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jjohnson816

The Bare Bones

Blooming Infertile Soil - The Bare Bones

Alright people, our transfer is tomorrow!!!! Yes, that’s right. Tomorrow. I contemplated if I should share that with the world, but you have all been with me and us through everything so far that I figured you deserve to know. More prayer is never a bad thing either. After our transfer, I probably update about it for a little while because, honestly, it’s just a lot of waiting! So all you prayer warriors out there, add us to your list! For a miracle, for our hearts to be prepared for anything, for our sanity, for our eyes to be on our Father, etc etc. The love we have for the people who have and are continuing to support us is unreal.

So back about a year ago, we decided that we wanted to take some time to try and pursue the natural side of infertility. This can do with diet, lifestyle, products you use, supplements you take, and the list goes on. Sadly, we had to end up pursuing more invasive help, but I would not change taking that time for anything. It was so beneficial in so many ways. I was saying yesterday that as hard as this infertility journey has been, I wouldn’t give back this time because God has seriously shaped me into the woman that he wants me to be and that I feel confident and comfortable being.

I learned that gluten doesn’t like me. It just doesn’t. I can eat it and not break out in hives, but my tummy and acid reflux are not happy with me for a while. Dairy doesn’t do much better, and I haven’t needed all that extra mucus and estrogen increasing that can come with eating it. Basically, I have become a very difficult person to cook for, but it is what my body needs, and I feel so much better!

Cole and I started taking vitamins and herbal supplements and probiotics. Our bodies have felt more energetic (good ol’ b-complex) and more regular (probiotics for the win) and overall healthier. We also love our magnesium calm magical sleepy time drink. Yes, please! And I love my at-home science experiment – my lovely kombucha.

So along the way I obviously did a lot of research. I learned about things that I was ingesting or having around me that could have been the culprit for why our infertility is such a struggle and why my hormones can’t figure themselves out. One of the big things when it comes to this for us is avoidable chemicals and fragrances in every day products. I seriously could not believe the affect some of these things can have on little girls developing bodies and the interworking’s of our bodies every day.

Fast forward to the oily life I now lead. I seriously had this moment with God when He said I want you to go back to the bare bones of it all. I am so thankful for the people he has put on this earth to create life changing medications (obviously) and products, but I think at some point he wants us to still cherish this lovely world he gave us. So as I dig deeper into every little useful thing that comes straight out of the soil and plants of his creation, I am slowly (it’s a process) replacing unnecessary chemicals with essential oils. Being oily is seriously so FUN and rewarding!

“He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth.”

Psalm 104:14

I never want our future kiddos to have to be in the place that we are in, especially if it was preventable. You just don’t wish this on anyone. I am so thankful for the time that God has given us to see exactly how he wants us to live. Our family.

As I go into tomorrow, I am trying to meditate on all that my Heavenly Father has done so far. He has taught us so much in this journey. He has grown our marriage and given us the exact relationships and sweet friendships that we need. He has turned our home into a safer and healthier place. He has shown us what is important in our life and what we know we need to give to our future kids. He has pulled our hearts in directions we never thought we would be led and can’t wait to see what he does as he pulls them more and more. So instead of walking into tomorrow with fear, I want to walk into it with excitement from deep inside of me that is so ready to see what else he is going to do. What he is capable of and what he has for us is beyond anything we can ever imagine. So give us more, Jesus, give us more and don’t stop teaching us!

My True Protector

Blooming Infertile Soil - My True Protector

Beth Wilson Photography

It is official. We are moving forward. We have a date really really set. We have known tentatively for a little while, but with all the setbacks we have had thus far on this journey, we were hesitant to set it in stone. So after appointments and blood tests and ultrasounds, it is now set. I’m not going to disclose the exact date on here quite yet, but it is soon! Be praying anytime you think of us!

Ever since the good-to-go phone call, I have had a hard time really talking about it or discussing it. You would think I would be overjoyed and full of excitement, but instead there is this safety net of negativity. It’s like in the back of my mind I have told myself that it isn’t going to work. I want so badly to be optimistic, but my human nature is going into protect yourself mode and forcing me to be realistic to the point of being negative. It is rooted in the fear of the unknown I think. The fear of well then what next?

