Category Archives: divorce

When God Doesn’t Make Sense…

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My heart is heavy this week because I have had dear friends and even some strangers attacked by tragedy. Unexpected death of a parent, contracting an illness while doing God’s work, stillborn baby, failed cycles, adultery in a Christian marriage, birth defects in the womb….pain after pain after pain. Some of these tragedies I cannot directly relate to (Praise God or maybe just not yet), but they all fall under the big umbrella of “Why God?” Being confused with God is something I can relate to very well. When I speak with people directly going through the storm, I can look back and reflect that I have been there…that lonely, angry, and confusing place. Even as a Christian, hearing the words “This is all part of God’s plan” stings. It burns in fact. How could God want my child to die? How could God be okay with the death of my father? How could God see a baby suffer?

The truth is He doesn’t. I think people often confuse this. He is just as angry as we are that we live in a fallen world. God is grieving the utopia He intended it to be with us. God grieves with us and that is the first truth I share with people hurting: Let God cry with you. He understands every pain we feel-especially betrayal. He can hold every tear, so let Him-let it out because it is needed.

The next truth I share is “It is okay to get mad.” As Christians, we feel guilty if we are angry about our circumstance. I mean who promised us a pain free life anyway? After all, God knows best and this is part of God’s plan so we must accept it. But, I don’t know about all that. I think God is angry too about the injustices of this world and I think He is powerful enough that He can take our rants. Hiding them from Him won’t work–just be careful that you do not forget you are talking to God. And remember as angry as you are-He still loves you. I stood in my hallway and wailed at God. I screamed, cried, hit, and complained. I let it be known that I have had enough and I was over all this—He listened. Later, he comforted and then put people in my path that could pick me up. I tell people that what you are feeling is real and meaningful and it is okay to be mad that bad things happen because it is hard.

I share with others to take the time you need to grieve. I took a day off and just was still. I allowed myself to be numb and separate from my surroundings. I needed to embrace the pain. Take a vacation, take a day or an afternoon, but grieving is not a bad thing and being still can actually give you the best chance possible to hear God’s voice and feel God’s presence. In that stillness He will say “I love you” and will give you the wisdom you need to move forward, but often we get so busy trying to fix it that we fail to let God take control. Let him.

Finally, tragedies like these and many others that I have not named or experienced are the best reminder that we are not home. This Earth and all its beauty is not the end. Sadness, sorrow, grief, tragedy, death, sickness etc. should make us more homesick than ever. It should make us eager to be home in Heaven. I saw a poster recently asking if you could speak to anyone from the past, while here on this Earth, who would it be? My first thought was my grandparents, but then I rethought it. Why would I take them away from Heaven to be here? How selfish to pull them from paradise! This place may feel pretty great, but they get to experience perfection every day…so keep them there-they are home.

My heart hurts for you if you are suffering during this season of your life. I pray that you will be reminded it is a season and seasons change. Sorrow will endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Even if you (like me) suffered in part from your own sin, knows God’s goodness is even bigger than your shortcomings and God’s grace is larger than we can ever fathom or deserve. Although, God does not place horrible things in our lives…He does bring good from them. Somehow or someway…maybe not immediately, but good will come from it eventually. It might be a connection from a blog like this, an opportunity to encourage or comfort someone in pain, a foundation or organization to help others that was birthed in the pain of loss, an adoption of a child that would not have come any other way, a birth of twins after many failed cycles…the list goes on. But God’s promises are true and He is good even when He does not make sense.

The good news is: I can say with certainty that the trials that have been placed in my life have given me wisdom and built my character. Through faithfulness, God has redeemed every mistake or sin I made and brought beauty from ashes. I am also thankful that I have been spared from a lot of hurt that I probably deserved. Just remember that-we all hurt at some point and no one (not even Christians) are exempt from pain. During these times of deep sadness, I can also declare great victories. I can rejoice and celebrate with new births, new families, healing, reconciliation, promotions etc. Often times the hard times bring an appreciation of the good times and victories come from defeat.

Mommy Daddy Vacation

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We were married 8 years before we adopted our son. During those 8 years, we learned how to travel! We have been fortunate to have had some great vacations to New Mexico, the Bahamas, Hawaii, Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego and all around the Texas area. Later, when we thought we were about to get pregnant we took a few “last vacation before a baby” trips. We went to Grand Cayman and Cozumel twice all while thinking we are going to conceive any day now. Well, last summer we were raising a six month old and chose to stay home from the beach. We were so excited to be with our child, but we had gotten spoiled with the sand, water, sun and scuba diving for so long that we missed it…a lot!

