TTC Tuesday

Though You Slay Me

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Crying in front of people doesn’t come easy for me. I was told once, as a child, that I looked like a duck when I cried, and that was that – I have tried to hold back the tears ever since. But there are just certain times when ‘logic’ is thrown out the window. Times when the pain is too heavy to hold in. When the tears are too quick to wipe away before someone sees.

Unfortunately, I have had some practice crying over the past few weeks. Alas, I haven’t mastered *not* looking like a duck…

I guess it isn’t *popular* to discuss the awful parts of life, but I’ve never been one to follow the crowd. After almost five years of prayers and hope and tears, we found out on April 21st we were finally pregnant…And then, at 8 weeks, we miscarried. There was nothing that could have prevented it. No womb has been prayed over more – before or after pregnancy. We have had faith out the wazoo for years (and still do). The truth is: CRAPPY THINGS HAPPEN. That’s why this is the fallen world we live in, and why we anxiously await Heaven and its unimaginable perfection. {If you want the full, detailed story, visit our YouTube channel here.}

So far, we are still searching for meaning in all of this. Eerily, this feels all too similar to our failed adoption last summer, and we were only just beginning to ‘heal’ from that heartbreak. Thus, I can tell you that what I have learned is that biology has little to do with matters of the heart. Losing our own biological child, and the one we grew to love in our hearts from afar has dealt the same pain.

We need your prayers as we heal and begin to move forward. We know we are called to be parents, and have faith that God’s plan for our family is infinitely greater and more incredible than we could ever imagine.

As we have grieved these past weeks, we’ve heard and read so many things contrary to our beliefs:

  • From A Christian Publication: Miscarriage is punishment for something you have done.
  • From A Christian Book About Marriage: When facing miscarriage and infertility, you have to realize when is the time to give up on your dream of having children.
  • From A *Trusted* Christian Leader: This pregnancy would have continued smoothly if only you had had enough faith.

Seriously. As we have searched for answers in the midst of this tragedy, these are all things we have read or heard…All of them claim to be ‘Christian’ points-of-view, but not a single one of them is Scripturally-sound. There is not one woman in the Bible who remains barren for life. There is also no guarantee of a stress-free life of ease in the Christian journey. Why would there be? Aren’t we meant to long for Christ’s return and our Eternal Home in Heaven?

As I dwell on upsetting, make-me-cry-like-a-duck life events, I recall Paul, Sarah & Abraham, Hannah, Jesus, Job. No *happiness-only* lives there. In James 1:1-13, we learn that trials in life mold us into mature Christians, as we learn to submit wholly to Jesus, and trust in Him completely. This doesn’t make sense to us, of course – myself included, but as the prophet Isaiah tells us:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts. Neither are your ways my ways, saith Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa. 55:8-9)

God’s ways are certainly not our ways, and far far above and beyond anything we could fathom or comprehend, but speaking to the loss of a child-in-utero being a punishment, have you ever heard of Job? Most faithful man on the entire planet in his day? He lost his whole family and all of his belongings, and the Bible is clear when it relates that it wasn’t the result of sin.

But the real ‘lesson’, I suppose, is not in the causation so much as in the response:

“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” (Job 13:15)

And so that is how we are trying to respond to this trial. It’s all we can do. Trust and wait on Him. Though we are heartbroken, yet will we stand in our faith.

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TTC Tuesday

With A Learning Spirit Or A Broken Heart?

TuesdayYesterday at Pure Barre, at 6AM, there was a young lady in the front of the class…drinking a Starbucks Frappuccino…Yes, in the middle of class…While the rest of us were lifting, tucking and burning…She was half-heartedly going through the movements, rolling her eyes, as if saying, “I have better things to do!”.

Again, this morning…again, at 6AM, there was a different young lady at the front of the class…While she wasn’t drinking a Starbucks coffee, she was half-heartedly going through the movements, looking at her watch, rolling her eyes…

Now, it isn’t any of my business how you participate in your workout class. I’m not paying for your enrollment. But, my goodness, as my husband will attest, Pure Barre ain’t cheap! Why wake up in the morning early enough to make a 6AM class, and pay a premium to participate, if you aren’t going to give it your all and get something out of it?

We should be considering the trials and struggles and hardships we face in our lives in the same way. If you’re currently (or have ever been) trying to conceive, you know it is absolutely the definition of a trial, a struggle, a hardship. It is a disciplined routine of waiting, worry, panic, sadness, hope, and despair. It is hard not to get mucked down with depression after months and months and months (or even years) of placing all your hope in finally becoming parents, and having that hope dashed, repeatedly.

Here is what the Bible has to say about the heartaches and troubles we face here on Earth:

JAMES 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds

So, we should be happy about struggle in our lives? Why?