So my mindset these past couple weeks has been prepare yourself for the worst, expect the worst, and then be pleasantly surprised if it turns out well. Because then what do I have to lose? I only have to gain, right? Wrong!! I lose the joy of hope. I lose the excitement of trusting in and believing that God can do miracles even this miracle for us! I lose the freedom of falling into my Father’s arms and putting all the heavy load of this journey on his shoulders. Really with that mindset, I lose him. I push out a place for him in this journey, and replace it with fear and mistrust.

Why is it so easy to protect ourselves but so hard to let Jesus protect us? That should be like a no-brainer. Why wouldn’t I want to cast all my cares on God? I think it might be because then I’m no longer in control. I love me some control. Like seriously, marriage and infertility and growing up, have all rocked my world when it comes to wanting to be in control. God is really trying to get that one out of me. Without control I have to actually, not just say it, but actually depend on him to take care of me. But you know what? There is such a sweet reward to be had in taking that leap. Because he will! He will take care of me. He has before, why wouldn’t he now? Even if the only memory I can think of is him dying on the cross for my sins then that is by far enough to know that he will always, always take care of me.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

John 10:11

Now I need to remember the work he has been doing in me this last month of waiting, the work of telling me no matter what the outcome, it will be okay. We will be okay. I know that in one way or another he has good planned from this IVF road, and I also know he is working so deeply in both of our hearts over adoption in the future (all you adoptive mommas, I want all the advice!). It is so amazing how he can speak over us such unique and sweet ways he is going to build our family. So instead of choosing to protect myself and live “realistically,” I want to live in hope and not necessarily hope that it all works out how I have planned but hope that it will all work out how HE has planned and faith to know that I wouldn’t want it any other way.

God’s Perspective

Blooming Infertile Soil - God's Perspective

Beth Wilson Photography

So as I have mentioned, I have been struggling with some anxiety lately. I think I have figured out that it is due to this new birth control they have had me on until the frozen transfer. I will just add this to list of reasons why I’m not a big fan of drugs. But, anyway, it is this kind of anxiety that I have never dealt with before. The kind that comes out of nowhere with no trigger and for no reason. The kind that I literally cannot explain.   It is an awful feeling that leaves you lonely and sick and lost.

So every time this has sprung up and Cole has been around, he has asked me what is wrong and what he can do and what is making me feel this way. I get it, he wants to fix it. I would be the same way if we switched places. The problem is that I have no idea how to answer his questions. I have no idea why it is happening. I have no idea what is making me anxious. But it’s there. And it’s a perfect foothold for Satan.

So most times, when it is pretty bad, he simple prays over me. This past week he did just that. He let God lead, and he prayed. As he was praying, I got this vision that literally blew me away. I was in a dark abyss, almost like concrete ground but with deep cracks running all throughout. I was on my hands and knees, weary and upset, and Satan was right there next to me, taunting me and keeping me down with his harsh words. As I looked up, I could see light in the far distance. It was almost like the dark abyss and the bright sky were divided by this liquid force field layer. Try and picture it, I know it sounds crazy. So from behind my own eyes, the bright sky seemed so far away. Like there was no way I could ever reach it. But then I panned out, and I was looking at myself, looking onto the situation and that liquid boundary that seemed so far away was now just above my head. And I suddenly saw God reaching through that wall for me, and all I had to do was simply raise my arm, and he pulled me right out. It made me realize that even though it seemed so dark and lonely and like I couldn’t be reached, if I could just change my perspective, if I could look at the situation through God’s eyes and not my own, I would realize that safety and love and home were all right there. It is always right there. Even when God seems miles away, when comfort and understanding seem unreachable, he is always right there.

It’s perspective. So much is perspective. Since that day and that prayer and that vision, perspective has been driving itself into my brain and into my heart. With anything that is hard in life really, any tough season that seems to never end. From God’s perspective, he knows. He knows what is happening and why it’s happening. He knows what will come of it and what is needed. Our eyes see nothing, but he sees everything.

On this infertility journey, there is so much I cannot see and so much I do not understand. I can’t understand why he says no when he says no or why his answer is constantly wait. But if I could somehow see it from his perspective, I can say it’s okay. It’s okay because it all makes sense from his perspective. It’s okay because things are going exactly how he needs them to go. If I can see from his perspective then I can look at other people’s pregnancies and see that he is working out their own very special story instead of seeing it through my eyes of envy.