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We are super fortunate that I have parents that LOVE to watch our son for multiple days. My mom is a teacher and my dad’s schedule is flexible so he can take off when needed. They yearn to watch him all the time, so our getaways are much appreciated. This summer we chose to book a trip to Cabo Mexico and take a mommy daddy vacation. We would love to take Callen someday, but we fear the plane, the luggage and the uncertainty of behavior. Right now, he is still figuring it all out so it would be way more work to have him there…we will take him someday when he can qualify for the Kids’ Club.

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I know some moms that cannot fathom to leave their child for a night, but I caution them to take care of the marriage even if it is just a dinner out. We have experienced that rocky road of separation and it happens so quickly and so unexpectedly that we do what we need to do to stay connected. Even if finances are a concern, you can have some cheap dates at home when the kids go to bed or splurge on a babysitter. For us, a whole night away does the trick and this trip we made a lot of memories with each other. We went to a new place, met new people, dove into new waters to see new fish…all new experiences that we shared with each other and will keep us going for the next year. I don’t want to be one of those couples that the child leaves home and they have nothing to say…so if saving for a vacation is what it takes then we will save!

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The good news is: before the baby, ending a vacation would depress me. I would cry when my husband returned to work and we were a part again. Today, the end of the vacation means more time with my baby so it is a win win. It is crazy how the first night we only talk about him, but as the hours go on we seem to open up more and reconnect on things that are more than just baby. We totally get that we are fortunate to have a sitter and have the means to do it, but it is something we set as a priority for our marriage. Putting the marriage first is worth it!!

Resolve to know that infertility can be a blessing…

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Is infertility a good thing?….Heck no, it sucks!  I despised waiting month after month to see if I was pregnant….hoping for two weeks then crying for the next two only to start the cycle again.  It got to the point where discovering my cycle had started became a sweet relief because at least I could stop hoping and resume normal living.  The worst feeling in the world is to be so out of control of something that is so normal and easy for others.  I had plans, a calendar, a kit, a timeline and month after month I had to rearrange and restart the future.  Sitting in a doctor office with a title I can’t even spell, so I willl abbreviate RE, was embarrassing.  You felt sympathy for every couple in there knowing you all shared a horrific common bond: you can’t get pregnant on your own.  It was a miserable time in my life so I am not saying I enjoyed it, but looking back being infertile is one of the things I consider a blessing…

Why is it a blessing?  Glad you asked:

#1 It is the exact reason I began to blog.  Before Lupus and infertility, I did not have much of a story to tell.  Nothing about me set me a part or made my story important.  Enter disease and a non working reproductive system and now I am interesting!  I never knew there was such a large world of writers that had experienced or were experiencing the same heartache and same struggle that I was going through.  I began to lean on their stories and cling to their comments.  Their likes inspired me to write more and my anonomity helped me to be real and open and it felt good.  Infertility gave me the chance to be a writer again and reconnect to a passion that I had lost.

#2 Infertility gave me empathy.  I was like most women clinging to birth control until the exact month I wanted to get pregnant then getting off it and expecting to see positive lines.  Month after month after month then year after year it all showed blank.  I now empathize with couples that it is not easy.  I feel for couples like us that just don’t decide one day we want one more or to go for a girl this time.  I don’t assume anything anymore and I learned to celebrate big with those that are successful and cry genuine tears for those that are not.  I understand women that struggle with conceiving children in a very unique way.

#3 Infertility brought me closer to God.  I learned patience, I learned timing, I learned I was never in control and the delicate system of our bodies is too much even for science to explain it all.  I clung to his promises and faithfully believed that I was not alone and my prayers were being heard even if the answer was not the same thing as mine.

#4 Finally, it led me to adoption.  I never considered adoption my last resort…I just never paid attention to it before.  When the door was finally closed to conceiving naturally then I opened my heart to another option.  An option that I did not consider because I did not think it was my calling.  Time after time, God dropped hints and signs, but I am so stubborn in my own plans that I kept telling him, “Shhhh…”  Finally, I stopped praying to get pregnant and began praying to create our family.  The timing was perfect for God to lead us to our son.  The boy I was meant to parent all along  and the reason I was born.  Our son is amazing and a promise fulfilled in every picture we take that I am living the dream. The affirmation of every decision I ever made that led us to him…our child…the perfect one for us.  Infertility made me listen to that calling and to stop trying to figure it out.  It shut the doors that I kept open with my foot because I wanted to do what I wanted to do. 

If I had another life to live…I would do it again if it led me to the adoption of our son.  Infertility did not destroy me.

