Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Road Less Traveled

This blog has been silent for a few months.  I haven't written for several reasons... one being that I couldn't upload pictures last time I attempted to post, and I didn't have the patience to figure out the problem.  Another being the fact that it was the holiday season, and I was too busy.  Another being the fact that my heart has been all over the place emotionally, and blogging didn't feel right.

But, here I am now, and I feel prompted to write... openly, honestly, and vulnerably.

The road I refer to in the title of this post is a road that actually is more traveled than many--including myself--think is traveled.  More people than we think have traveled, are traveling, or will travel this road.  The road, I mean, is infertility.  I'm sure at the point when most realize they are on this road, that they think to themselves, "Why am I here?  I never thought I would end up here.  I didn't intend to go this way."  At least I have thought those thoughts.

I am not one to be secretive or too private.  I don't "wear my heart on my sleeve" necessarily, but I have just always been one who will honestly answer those questions like, "How are you?" or "How are things?"  Since I've found Jesus, though, I can answer those questions honestly if I'm not in a good place, but I always have hope or trust in God's character.  So, I may share a lot on this blog right now, but I'm ok with that.  I feel prompted by the Lord to share.  [I'm also not one to champion a cause or make sure people are aware of some injustice or something like that.  If awareness comes to some or many through my posts, then that's great.]  I am simply sharing my heart.

I haven't been too private about the fact that Andy and I have been trying for a baby for some time now.  It has actually been about 16 months since we set out to have children.  16 months.  This may seem like forever to some but just the beginning to others.  To me, this seems like forever.  I can't believe over a year has past since we started.  I thought, you decide to start having kids, it may take a month or two, but eventually, bada boom... you're pregnant.  Not the case for us.  Since October 2011, it has been an emotional but good journey of my heart.  I can truly say that it has been good.  It is always good to be drawn to the depths of desperation and despair only to find Jesus there waiting for you, responding to your cries, meeting you in your pain.  I have been taken to a deeper, sweeter level of intimacy with my God than I could have ever gotten to if the "bada boom plan" had prevailed. 

In these last couple of months, we have begun to walk the road of seeking medical help.  In mid-December we saw a fertility specialist who told us, frankly and rather quickly, that I have a problem with ovulation.  More simply put, I don't ovulate.  The doctor suspects I haven't ovulated for maybe a few years.  In the past few several weeks we have gone back to the doctor for tests, labwork, and a follow up appointment.  It turns out I have a hormonal imbalance, which is one thing against us.  I also have increased levels of insulin (slight insulin resistance), which, left untreated or undetected, stops ovulation.

The insulin issue can potentially be corrected and managed, which will in turn correct the ovulation issue, but it is still a separate diagnosis that I am continuing to process with the Lord.  Again,  as I said, there are medical fixes and interventions for our problems, but this has still been such an emotional journey for me, these past few weeks.  Never in a million years did I believe this would be our journey--nobody does.  But it is.  And now I have the opportunity to trust God and meet Jesus in a deeper place than without this challenge.  God is still God.  He is still the Ultimate Creator; He is still the Giver of Life.  He is the One who calls things that are not as though they were.  He breathes life into dead things.  He is Healer.  He is the Blessed Controller of our lives.

I have started this post many times over that past couple of weeks--demonstrating the truth that this topic is sensitive but something I long to share and don't always have the words to speak.  All I can say is oh, how hard and painful these days have been but OH, how sweet Jesus has been to me.  He really is the only One who knows me and can speak words that unlock my soul and heal my heart.  He is the only One who can bring peace that surpasses all understanding.  Of course there are moments and hours and days that I just want to scream or when I can't control my tears, but overall He is so kind, so faithful, so gentle with me that I am ok.

This past round of interventions did not turn out the way we believed it would.  Again, we had a negative pregnancy test despite medication.  God is still God.  He still has a plan.  As I'm coming out of a time where 8 women in my life became pregnant and delivered their beautiful, precious babies and entering right back into another time it seems, I am learning to truly rejoice in others' rejoicing and trust my Father with every twinge of pain and with every silent tear or cry of my heart.  He is faithful with us.  I really am learning what His peace feels like.  I am learning that the world doesn't stop reproducing until it happens for us :)

Without the rain, there will be no rainbow.  He is creating a beautiful rainbow for me.