Whatever dark abyss you find yourself in, try to look at it from his perspective, a side view if you will. The resting place that you need could be right there, completely in your reach.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways,”

declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:8-9

A Gracious Mother’s Day

Blooming Infertile Soil - A Gracious Mother's Day

So as all of you know, Mother’s Day is this weekend. That holiday that can be a celebration of something you have always wanted or a day that reminds you of what you have hoped for, for so long.

To all my momma friends out there, know that I care for you and love you. Know that I am thankful for you in my life and thankful for your example. Know that I am thankful for your kids that I get to love on continuously. Know I will try my hardest to have joy for you this Sunday.

To my own mom and mother-in-law, I am so thankful to have you two in my life and am thankful for the examples of mothers that you both are. So giving and selfless and caring, always there for me and strong. I want to celebrate you, I want to love on you, so please don’t let my inevitable tears on Sunday morning or afternoon or evening tell you anything different. You are two of the most wonderful women in my life, and I know not all daughters get to have that. So for that, I am thankful.

Lately, I have had this different kind of feeling. I have had this peace that I don’t have to force. This peace that is saying no matter what happens, it will be okay. And it’s like I can believe it. Even if just for this moment, it is so good to be able to feel that. To not just say it but to know it, to breathe it in and out and have it actually be part of me. To truly walk in the footsteps of knowing it’s my Heavenly Father’s plan, so it will be okay. However, I think it’s a fragile peace. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure it’s being held together by God’s loving mercy only. If I lose sight of that for just a second, I fear that that peace will slip away. I think that many waiting mothers or mothers who have lost probably feel this way, especially on a day like Mother’s Day. This constant talking to yourself saying, God, I’m going to hold this together, I’m going to hold it together. If only I can get through this day not letting the words and comments and pictures and stories pierce into this heart of mine.

Here’s the truth though, bottom line, God’s grace is beautiful. He wants to give it to me and all you waiting mommas, you hurting women with momma hearts. I believe he can fill this holiday with joy. I believe with his mercy he can make that fragile peace strong. I believe he can put his armor on you and on me and protect us from it all. And I also believe that he has grace where our human flesh falls short of that. I will dig into that reservoir of strength I get from Jesus, but if or when my human flesh takes over and my weakness breaks through, I will cling to his grace. A grace that he will pour on me and keep pouring on me, it will never run dry.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

2 Corinthians 12:9

My prayer for this weekend is that I, and all of you, can resist Satan’s words that tell us that we are unworthy or not enough. Those are lies, and I am learning that everyday. On Sunday, I’m going to remember I am worthy and that my worth is found in God and he alone. I am hopeful that he will bring joy to my heart just like he has brought peace.   So here’s to a day filled with tears, peace, sadness, hope, anger, joy, grace, and everything in between.

Worthy

Blooming Infertil Soil - Worthy

So all is has been doing here in the lovely Midwest for the last million days it feels like is rain rain rain. And not just rain, but cold rain. I mean really?! Give me some sunshine please! I want to take a run outside without three layers on and obsessive checks of the radar before I leave the house. I’m on a rollercoaster of hormones, can you tell? Ha!

Update on the adventures of Cole and Joanna. Our transfer date has been delayed for a TBD date. Because of being over stimulated by STIMS, my ultrasound last week showed large cysts still which are giving off too much estrogen. So no new exciting news on that side of things. When I first saw the cysts then heard about my estrogen levels, I was so frustrated and just completely over it. We had a date, now we don’t, why?! I wanted to just be done. I wanted to be off the rollercoaster and back to some form of sanity. I couldn’t handle the up and down anymore.

Fast forward to now. I have had a chance to read, pray, talk, and win some gifts during national infertility awareness week. One of those gifts was a mug that says “Cheers to Plan A.” As I started thinking over the meaning, I have slowly been realizing how skewed my perspective has been lately. I have been so focused on my plan, what I want and what I need. How can I even possibly think I know what I truly need? My body clearly isn’t ready to rush forward with this transfer, and you know what, that’s okay. It’s okay. Like Cole said when we heard the news, “God isn’t done working on us yet.” He isn’t done in this season yet. He isn’t done with this wait yet.

