While I was making Valentine Day gift bags to send out to a few of my friends (be on the look out ladies), our cute 34 inch tall house guest for the next couple of months (see her story here) came running into the dining room asking me one of her favorite questions, “Whatcha doin?” I smiled and responded with something of the sorts, “Oh, just making some Valentine’s Day gifts for a few friends.” She looked a bit puzzled, so I asked her what she would like for Valentine’s Day. Without hesitation, she shouted, “A BABY!” I couldn’t help but stare into space as her answer echoed in my head. All I could muster out of my mouth was, “Me too sugars. Me too.”
Her two words, “A BABY” took me back to Valentine’s Day 2012. Tears began to fill my eyes as I remembered that two years ago, on Valentine’s Day, I was scheduled to have my first beta HCG blood work test in order to see if our first round of injections and timed intercourse worked. I remember being fully confident. The doctors knew my problem, gave me medicine to fix the problem, and we did the “bada bing, bada boom” at just the right time. My thoughts two years ago: Why wouldn’t this work? It had to work.
I was so excited with the possibility of telling the hubs that I was pregnant on Valentine’s Day, but as it turned out, I woke up on February 13th with calendar day 1. For those of you who are new or unfamiliar with this terminology…My menstrual cycle had started. I wasn’t pregnant. It didn’t work. $2400 wasted. I was devastated. I remember just lying around that evening, not even able to cry. I was numb.
Fast forward to now, two years later, and I would have never imagined I would have the same wish for Valentine’s Day 2014. With the words of a three-year old, “A BABY!” still ringing in my head, my mind wandered to memories of the past (failed treatments), to thoughts of the present (unbalanced hormones and crazy cycles), to my future (when will this end? What will next Valentine’s Day look like?). UGH!
I felt myself sink into the pit I knew all too well. You know the pit I’m talking about. It’s the one in which your mind jumps from worry, to fear, to anxiety, to questioning God’s plan, to why me, to just…UGH…pure craziness! Refusing to let my thoughts overtake me and drag me down (especially since the hubs was gone at a meeting and I needed to hold it together for the lil one), I prayed and asked God to throw me a rope. I needed to climb out fast!
As I continued to work on the gifts in a daze, the beautiful, brown-eyed house guest, with the curly blonde hair continued to watch me and then out of no where, she started giggling at absolutely nothing. Her cute giggle somehow snapped me out of the self-pity pit I had thrown myself into and I remembered Isaiah 9:1.
Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever.” ~Isaiah 9:1
No matter who we are or what challenges there are in life, there is always a “nevertheless”–some positive thing we can look at or talk about that brings the rest of life into perspective. It can be our rope to get out of the “pit”. So with my lil house guest by my side, I decided to make a list of “nevertheless” and say them out loud. Here was my list..
1. I may not have children currently, nevertheless, it gives me time to make awesome memories with my hubby that I can eventually share with my future baby birds. (I don’t want memories of while I am waiting to be mostly about how I just sat around sulking. Those memories will not give me the “cool parent” award and it makes for boring pictures on the wall…just sayin)
2. I may not have children right now, nevertheless, it is giving me more time to plan and save so that I will be more prepared and I won’t be as financially stressed when they do arrive. I.LOVE.PLANNING.
3. I may not have been able to get pregnant for the past two years (and counting), nevertheless, God has used this period of waiting to refine me and strengthen my hope and faith in Him.
4. I don’t ovulate or have regular cycles, nevertheless, when I do become pregnant, despite all of these crazy hormones and out of whack cycles, God will get more glory from my story.
5. My plans of when I wanted to get pregnant have all fallen through, nevertheless, God has used what I see as a delay, to train, test, and help me trust Him more. His plans are better than my plans. His ways are higher than my ways.
6. All of my friends and family members are having babies, nevertheless, they will have lots of advice and “hand me downs” whenever it is my turn. WINNING!
7. It’s SUPER DIFFICULT for me to get pregnant, nevertheless, because of my own personal struggles, I am much more sympathetic towards others who struggle in this area. Also, infertility has enabled me to point others to God, who is the source of my confident hope. Hope from Him is what sustains me and gives me the strength I need to remain in faith and persevere during these tough times of waiting.
As I said each “nevertheless” out loud, I climbed higher and higher. Without even realizing it, I discovered I was back to being hopeful and full of contentment again. The tears were gone, I was joyful in my situation, and I was feeling confident that God had the perfect plan. While feeling thankful to be out of the pit, I looked down at my house guest and realized that if I had gotten my positive beta two years ago, I would have missed out on one other important “nevertheless” and that is her precious giggles and all the other precious giggles from the children whom we have had the honor of caring for over the past two years in the Safe Families for Children Program.
Why don’t you try it? The next time you are tempted to fall into the self-pity pit, or complain when things aren’t what you had imagined or hoped, go ahead and state your complaint, but then say out loud, “nevertheless”, and find something positive about your circumstance to offset the complaint. In return, you will find yourself no longer in the pit, but above the pit. Enjoy life. Make an effort to see how God is using your lemons to make lemonade.