Rejoice in Hope

I all too often fear of letting myself become too vulnerable at the thought of what is possible. As I have been on this journey towards growing a family, I have felt pretty guarded from the rejection of not being able to have a baby. The shield of ‘I don’t get a period’ protected me from thinking too much into growing a baby inside of me.

If I don’t let my mind ‘go there’ then I’m safe.

As I have been on this journey towards growing a family, I have felt pretty guarded from the rejection.

The shield of ‘I don’t get a period’ protected me from thinking too much or anticipating what might be or wondering when I would have the opportunity to grow a baby inside of me.

In many ways, I was able to keep my expectations quite low for what starting a family would look like for my husband and me.

Both of us desire to adopt and talk as though that is a given, yet if I was honest with myself, I continue to have a little hope in God’s amazing All-Mighty power of being the ultimate healer.

If God wants us to be pregnant, I will be pregnant, regardless of a period. I mean come on… He did create this world and everything in it… the stars, the land, the animals… I think he can connect an egg to a sperm… (too graphic?)

Well… now I have had a period and my shield has been taken away. I feel vulnerable to the thoughts of excitement and anticipation of the ‘what ifs’ and ‘could it bes’….

An igniting of hope that had been dormant since I was in my teens.

In reading Romans 5 this morning, and the only phrase that continued to stand out to me was, ‘rejoice in hope of the glory of God…’.

What an interesting phrase of permission.

That this hope of the glory of God and his sovereignty, grace, love brings excitement, anticipation, comfort and it is to be rejoiced in. To celebrate and live into the wonder and curiosity of the future and unknown.

To celebrate and live into the wonder and curiosity of the future and unknown.

In my dating years, I remember this same gitty excitement. Praying for Gods’ will to be done and for this to be ‘The One’.

At times I labeled it ‘Hilary just being a girl’, and then I began to give myself that permission as stated in Romans 5- knowing this amazing God we serve, who loves us, works miracles on our behalf.

The hope of what is possible, from the impossible.

The rejoicing in the hope, as well as the suffering, because it’s through these moments in life that we get to grow, change, experience and feel.

Today, I will rejoice in the hope of what is possible with God, even if it means becoming vulnerable to hurt and sorrow because this is how I can allow myself to fully live a life of faith and trust in the unseen and the yet to be revealed.

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To Be Delivered in 5-6 Months…

Let me begin by saying this… I am EXTREMLY happy for all the people who I know are pregnant. I believe that Gods timing and plan is absolutely perfect and would never wish anything other than Gods plan for my life or anyone else’s.

I will continue to pray for the health and positive experiences for each of my friends as they walk down the road I hope to be on too.

Where I see my issues come out are when my sinful nature of jealousy, self-centeredness, and lack of trust are mixed with longing, impatience and fear.

As you can see, I’ll be the first to admit it and am quite aware of it, so as I write the following, I understand it comes from my own ‘stuff’ verses the love I have for those around me and the joy they are experiencing by growing their families.

It’s been quite trying for me this holiday season.  I was extremely excited when I heard the words come out of my husbands mouth that he’s ready and wanting to look into all options for us to grow our family.

In many ways, I feel we have ben given the green light, as we are both on the same page towards growing our family.

The way my mind naturally operates though, is when I see something or think about something, I want it… now. There are instances where this is a great thing, and I’m able to push through and work hard for something…

But there are also downfalls to this intense grip I have on wanting what I want, when I want it.

I’m just being honest.

Thankfully, I have learned various tools to help me curb this quick, insatiable response towards things in life, but I know how it affects me and how much more I have to go to God and pray for his protection around my own selfish desires.

Thus, this Christmas season, as I was on Facebook (which I rarely am anymore)- I began to see the picture roll of birth announcements… baby coming in April, May, June…

My honest reaction was, ‘oh my gosh, seriously? Another one?’

As though there was something in the water and all of a sudden, everyone became pregnant.

It seemed as though my entire group of married friends announced they are pregnant.