In the midst of all this, it is easy to start feeling worthless and uncared for. I have been having anxiety this past week to the max, and I’m 100% blaming it on the up and down of my hormones, but I started to obsess over the idea of being worthless. Like what am I doing? I can’t have a child, I don’t have a career, what am I good for anyway? But I am remembering now that I am cared for more than I could ever imagine. God cares for ME. He cares for me so much that he has a special plan just for me and just for Cole and I. That plan, that is plan A. That is the plan above all plans. That is the plan I can trust and put my hope in forever. Oh, this verse rings so true right now:

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

-1 Peter 5:7

So I can choose to stare at the calendar and at the clock, just watching the seconds and days go by until my next appointment and until that transfer, or I can choose to rest in my Father and stop worrying and stop letting this process define me. I am more than worthy in God’s eyes. So I want my eyesight to shift a new way right now. I want it to take itself off of the here and now and onto the Almighty. I want so badly for him to become greater and for me to become less. Complete freedom is found in the peace that comes from surrendering it all at the cross, dropping all the baggage on the ground, and following Jesus with no other cares but him.

Rollercoaster of Contentment

Blooming Infertile Soil - Rollercoaster of Contentment

Beth Wilson Photography

So this week is National Infertility Awareness week. This week is a special opportunity for people to speak up about their stories and also for people not struggling with infertility to listen up. You may have a neighbor or a family member or a coworker or a friend who is walking this path, and you don’t even know it or you know it and don’t know how to act. So be aware, be knowledgeable, listen up. I promise, that will make a world of a difference

In honor of the week and to continue following nudges from the man upstairs, I’m going to continue sharing my story, every little detail. So click away from this post now if you don’t want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly. Also, spoiler alert, I’m going to talk about Jesus.

So last week we retrieved 10 eggs. Out of those 10 eggs, 8 of them matured. Out of the 8 eggs, 8 of them were able to be fertilized via ICSI. Yay, right!? 8 fertilized eggs! Pause on the excitement. Next came the longgg and painful 5 day wait to see how many of those fertilized eggs were able to make it to the blastocyst stage where they could be frozen. So day 5 FINALLY rolled around and only 2 little embryos made it. 2 embryos were frozen. I know what you’re thinking, that’s 2 not 0! But it’s still tough. It still made our hearts drop. Thousands upon thousands of dollars and just 2 little embryos. My hormones couldn’t handle it, so I cried. I told Cole I just needed to cry.   I told a sweet friend I have made on this journey that I know I should be happy that there are 2, but you know what she said? She said, “you don’t have to be anything, grieve how you need to about what you need to.” I love that. Jesus didn’t tell me I couldn’t cry. He didn’t tell me I couldn’t be sad. Sometimes, you just need to be sad, and you know what? That is completely okay. He catches those tears and probably even cries along with you. He didn’t say following him would be easy.

If you read my last post, I am slowly learning to be patient in the wait. The wait is where God can really really speak. But you know what comes next? Contentment. Woah, this IVF thing is a roller coaster. Literally a roller coaster that has so many twists and turns and hills and upside down flips that you aren’t sure if you will ever make it to the end. Especially with your sanity intact. The only way to get through it is patience, trust, and learning or I guess I should say choosing to be content. I think people get it wrong and mix up always being happy with being content. But I don’t think that’s right. I think you can have moments of sadness or anger or whatever. I think that it means that at the end of the day you know that you are exactly where you are supposed to be with exactly what you need and everything WILL be okay. Maybe that goes hand in hand with trusting what God is doing. Maybe if we can just choose to let him write the story then we are choosing to be content in whatever he writes. Oh Jesus, let me be content in whatever you write. In every chapter, in every sentence, let me be content. In the craziest parts of this roller coaster when tears are falling when I slip under the covers at night, let me choose you. Choosing you, being content, it’s like throwing off all the baggage and flying free as a bird. It’s really the truest joy. You want to give us that, you do!

But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.

1 Timothy 6:6-7

So let me end with some joy. Our transfer day has officially been set, and it is going to happen in May! So soon right? Don’t you worry, you will hear from me along the way. Right now Cole and I are praying and keeping our ears wide open to what God is saying. Just like we did from the beginning, we want to keep following him in this.   So throw some prayers up for us any time you think of it, and if something prophetic or encouraging or God nudging pops up in your head or heart or dreams, send me a message! I want to hear it. Every little bit of it.

The Sweet Tune of Patience

Blooming Infertile Soil - The Sweet Tune of Patience

Beth Wilson Photography

Today marks day 15 on STIMS. It also marks 66 vials of Menopur and 6 shots of Ganirelix. It marks thousands upon thousands of dollars spent. It marks many every other day trips to the doctor about an hour away. It is about 5 more days and about 30 more vials of Menopur than I expected or wanted, but it is the reality. My eggs are slow pokes. They like to grow at their own slow and steady pace, which I guess is totally okay as long as it wins the race.