Now this post does not mean that I will congratulate barren women everywhere or speak on behalf of increasing infertility for all the joys it will bring.  Never.  But, I hope to encourage women that infertility can be an opportunity to turn something tragic into a triumph.  Don’t let infertility define you and when you get the chance, be a rock for others to empower us to continue looking for healing.  Infertility takes a lot, but it does not take everything.

•http://www.resolve.org/infertility101 (Basic understanding of the disease of infertility.)
•http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html (About

The Power of a Pop

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This post is from the perspective of a teacher.  I will be starting my eleventh year of teaching this fall…I’m getting old I know, but one thing stays consistent and that is the power of a father in a child’s life.  I have taught both third and fifth so I can say that age does not matter, but relationships do.  Sadly, I have seen my fair share…in fact too large of a share of absent fathers.  Now, it might be the environment I work in (lower income), but absent fathers are becoming more of a norm instead of an exception and it radiates through every aspect of a child’s life. 

I want to thank those of you that are fathers taking your responsibility seriously.  Financial support is truly a small part of it…your influence runs so much deeper.  I love to see an involved dad or involved couple in the classroom.  It is also good to see these men modeling loving their child’s mother or at least respecting her if they are no longer together. 

Mothers are equally important, but thankfully I rarely see/read of absent moms.  I do read journal after journal about missing their dads, not knowing their dads, or hating their dads because they were never around.  To be fair, I also read many journals of the father being present, but inattentive, drunk, abusive or mean…I applaud the moms that were brave enough to get out instead of staying for the financial support-a lifetime of abuse is damaging as well and young girls especially need to see a model of a man treating a woman right.  I see way too many preteen girls looking for love in a boy that they are missing from a father.

I can’t judge as I too have been in relationships with guys that I just thank God that he never asked me to marry him because I would have probably said yes and ruined my life…they were not good men and would not have been good fathers.  So many boys are making babies and then abandoning their kids because they were never ready to parent…just watch 16 and Pregnant to see that in action. 

I thank God my husband is a good dad to my son. My husband not only was ready to be a dad, but he is a dad to our adopted son and you would never know it was not his sperm that created the baby…biology does not matter, but love does and he loves our son.  We pray to be a healthy influence to our son so that he supports his family, loves his wife and loves any child or children they produce together.  Satan knows how to distract a man and he loves to break up a home by attacking the father. 

I pray that in the future every kid comes into my room and whether the dad is in the home or not, at least they have a relationship. (Moms know best on this one and if the mother chooses to stop the relationship then it must be for a good reason.)  It does matter and will make a difference much more than you know.  For those where dads are not around either in death or other circumstances, then I hope they have an uncle or grandfather or coach or step dad that can fill that role and give the child some balance.  To all you men that are fulfilling this role well then I applaud you today as it is not easy and you are doing the right thing.

The good news is: if you did not have a dad around for whatever reason and are missing that love that only a father could give then know God can be that love.  He can fill that hole and he will never leave you.  You never have to want in His presence.   

To women everywhere on Mother’s Day

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</p><p>To all women everywhere…I feel you today.  I feel the young girl that laughs at the motherly responsibility and thinks “no way I love my sleep”, I feel the new bride that just wants to be selfish with alone time with her husband,  I feel the five year wife that wonders when her husband will commit to trying for children.  I feel the barren woman that feels guilty that she can’t create a child for her husband because he is not to blame for us not conceiving, I feel the lonely woman that feels broken and rejected and constantly questions should she keep trying or move on,  I feel the woman praying for her husband to consider adoption since she wants to parent a child and believes God has a bigger plan than conception, I feel the woman overwhelmed with paperwork because there are so many details to making an adoption complete.  I feel the hopeful mom praying her book was enough to be chosen and feels unworthy everytime a day passes with no phone call, I feel the woman frantically nervous if she will be able to connect to a baby that she has never met and will it be “her” child…finally, I feel the woman that meets the first mother of her son and together they create a plan of how we are going to give this child the best.</p><p>There are a lot of women that I cannot relate to with the positive pregnancy test, the first ultrasound, hearing the heartbeat, going into labor etc…but there are quite a few women that I feel exactly where you are at.  I have been there, too.</p><p>

A year ago, I was so hurt and bitter because it was my third year of infertility and I still wasn’t a mother. At the time, we were at the early stages of adoption, but still so far. I remember thinking everyone feels sorry for me because I don’t have a baby, but I am old enough to be a mom. I want women everywhere to know that you are not alone and this is a season. No matter where you are in your stage of life, you are loved and we are connected in that someone out there has been there, too.