I will admit if I was pregnant, I am sure I would be right there, doing the same. What a fun Christmas present to revel to the world! Announcing a new life is a celebration of what’s to come and renewal, hope and opportunity.

More than anything the reaction of jealousy… why them and not me? When will my time come? Will it come?

Was mixed with doubt… do I even want a child? Am I ready to be selfless and give my all to another person?

And then came the root of it all for me… the fear of missing out.

FOMO.

This never goes away for me, it seems.

I have had this reaction a lot growing up. Thinking everyone else is on the fast train to somewhere wonderful while I’m left here just walking along, sometimes aimlessly stumbling.

When I was single and everyone around me was getting engaged, I felt this same mixture of emotions. Jealousy that they had found ‘theirs’, fear that I never would, uncertain of the timing or who ‘he’ would be. Doubtful that there would be anyone left for me…

Mostly though, I was scared to miss out on all the opportunities these married friends were experiencing and I was the outsider looking in the window on a fabulous party, that I was not invited to.

And so again, I sit in this FOMO.

If I am not able to conceive my own child then I am scared to miss out on all the wonderful experiences women have when carrying a child. The highs and the lows associated with growing a baby. The connection a woman feels when the little one is growing inside, the kicking and the movement, the incomparable connection to a true miracle growing and changing inside another body…

Don’t get me wrong; I know this miracle comes with major discomfort, body changes, stretch marks, sickness, etc. The means of carrying a baby in their infant growth is no walk in the park, but for the opportunity to take the not so fun… with the incredible.

  • The fear that I would not be apart of the “Mommy” group if I don’t experience carrying an infant and then delivering and bringing a baby into this world.
  • The inadequacy I might feel for not having a body that is ‘normal’ to be able to house such wondrous miracles.
  • The less than I could experience for not being able to relate to the majority of women when it comes to labor pains and childbirth. Not to mention that leverage I would not have over my child when he/she is upset and I could say, “I brought you into this world and suffered the pains for it!” (Ok I don’t really see myself saying this, but I know people who have).
  • The left out feeling of not being able to experience what women are created to do with our bodies and not being able to be ‘in’ the mommy club because I didn’t carry a child and deliver.

Now I am very well aware that these are just the fears, the uncertainties, and the hypothetical feelings of what could happen if…

The reality is, I am not sure these are really necessary to entertain because I am not 100% certain that I won’t be able to carry my own child.

There is a very real possibility that all this thinking and now typing could be for nothing if by God’s miracle I’m able to conceive and carry. Which is why I’m not dwelling too much on this… and in fact am grateful for the process of my feelings.

So what do I do…

  • I get into gratitude about all the things I DO have in my life.
  • I write down all the things God has blessed us with and I thank God for all the wonderful opportunities we have to experience TODAY.
  • I let myself become aware of my feelings as I react to another friends’ birth-announcement.
  • I trust that I am right where I am supposed to be, today.
  • Pray for God’s will and His timing and for my thoughts and wants to be aligned with his.

As I scroll Facebook and see all the exciting announcements of the new generation to come in 2017… I am scared to miss out on the opportunity to experience what I believe all these happy faces and pictures lead me to think.

Yet with recognition of my feelings I am hopeful and trusting that everyone has a story to live out, and this is just mine.

Looking forward to seeing how God is going to work this one out for us!

Wanting vs. Enjoying

I don’t know if it’s a blessing that I got my period, or now a curse. I can tell I am fighting off the very thing I didn’t want to become consumed by, counting days, checking ovulation, wondering if this is the month we’ll become pregnant.

My husband and I talked about keeping expectations low and I really liked the thought of that… but they keep creeping up and up… will this be the month? Could we actually get pregnant? I even have the thought, “I don’t want to wait another month to try again”.

I laugh at this last thought because I see how normal I am, with other women who are ready for a baby and try for months on end… or years. Month after month, wondering if this is the month. Hopeful with anticipation and then disappointed and sad when the next period comes.

I know, I’m way too far into the future with my thoughts and that is what I need to remind myself of today.

STAY IN THE DAY.

