The time Rachel told me about the despair she was feeling over her inability to have a baby will be etched into my memory forever.
We had just enjoyed a beautiful, sunny day at Waikiki Beach, HI and were now sitting in the grass outside the restaurant where we had shared a oober yummy meal.
It was dark and peaceful, the air was alive with Hawaiian music, the tiki torches lit and the breeze was soothing.
Our conversation was anything but. Although the day had been wonderful, we had wandered into a conversation that was laced with tension. I have no idea where it came from, but it was obvious. What was the conversation about? I can not even be sure. But suddenly, Rachel was bawling. Sobbing. Confessing that all they wanted was to have a baby and they had been trying for months and months to no avail.
I was shocked. I mean, I knew they were trying…but what did that mean? That they were just having sex! I had no idea that there were such emotions behind all the trying.
How did I not know she was feeling this way?
I told her that she had to share more of what she was feeling otherwise we had no idea what was going on.
That is all it took….a week later she had a blog and the emotions were uncontainable.
It helped in a lot of ways and was hard in more. She seemed so irrational and defensive and self focused and seemingly lacking in faith. How in the world, as her sister did I walk through this with her? I felt like I didn’t deserve so much of how she “treated me”.
Thus, my prayer journey for this situation began.
What I learned surprised me.
It turns out that really, I have no rights.
After all, Jesus, in all his glorious perfection gave up every single thing to take on all the sins of everyone who has ever lived just to die in our place. On the cross. For us. Just so we could know a life that was full of peace and joy and more extreme than anything ever imagined.
Surely I needed give up my rights.
What rights you may ask?
The rights to not have to feel bad about proceeding with my family.
The rights to not have to walk on eggshells regularly.
The rights to be able to talk about my pregnancies and children whenever and however I wanted.
It turned out that really, my only right was to take care of my sister. If she hurt me, I knew it was unintentional. And even if it was intentional, it did no good at all if I was hurtful and defensive back at her.
So this is what I began. Giving up my rights on her behalf.
Did I do this perfectly? No way
Did I do it alone? Absolutely not. It is purely and only through Gods grace that I was able to do this at all
As I share my side of the story, you must know that the only reason I am here now, without so much as a grudge or a hurt is b.c of God and all his wonderful willingness to give me the ability to let go of all I thought I deserved.
There are some 800 things God taught me through my IF struggles. I don’t mean that as an exaggeration in anyway. I don’t even think I could make a list of all the things he taught me, because it’s too vast.
As I sit here blissfully 32 weeks pregnant, I am clearly on the other side of IF. But everything I experienced can be brought back to the tip of my heart and bring tears to my eyes in a moments notice. So just know that while I may not be in the heart of IF anymore, I will speak as real and honest as I can about what I experienced through those 30 months. Some of it will be good and some of it will be yucky, dark and dirty bad.
But it will be truth. That’s a promise.
The single greatest thing I have learned is that in life, I have no rights. As a Christian, I am taught this in the bible, that in Christ we have no rights. But before IF I had never even once come close to actually grasping this concept.
We currently go to an amazing church where every Sunday at some point in the service I hear God speak to my heart so intensely that I am usually brought to tears. Once upon a time I cried in church because of my ache. Now my tears are for something else completely.
Recently during church as I was taking communion, God was showing me over and over all the things in my life that I could easily take claim over: my house, my clothes, my dog, my husband, my baby, my family, my friends, my career. And then I was reminded that I deserve nothing. Not one single thing in my life do I deserve.
And yet God gave me everything. EVERYTHING he had. His son. He couldn’t have given us any more, because that was the ultimate sacrifice.
It was at this point that I realized the single greatest thing I have learned through this process is that I have no rights. I didn’t deserve this baby. I don’t deserve my Savior. I don’t deserve my life.
So please know that as I am about to share with you through questions and answers how I dealt with certain things in my IF (some I am proud of, others I am not)…in the end, I have reached this conclusion. And it is a beautiful place to be. By getting here, the picture is so much clearer and the view, so much more Grande.
I love Ephesians 4:22-24, this is the message version:
“Since you have heard all about him and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness-righteous, holy, and true.”