Man is waiting hard. It’s stinkin’ hard! Especially when you feel exhausted and emotional and bloated and uncomfortable. TMI, but at this point my ovaries feel like they could just about burst.   It is such a roller coaster experience. You never know what the plan is really. Maybe next time they say, or maybe the time after that we will know more. It’s draining. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. I’m not trying to complain, I’m just trying to be real. This is my space for that, my space to word vomit everything I’m feeling and be okay with it. So here I am, day 15, feeling just a little run down and ready for a nap, oh and ready to be able to actually run without wincing in pain.

So what’s the point in this waiting? I can sit in it and just get by each day knowing the end is somewhere. Or I can let God use the time. Oh wow has he been teaching me two big things during these 15 days: trust and patience.

Each appointment when questions aren’t answered, I have to trust he is working and moving and has the best plan set out for us. Trust that he is good regardless of what it looks like to me, regardless of my day to day circumstances. He overcame sin and death and rose again, so I have hope in him.

Patience, one of the hardest things to learn. One of the most frustrating things to learn. I want it NOW! That is what I feel like a way too large percent of the time. I get to the end of my rope, and I’m like come on! Why is this taking so long?   But Jesus has shown us that waiting can reap great rewards. Abraham and Sarah were promised offspring, and they waited patiently for years. God fulfilled that promise, he came through, and the patience was worth it. Joseph had to wait patiently in a pit and be sold as a slave before he became a leader of God’s people. Quite the reward for his patience. Job, which I have to say is such a hard book to read, and I don’t understand a large amount of it (thankful for a husband that loves that book), but I know he lost it ALL, and he was patient AND trusted God and eventually the Lord doubled what he originally had.   Jesus, the best example of patience, knew he would die for our sins but still patiently led the disciples and taught them and then suffered a death so horrible on the cross then the best reward for us all, he rose on the cross three days later. He is alive! Patience is worth it when the reward is that sweet. Now we patiently wait for our Lord to return. That reward will be the best of all. As we endure the sin of this world, we can know that in our patience will come a wonderful life everlasting, never ending.

Maybe I wrote all those stories out as a reminder to myself, but it’s so easy to forget the truth. If something is attacking you, bothering you, plaguing your life and just won’t end. Or if you are waiting and waiting and waiting for the reward, don’t lose hope!! I am so thankful I can trust in the promises of the Lord. He has promised and through patience and trust he will bring the reward in the way that is exactly what we need. Only he knows.

What are the odds that Cole would sow this verse into my heart this week.

“But if we hope for what do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”

Romans 8:25

So today as we finally set a retrieval date for Wednesday (YAY), I thank God for giving me the strength to have patience through these 15 days. But we also found out that this cycle is a freeze-all. Oh I’m going to need prayers for that one. The tears flowed. Part of that has to be all the hormones. Part of it is the bouncing back and forth and back and forth. And part of it is the inevitable wait that will now come and the extra money that will be somehow pocketed out. So here is where patience will come in once again. Patience and trust, patience and trust. It’s the soundtrack God is writing in my heart right now. I pray that I can learn the tune so intimately, so well. Patience and trust, patience and trust.

When I Am Weak

Blooming Infertile Soil - When I Am Weak

Beth Wilson Photography

STIMS week one is complete. Yesterday morning I had an ultrasound and blood work. My ultrasound showed about nine follicles between the sizes of 9 and 11 mm and then lots of smaller ones as well. This is good but definitely not overly stimulated. My blood work then showed that my estrogen is on the low side. So, alas, I had to up the meds. One more lovely vial of powder to add into the concoction of a shot I create each morning. Here’s to praying that the extra boost will get those little guys growing quickly and my hormone levels to a better place. My next appointment is Tuesday, so pray and pray some more that it shows good progress!

Speaking of these wonderful shots, they haven’t been the best experience of my life. I don’t do well with meds in general. Anesthesia, pain meds, whatever, give me a trash can because I’m throwing up.   So I wasn’t really shocked when side effects starting showing up in heavier doses. Exhaustion, wow the exhaustion, nausea, headaches, hot flash, dizziness. One night I swore Cole had gotten me drunk and put me to bed because that’s how much the world was spinning! Yes, I know what you’re thinking, it’s like pregnancy probably. But the very key thing to that comparison is that there is no baby in there right now to look forward to, no baby there to say well heck this is so worth it, no baby there to distract me from the blah. A baby is still a distant not so tangible thing to me right now.

