(Click here to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)
Quiet I sat. Alone I walked. My lips were sealed. But everyday in my heart there sat my story, my struggle.I built walls and chains, then shut the door around a part of life where I let no one enter. There, behind closed doors was where the war was waged and the battles were fought. I was fighting to be “normal.” Fighting to hold on to the American painted picture of a “normal family life.” In my pursuit of normalcy, I walked into the trap of shame. In the dictionary shame can mean the painful emotion caused by consciousness of a shortcoming. My perfection driven personality easily took on the burden of my shortcoming. This was the shame I heaped upon my shoulders and wrestled with behind closed doors. I let no one into this hidden corner of my life because I was embarrassed. I was so ashamed that I was different. Many wars were fought in my head over never wanting this brokenness to become my identity or ruin my comfortable, “normal” life. I wasn’t living in freedom. I was in bondage to this idea and fight for normalcy.
This idea of normalcy builds from the world’s standards of expectations for life. For me, everyone decided to vocally share their opinion that after 5 years of marriage I need to start my family because this is the “normal” way to do it. Day after day I fought their words until it chipped away at my soul, and I slowly gave in, believing the lie that I was not normal. The pressure of culture and people’s expectations for our lives throws unfair burdens that we start to carry that begin to weigh us down. Soon I began walking- deceived in my thinking, with my head down full of shame because I didn’t fit into the stage of life that other people expected for me. In this heavy burden I carried, it was easier to live behind my safe doors with all my crap than openly exposed for others to see.
April 17, 2012 “Today, Lord I felt freedom again. You spoke to me, ‘Katie, quit striving for normal.’ You flipped the switch in me today…to see that God works in extraordinary, abnormal ways. I’ve been clinging to and fighting for the “normal life.” It’s my struggle in this whole infertility journey. Today Lord you opened my eyes to the blessings of having God work through this in an extraordinary way. I don’t serve a normal God with normal endings. I serve a God who works outside of my box…and there is the blessings. The victory I shout.”
In this moment, the Lord gave me freedom–freedom to walk in this brokenness with no shame or embarrassment. Freedom to accept this journey and embrace all that HE has. Because, “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Cor 3:17) And this moment in April began my journey of daring to hope outside of my locked doors. I look at this moment last spring and see God was preparing me for these moments on the blog, a story to release openly to the world. It took 7 months of trusting Him and walking in freedom to get to a place where I can open my heart in confidence and proclaim my story is not normal. My story of being married almost 8 years with no children, is not typical, and that’s ok. Because my story is all in His hands, and I follow Him by faith as He, “makes a pathway through the wilderness and rivers in the dry wasteland” (Is 43:19).
The shift happened when I let the idea of “normal” die and embraced God’s freedom that brings forth hope. I think this is what God wants for us. He wants us to come to Him and allow Him to set us free of our burdens that weigh us down. In Him, we will find rest for our souls because His yoke is easy and burden is light (Matthew 11:29-30). When the fight to be normal died in my heart, hope began to spring forth, bringing true life within my soul.
This is my story of daring to hope.
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