JAMES 1:3-4 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 

Difficulties in our lives are times for learning, growth – a reawakening, if you will. As we face something challenging, we should look to see what God could be teaching us as we navigate through the rough waters. One of the greatest men the world has ever known, the apostle, Paul, says (regarding the perpetual ‘thorn in his side’):

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

What life lessons could we learn through the struggle of infertility? Here are some benefits and lessons Craig & I have gained as we have faced this storm in our life head on:

  • Spiritual Benefits/Lessons/Changes
  • We have used the past 17 months of marriage, without children, to truly build a solid foundation in our relationship firmly (gaining more and more everyday) rooted in the Lord.
  • Our prayer life has greatly deepened. We went from praying separately to (nervously) praying together to holding hands and baring our souls out loud as we have a conversation with God – together.
  • Our relationship with God has deepened. Neither Craig nor I has ever had to go without much. We both come from wonderful, supportive, Christian families, and grew up with equally great siblings. We had everything in the world to be thankful for – but were we, then? I mean, truly, deeply, thankful? Fully appreciative of all the many blessing we had been graced with? No. This difficult time in our life has increased our devotion to the Lord so many times over, I cannot even describe it. If it were appropriate to say the change has been ‘like magic’, I would certainly describe it that way…but it isn’t magic. It’s something so much more amazing. It’s grace.
  • Worldly Benefits/Lessons/Changes
  • Craig & I are truly a team. Dealing with infertility, together, in our marriage has created this strong partnership. We know we can go to each other with any.single.thing, and speak openly and honestly about it.
  • We have a savings account – just for the future Baby Lefebvre – whether by adoption or natural birth.
  • I was able to gain almost a year’s experience as a nanny to (very) young children. This was real world, invaluable, experience I would never have otherwise had. I am now intensely familiar with potty training a two-year old, changing a tiny baby’s diaper while holding his twin sister on your hip, preparing formula, and getting (twin) infants on a sleep/eat/play schedule-all while entertaining a two-year old. Invaluable experience. 

And those are just some of the things we have learned or gained from this angry storm cloud called infertility. I am not, in any way, shape, form or fashion, saying this is fun, ‘not a big deal’, or easy; however, we should absolutely take our trials and grow, learn, and prosper from them.

Just as those two girls in Pure Barre this week were not taking advantage of the workout going on right under their noses, we cannot let the lessons and significant opportunities of our pain and difficulty pass us by. What a waste it would be to sit around and mope (although, the easiest way to pass the time…)… We should be using our time in the tunnel wisely.

james 1.1.12

xoxo

TTC Tuesday

Grieving What Never Was

Tuesday{Deep breath}

Oh, this is a hard topic. For me anyway…and for any of you out there who have experienced infertility. This post covers something never spoken about, but felt so strongly by those of us who have endured this trial. Those of you who have had no issues in conceiving a child might not understand this pain, but for those of us who know it – it stings. (What an understatement.)

Gena Golas of the blog “CT Working Moms“, writes in the Huffington Post about “The Five Stages Of Infertility Grief“, and while it might seem a humorous post for some…It is all too real to be laughable.

For those of us who deal with infertility on a daily basis, to hear: “Oh, it’ll happen. Don’t think about it so much. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself.” or “It will happen as soon as you ‘stop trying so hard’,” is akin to being punched in the stomach. I can’t tell you how many times we have heard those phrases, and on each of those occasions, I have been forced to hold back my tears. Every time we see horror stories on the news about child abuse and neglect, I am reduced to a puddle on the floor – wondering why them, and why not us!?!? 

I will admit it gets harder and harder every single day to bow my head in prayer for the same thing Craig and I have been praying for for the past 16 months. I keep in my heart Hannah, Sarah, Rachel, the mother of Samson…Women of the Bible who were infertile only temporarily, until God stepped in and gave them a blessing, a miracle, an utterly amazing gift.

I keep these verses close by for comfort:

  • “…that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:5
  • “…God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20
  • “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

At the end of the day, this excerpt from the Infertility Survival Guide by Cindy Lewis Dake, hits the nail on the head of how Craig and I feel:

“We have a good life together. I don’t want us to “embrace the emptiness” that seems to swallow up some infertile couples. “Empty arms” doesn’t mean empty hearts. When a couple desperately wants a child, they begin to think their life is empty without one. They become completely centered on the quest for a child, financially, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. We don’t want that feeling to ever control us. We love our life together and want to always be satisfied with it, so if a child comes along, he/she will be an added blessing.” 

But it is the biggest struggle we have ever faced – together or apart – to go on without that blessing – wondering if we will ever be blessed with a child.

As always, we ask for your prayers.

All Our Love,
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