The good news is: Love never fails. If you are not celebrating Mother’s Day today then know that you will if you want to. Anything is possible. I have no regrets about letting go of conception even though it is hard to imagine not carrying a baby or seeing my inherited traits in a child. However, I know that our adoption was never plan B…it was the Plan A that I could not see until I gave up what I thought was best for me and learned to trust God.

Feels so good to celebrate this first Mother’s Day…you never get another first Mother’s Day 😉

The Hardest Thing to Do…

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So, I am up late reading blogs and went from being overly ecstatic that it is my Spring Break to overly emotional as I read blogs about infertility and adoption.  So many women are writing how I feel or have felt and some are even stirring interesting topics that I did not even know I had an opinion about.  I love when thoughts are formed from feelings that I never knew were there.  In a future blog maybe I will write about those ideas, but tonight I want to focus on a big one that took me a long time to get to. (Side note: I have no idea what it feels like to have a miscarriage or to lose a child unexpectedly. My heart goes out to those that have, but I know what it is like to be told that your hormones are so low and getting pregnant is so dangerous that conceiving is not an option-ever)

My husband and I were never the type that wanted to be parents from the beginning.  We both got married at 24/25 (it felt old then, but we look back and think we were so young).  We knew we wanted time for just us two so we laughed at those that had kids so quickly.  We enjoyed our late nights and selfish spending.  We enjoyed exotic vacations.  We learned later that the time was necessary to build a stronger marriage.  If we had gotten pregnant earlier we would probably have a biological child, but either in an unhealthy marriage for the kid or divorced.  100% guarantee. The link to our marriage story is included…don’t judge us, but it’s true.  https://vimeo.com/54825100

When I learned I had Lupus, that was the number one question in my mind “Did I wait too long to have children?”  You know the age old thought is the thirties too late?  It is easy to begin to doubt or regret, but knowing what our marriage needed to endure, I kept going back to no.  No, His timing was perfect and we were not meant to have kids any sooner.  I kept reminding myself that kids in a broken marriage would be a disaster…we were not ready.  Saying all that we are literally the LAST ones to have babies!  The last.  It did not get hard until we hit thirty and even then we were in no rush.  In fact, we enjoyed trying.  We kept believing that we would get pregnant at any time so to enjoy the moment.  After year one, we got a little anxious, but it wasn’t until I got the news that I was infertile did it hit hard.  We dealt with it privately and kept it mostly to ourselves.  Not out of shame, but out of “it is not their business”. 

Baby showers were hard, kids’ parties were hard, pregnancies were hard, baby talk was hard.  We go to church so we were flooded with God says you should make babies.  We were trying, people!!  But here is the deal…you have two choices in your pain.  You can be happy for others or let their happiness bring you down.  It was the hardest thing I ever had to do and I was not always good at it.  Towards the end I was very bad at it, but I kept believing “Their happiness does not determine my happiness.”  Nathan said it like this, “Their story is not our story and God’s plan for their life is not His plan for our life.”   Did that mean that God wanted me to be infertile?  NO!  But he brought good from it.  I supported others even when I did not feel like it because I knew my days were coming. I did not always do it without crying or having a margarita first…I am sure I showed up to many showers drunk 🙂 but I showed up and later they were there at mine (sober I think)!

All my friends understood if I didn’t go.  In fact, they encouraged me not to come, but I would never get that invite back, that party back, that shower back or that birthday back.  Life was going on with or without me and I chose to live it.  I believed that my moment of celebration would be coming and I would want everyone to fully support me when that day did occur.

Celebrate they did.  We have such an outpouring of love from friends, family and strangers with the adoption of our son.  They know our journey.  They know our struggle.  They know our triumph.  They know our faith.  They know that all those little baby steps led us to this BIG step and that our child is perfectly timed and perfectly us even though our blood is not in him.

So, if you are in that moment where life has beat you down and you just can’t take it then know you need to do what you need to do.  Your true friends will always love you no matter what and they get it.  We get it.  I get it, but consider a different approach and remember that others’ happiness does not determine your happiness and good things can happen to them AND you.  God’s blessings for them have no direct effect for his blessings on you…read that again and soak it in…it has been my greatest life lesson to avoid Facebook jealousy. Also, if you experience joy in the midst of their heartache then that is okay, too.  There is a season and time for everything.  Trust that.

