to do. In silence we sit, sorting through emotions struggling to understand. We rejoice with our friends and peers, yet there is still a deep sting in the heart bringing forth questions, will I ever get to experience this? Trying to hold tight to Jesus’ promises and not let my heart grow faint I continue to smile as tears slowly fall down the inside of my heart. Here I sit reading all about treatments, downing every home remedy and vitamin, and working through pain–realizing all our friends and peers are joyfully reading about the latest nursery decor and fun baby items as they bask in a glow. God, am I strong enough? I have to let go of these questions and cling to Jesus, my Rock and Redeemer who promises to never leave me. My future is unclear, but one things remains clear. Jesus loves me this I know. He died on a cross for me and I am clinging to His love.”
Dare to Hope is about the journey God’s place me on and the story He’s writing, in and through my life. Its devastating. It’s messy. It’s lonely. It’s hard. It’s scary. But I’ve found more of Jesus along the way. And I’ve become a different person through it.
This is my story of daring to hope.
I hope you join me as I release my untold story.
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