Something I read the other night in the book, Calm My Anxious Heart  by Linda Dillow (a book I am reading in a women's group) really hit home for me:
     "The city of Brussels is known for its exquisite lace.  In the famous lace shops, there are certain rooms devoted to the spinning of the finest and most delicate patterns.  These rooms are altogether dark, except for a light from one tiny window that falls directly upon the pattern.  Only one spinner sits in the darkened room in the very place wehre the narrow stream of light falls upon the threads of his weaving.  Lace is always more delicately and beautifully woven when the worker himself is in the dark and only his pattern is in the light.
     As God weaves His pattern into the fabric of our lives, sometimes we sit in a 'darkened room.'  The darkness seems suffocating.  We can't understand what He's doing and cant discover any possible good in the darkness.  Yet, if we fix our focus on our faithful Weaver, we will someday know that the most exquisite work of all our life was done in those days of darkness." 

God has spoken and continues to speak over me "life" as I trust Him with my heart.  Out of my pain, I still have a testimony of life to proclaim over us and over others.  As I long for literal life inside my womb, I am seeing others' pains and struggles and longing for them to experience LIFE in Jesus!  My eyes are being taken off of my own circumstances, and I'm learning to see people and circumstances through a heavenly perspective.  Even in our weakness, God still invites us into the workings of the Kingdom.

Infertility is a growing problem and sadly is becoming more and more common.  I know this isn't how God intended things to be, but the reason why we have sickness, pain, hurt, infertility, etc in this life is because with the fall of man, evil entered into the earth.  But, oh, that I would become more like Christ through this struggle and through this pain.  And oh, how He longs to redeem and restore.  That is God's character.  My heart has been knit together with some women in this process, and I am so thankful for those relationships. If anyone in your life is experiencing this pain, pray.  Oh, please join in with us as we pray for life!  Join us as we journey deeper into the heart of God.  

Thank you for reading, friends and family. I just wanted to share.  I will continue to post as I am lead to write.  


  1. Love you, love you, love you, Emma. Praying always for you & Andy <3

  2. Thanks for sharing this Emily. Praying for you, friend. Thanks for your faithfulness even in the hard times.

  3. I totally and completely understand all of the intense emotional ups and downs of infertility, trying to trust God through it all. I'm not sure if you remember me...we used to go to CFCF and now my husband and I are at The River.

    I (we) have been dealing with infertility for, oh, almost 5 YEARS now. We've watched friend after friend have their first, second, and some are now even pregnant with their third child. The consistent monthly disappointments. We went from saying "Maybe this will be our month!" to "Maybe this will be our year?". I was diagnosed with endometriosis and have been on countless fertility drugs and hormones. A few failed IUIs. Nothing worked. We suspected something else may be wrong, as my periods were excruciatingly painful and getting worse. So I had surgery last year and they found that I had the early signs of uterine cancer. We had to stop all fertility treatments and immediately treat the "nearly cancer" (aka Complex Hyperplasia with Atypia). I had to take very high doses of progesterone which made me feel like utter crap every day for about 9 months (basically, until another biopsy/surgery showed that the "condition" receded enough to resume fertility treatments). As of November, biopsies showed that it has receded for now, but it will come back at some point and I'll eventually need to have a hysterectomy. We have just now started back on the fertility treatments and are desperately trying to get pregnant during this window of safety before anything worsens.

    It's been intense and I can't say I've been the model of grace through this tough journey. I've definitely had some crazy breakdowns and tantrums. This experience has been a test of faith. I've learned that you really don't know what you're made of - what your faith is made of - until you go through a major trial.

    Anyway...sorry for the long post. Just wanted to let you know that you are not alone on this journey down the less travel road. We'll be praying for you guys.

    -p.s. - Have you ever read Hinds' Feet on High Places? It's an amazing allegorical book that has helped me immensely.

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Of course I remember/know you and Dan! I'm so sorry to hear all that you've been going through. I can't imagine. I will be praying for a child in this window of opportunity!! And for healing! And, yes, I have read Hinds' Feet on High Places--so good!
      Praying for you.

  4. Continuing to pray for you Emily, and Andy as well. Our stories are similiar, so please don't hesitate if you have any questions, or just need to vent.

  5. Hi Emily! You stopped by my blog a few days ago, and now I'm visiting you :) How deeply I understand this difficult road. It is as you say never what we thought we would walk, and yet it's the road God has given us. I know the crazy range of emotions, the seemingly endless choices and concerns, and the desperate cry for it to work out! With us we have gone through 6 failed IUIs and are hoping this second attempt at an IVF will work. It seems that with every appointment something new comes up. But I also say with confidence that God does give peace when peace seems impossible. I will be praying for you and hoping that God will use the medical treatments to bring a precious baby into your and your husband's life. If you ever want to chat more, send an email my way :)