Needless to say, I have learned in a very real way how weak our bodies are throughout this past week. I have felt a physical need for my Father. Not just physical but also mental. Being weak physically can drain you mentally. It can make you want to scream and cry. Literally I cried about not being able to walk the dogs in the rain then proceeded to cry as Cole talked about buying them rain coats/boots because I mean, how cute right?!?! That could also just be the hormones talking, but regardless I needed God to reign me in multiple times. I needed to fully grasp the fact that I do not have to be strong enough to do it on my own. No, Jesus is going to carry me. He has been carrying me, and he isn’t stopping now just because the side effects are a little worse. He isn’t stopping now just because my hope feels a little drained. No, he is going to renew my hope, renew the Spirit within me. He says that our bodies are weak and are wasting away, but that he is renewing us within day by day. It isn’t a surprise that our flesh is faulty, he told us this from the beginning, but we have to choose to lean into him, choose to be renewed instead of standing still as we sink. In fact, God can be glorified in our weakness! His power and strength can be proclaimed in the midst of our weakness.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.“

2 Corinthians 12:9

Cole came home Thursday and told me that he felt like he was supposed to pray for me. I of course said yes because I’m never going to turn down some prayer, especially from my husband. As he was praying he prayed about how God knew each and every one of our days before we were even there, and he knows each and every one of our days to come. I got this vision of God with a calendar, highlighting all of our bad, full of trial days. And he looked up and smiled as he pointed down to the days we are experiencing now and he said “I am so glad that they will know me then!” Like a Father that is so relieved that his children can come to him when things are hard, a Father that doesn’t have to worry about the spiritual health of his kids as they are walking through a dark season. I am so thankful, so thankful, that I never again have to journey through a trial without the Holy Spirit within me, helping me navigate through it all.

The Fine Line

Blooming Infertile Soil - The Fine Line

Beth Wilson Photography

So we begin our IVF adventure this next week. The big box of meds showed up at our door yesterday, and it was slightly overwhelming to say the least. Overwhelming is the perfect word to describe how I have felt lately.

I have been struggling with this fine line. The fine line between having a strong hope that this will all work, and we will end up with a baby (ies) and being realistic to the fact that it may not work this try.   I went from being so sure it was going to work to pretty much telling myself there is no way. How do I find the happy medium? How do I have hope yet cushion myself for the let down? I think figuring that out has been the most overwhelming part of all of this so far. I can’t seem to sort through it in this brain of mine.

As I tried to explain to Cole why I was overwhelmed and this limbo I was in, he chose to speak truth to me. How is it that every time through this when I am weak, Cole is strong and rooted; and when Cole is struggling, I am full of encouragement and joy to pick him up? That’s our God being the best Father. Being the conductor in this sometimes chaotic orchestra that is our life. I am SO thankful for that. I am so thankful for his hand in every little bit of this journey. Cole reminded me that regardless of the outcome, we can trust God’s plan. Regardless of what happens, we can trust that what he has for us good, and even more it’s BETTER.

He also reminded me that we still have each other. It’s like the infertility journey sucked me in, and I forgot that I have a family. I do. Cole is my family. A woman in a fertility chat reminded me of this too. People make it seem like a family is when you have children, then you have a family. But two makes a family. I shouldn’t ever stop being thankful for that. God brought Cole to me. God told Cole to choose me. He brought us together to grow and love and work at being the best example of Christ and his church that we can be. I have to remember that. In the end, having a baby, having children, that will not fulfil me or be my life’s purpose. My life’s purpose is still to glorify my heavenly Father. Nothing else should be idolized above that. Man, this life makes it tempting though, it makes it hard. Oh shiny. That is literally us. So quick to lose sight of God and focus on things of this world.

In the end, I know that God still wants to richly bless us in this life. He does. He will richly bless us with kids in one way or another, and I can trust his plan in that. I can. Every time I start to feel overwhelmed, all of you out there remind me of this! Remind me that God’s love is higher and deeper and wider than we can ever imagine and he is unchanging. His knowledge is something we cannot even fathom. Like seriously, he is the smartest.