The good news is: Please know my heart is not trying to seem cold or say get over it. Far from it! Infertility hurts and that pain is real. All of it is challenging. I am just sharing that my in my journey I learned that I could not live life based on other people’s circumstances. I had to trust that my day would come and it would be just as good and in some ways my day felt better than even my best dreams. Our son is amazing! He sleeps through the night, he has a full head of hair, he is the chillest baby ever…he smiles all the time and he is healthy! He was created in God’s image to do good things that God prepared in advance for him to do. We are just a small piece fulfilling God’s plan in a much larger puzzle.

Made Whole in Christ

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(Prewarning: My November 21st post was about how confident I would be and go forward in faith, but I let fear creep back in.  When will I learn??)

So this past week has been a whirlwind of excitement and lots of buying for the baby!  A little fun and a little depressing all at the same time.  The fun comes from shopping for all the things you know your baby will need…the depressing part comes from how expensive babies can be!  We are thankful for the multitude of friends that have gifted us with clothes, swings, play yards, carriers etc. and we need it all since this one is our first, but much of what we are buying many people get at showers and we are choosing not to have one until after the baby is here.  So, we are now buying everything we will need for his first month of life while trying to remember all the things we don’t need and can register for later. ( A friend put it well when she said “You are doing in three weeks what most spend months doing.”  God has provided for it all so we are thankful and hope to pay it forward when the time comes.)

We chose to hold off on a shower for two reasons,  first, the holidays are here and money is tight for everybody right now.  We know and understand to throw a quick shower together would be a stretch for all of us even though our friends would graciously do it.  Second, we won’t feel free until the baby is in our home sleeping in his crib or bassinet (whichever we decide to do).  I spoke earlier about the new show The Baby Wait on Logo.  We are living this show right now.  Even though the call was one of the greatest feelings ever and the wait to get the call was finally over…now, a new wait starts; the wait to get the baby.  We were told that adoption is not for weenies and we are learning that right now.  Not only can the birthmom change her mind about choosing us right now…she can change her mind up to forty eight hours after the baby is born in the state of Texas.  ( Our social worker likes to say “You sure do make everything hard.”  I am learning she may be right.)

Which brings me to my title.  I’ve been here before…waiting.  My husband and I went through TWO years of separation before reconciling and building a strong Christ centered marriage.  Talk about waiting.  Most days I felt like I was just waiting for a divorce since I saw no healing in sight.  Other days I felt bothered nothing was happening…I was just waiting to get it all over with.  Other days, I was relieved we were at least still married since that meant there was hope. So I know this path and I have reverted back to that season to gain strength for this one. (Amazing how God uses those trials to prepare you for new ones.)

My first plan of action was to get back out my book Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyers.  It is a book about holding your thoughts captive in Christ.  Our minds can be our worst enemy and we have a say in what we CHOOSE to think about.  Our minds control our emotions and we have a choice in how we feel as well.  I highly recommend this book to anyone struggling with negative, doubtful or anxious thoughts.  I have read it over and over and continue to still read it for strength and scripture. (Maybe you can tell by now I am a little neurotic!)

Second, prayer.  God must love my company because I often feel He puts me in situations where only He can work things out.  He reminded me of something today that He taught me when I was separated: He makes me whole…not my marriage.  Today, He said: I make you whole…not a baby.  Punch me in the gut!  Talk about lesson learned.  God reminded me I will still have everything as long as I have Him.  A baby is a gift, but not THE gift.  THE gift is Him dying on the cross for me.  ( I know many right now have lost their faith in God after years of infertility, miscarriages and pain; I don’t know the answers to all that-but I do know God’s love never fails.)

I have spent most of the weekend running all the “what ifs” in my head.  I have been anxious and worried and afraid.  I fear disappointing others and the despair I will feel if this adoption fails.  I have spent most of my time dwelling on it which leads to Satan planting some of the worst lies in my brain.  I know the worst case scenarios of our situation and they have consumed me lately.  Until today.  God has brought us to this place and although He has not promised it will all work out; he has promised it will all be for our good.  If this is not our baby, then there is another one out there that is.  God is creating our family as I type and that is all I need to know.  Saying all this, I am not giving up hope that we met Callen Ryan at lunch last Monday, but I refuse to dwell on the possibility that all this can blow up in my face.  All I am saying is that if it does, it is not the end of the world and I lost sight of that this weekend.

The good news is: The bottom line is being afraid, worried and anxious is not Christ-like.  In and through all of this my biggest prayer has been for others to see Him in me.  If I spend my time dwelling on failure, then I miss the opportunities He is preparing for me to be victorious.  I want to stand out as being different therefore I must change my way of thinking.  While writing this post, SNL is playing in the background and this song came on which sums up a lot of what I am trying to say.   http://youtu.be/rGKfrgqWcv0