Today.

Not only stay in this present moment, but to also look at the things I have to be grateful for in this moment.

The list consists of:

  • the opportunity to take naps when I want to
  • enjoy a full night’s rest
  • be able to go out on a date night without having to find/pay for a babysitter
  • go skiing for the full day (together)
  • make my schedule around things I would like to do

Although selfish, I can see there is a time and space for this type of lifestyle and once kids come along, all this changes.

I remember having the same thoughts of yearning when I was single, wanting so much to meet my husband. I would write a list of things I was grateful for that I would have in this season… knowing that once I met him, all would change.

Similar with kids. Life as we know it will change and we won’t have this same life again and so it’s important for me to cherish what we have today and embracing each experience we have in this season because once it changes, it changes.

Granted, the change to marriage and the change to having children are wonderful and beautiful with so much richness and growth… and I love how life is always changing. As long as I learn how to enjoy the season of life that I’m in, knowing it will change.

The present. This exact moment, and this exact day is exactly where God wants me to be.

So as we journey through this week, I surrender my desires to God and trust in the plan and timing God has for us to grow our family while practicing gratitude and thanksgiving.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. –Philippians 4:6 NIV

Took 17 years, but I got it!

Well, this is one heck of the way to start 2017!

As I’ve written in the past, my body has not produced a period without the help of hormone medicine. I had my first period when I was in 7th grade (12 years old) and would have occasional periods throughout the year, but nothing regular.

When I entered into high school, my periods went away…. for no reason that I am aware of.

Sure, I was a very active person. I was a gymnast and dancer in middle school while playing soccer. When I entered into high school I began playing volleyball year-around and working out consistently. By college, I was a full-blown exercise bulimic and over-eater which only fueled my need to work out more in order to feel good about myself and my body.

Was this the reason for my lack of a period? Maybe.

At the age of 16, I started on birth control, to give myself a period (as recommended by the doctors). I have not had a period on my own, since.

Until yesterday! December 31, 2016, at the age of 33, I got a period!

Where did this come from? I have no idea!

Over the past 10 1/2 years I have been in recovery from food addiction, which has arrested my over-eating and exercise bulimia, but why get a period now?

In December, I went to Bridgeway Church for a SMASH session, also known as Sozo. My reason for going was not to get my period back, but was to reconnect with God in a way that I felt could only be done with prayer. This was my first time engaging in a Sozo and found it to be very freeing.

One thing we did pray over, was my womb. For the blocks to be removed and the ‘locked door’ to become unlocked.

Was this the reason for me getting my period? Maybe.

From December 24th until today, I have been totally relaxed. I unplugged from technology and work for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and enjoyed a leisure book (Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist), napped and cuddled with my husband.

I became sick with a head-cold that following Tuesday and have been resting, slowing down, and not working out (well, this has been the case for about a month due to an expired gym membership) for the past 5 days.

So maybe I got my period because I slowed down and rested. I’m not sure. But I’m certainly not going to try and figure it out. It’s too much energy attempting to answer questions that may not have answers.

Where my mind does go though, is to what many of my friends have told me about their own experience. I have friends who never got their period, got it once, got pregnant, and never got their period again.

You see where I’m going with this, right?

My mind immediately jumps to… oh my gosh, that’s going to be my story! I am so excited. I have not had my period for over 17 years, and now I got it by God’s amazing gifting, and now I’ll get pregnant this month.

Yes, I have already charted out my monthly schedule on my Kindara phone app and have informed my husband of ‘the plan’…

(SIGH)

How quickly my mind can ‘go there’, forgetting that it was not by my doing that brought me this period… and it won’t be by my doing that will get us pregnant.

I need to remain openhanded and hopeful of what is possible, while accepting Gods plan and perfect.

If we get pregnant off this one period, we will rejoice. If we do not get pregnant off this period, we will rejoice.

Either way we are praying for Gods will and  guidance.

Getting a period after all the medicine I’ve tried that didn’t produce a period shows me this:

I’m not in control and God can do miracles.