Someone reminded me today to speak truth into my life each day. That I can so easily speak darkness into my life, but I must choose to speak light and truth. I have the choice to live each day by faith and not by sight. So I’m going to choose to go into this week with my heart as light as possible and my eyes looking up to the sky.

“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Seeing Through the Insecurity

Blooming Infertile Soil - Seeing Through the Insecurity

Old feelings have crept in lately. Old thoughts that have turned into new thoughts. Feelings and thoughts that have been prayed against for so long. Insecurity is a vicious thing. It can strike at any moment, in any situation, and leave you feeling confused and overwhelmed and anxious. Insecurity had its time with me, and I am not about to let it come back for another round.

I spent years of my life struggling with my weight. Struggling with body image. It began long before I had a deep connection with my Father. It began before I believed that pray was something that could truly heal and change things. I would look in the mirror and look at other women and think about how awful I looked, especially compared to all those trim and glowing girls that I couldn’t seem to stop being jealous of. Every time I took a bite of food, I hated myself, but anytime I tried to stop eating or throw it up out of my body, I just couldn’t. Which made me that much angrier with myself. So I turned to something else, I turned to my working out, my running and lifting and anything that made me sweat really. I only ate extremely healthy and worked out sometimes 3+ hours a day. I was less insecure in my body, but I was exhausted, and working out had become my idol. I wasn’t thanking God for the body he gave me, I was killing myself trying to get the body I wanted. Thank goodness for my Jesus who came along and took me in his hands and told me to start praying and not stop. I prayed and people prayed over me for multiple years. Usually accompanied with loads of tears running down my face, crying out to my God that I knew had the power to heal me mentally. He gave me Cole, a sweet husband who helped me learn to love myself how I was and was patient with me when I couldn’t seem to figure it out. As pounds went back on, it was hard, but I had people and God to lean into this time. It was like I cried out to him for so long, and all of a sudden he was healing me. For so long I didn’t think it would happen, I had decided that the thoughts would always consume me, but he said no. He came, and he healed. So now I run because I want to, and I cycle because I want to, and I lift occasionally because I want to. They bring me joy now, but they are not idols. I eat well because I want to keep the Spirit’s temple holy and clean, and I want to feel healthy. Yeah, I’m not this tiny woman and yes, I do struggle here and there with it, but God is there in those moments. He lifts me up and brushes me off and says we have dealt with this, and I love you for you.

I never imagined those kind of insecurities creeping into this infertility journey that we are on. It’s like no matter what choice we make, people have something to say. When we began without drugs and attempted to heal ourselves naturally with herbs and changing of diet, people questioned why I thought that would work. When we began getting tests and found out that IVF was our only option, people began questioning why we would do IVF and why not try to let our bodies heal naturally. It’s exhausting and overwhelming when everyone is questioning what you are doing. That is the downside of being so open during this season of life about what we are facing and going through, but I pray that God’s light shines through because of it. I keep telling myself that we are doing exactly what God has told us to do, and that is all that matters. We have trusted him every step of the way, and we won’t stop now. HE is writing our story, not all the people out in this world that have opinions. Everyone has had their very own story written, and they are all different, and that is the beauty of God’s creation. Diversity and love all mingled together. I have to keep praying that he will be my wall against insecurity. I have to choose to keep my eyes on him because that is the sweetest place to be.

I have been reading this book by Ann Voskamp called One Thousand Gifts. It has been wonderful and challenging and sweet, so sweet. She talks about many things, but as insecurity has crept in lately, I have been reading about what our eyes choose to see and what we choose to do in situations of heartache. We must choose to see God through this world, like change it into this transparent place where our eyes can see God through it all. Oh, it is so easy to get caught up and lose sight. It is so easy to fall victim to this materialistic world. I have, and I do. But, I want to be thankful instead of angry, I want to see light instead of dark, I want to choose joy instead of sorrow, I want to be confident in my God instead of insecure.

“But if we don’t intentionally commit to the hard practice of seeing, don’t we die in barren wilderness? Anger, frustration, emptiness?”

Ann Voskamp – One Thousand Gifts (pg 136)

“Why do I reduce The Greatest to the lesser of instead of seeing the lesser, this mess, as reflecting The Greatest?”

Ann Voskamp – One Thousand Gifts (pg 128)

 

P.S. In this picture I’m repping a shirt from Funny Girls of Fertility. She is great, and you should go check out her shirts and follow her on Instagram! @funny_girls_of_fertility