Monday, March 8, 2010

Looking at new life

This might be my first post which is more about telling myself something than about telling you something but I want to write it out anyway. I hope it makes sense to some of you, but it's a very personal and private matter that I'm choosing to share even though I have some hesitancy in doing so. I hope you'll understand.


Brian and I didn't get married until we were fully ready to accept children lovingly from God. We promised that on our wedding day and really meant it. We didn't exactly have finances completely lined up, we knew that the house we were in wouldn't grow with us very well, and we were just barely learning how to live with each other as husband and wife without the added adjustment that children would bring. But still, we knew that we wanted a family, hopefully pretty big, and the sooner we could start that the better. Because of our faith, we made the decision to put issues of fertility, and children fully into God's hands and keep ourselves open to new life. As part of our marriage preparation, our church encouraged us to learn the workings of Natural Family Planning and we did our best on a home study course. We knew that we would never use artificial birth control, but accepted the possibility that we may one day need to postpone pregnancy or actively try to conceive using NFP methods. Early in our marriage and even before my friends and family and even some people I didn't know all that well would ask when are we going to start having kids, or how many will we have. I know lots of yall get asked that too. Somehow I don't think that the men get asked that though, do they? I would give vague answers letting people know that we didn't feel that was in our control and didn't want it to be. "Oh however many God gives us." "Whenever God sees fit."


As it turns out however, I hadn't given that control to God completely. I can look at my actions and motives along these past 8 months of marriage and see that I was holding on and asking for God's will to be done but promoting my own. Somewhere in the back of my mind I assumed we would be the kind of couple that comes home with a honeymoon baby and that was a-ok with me. In the first 2 months of marriage I was sure I was pregnant about three times. After that we started looking at some practical complications and avoided pregnancy for a few months. But recently we've been feeling readier than ever and have begun actively trying to conceive. That stage brings me to this weekend. Over the last several days I've been picking up on symptoms and putting them together to build a really convincing argument that I'm pregnant. There are a few that I'll just skip over as unmentionable but my favorite is how full and lovely my breasts had gotten even if they were tender! I'm pretty sure that was hubby's favorite too! Unfortunately, I was mistaken. All of my happy signs of pregnancy amounted to a bummer of a case of PMS. I'm telling you, PMS combined with dashed hopes and a rainy ugly weekend makes for a miserable woman that no one ought to have to be around. I could hardly hold a conversation the first half because I was so excited and "am I or am I not" was seriously the only thing I could think about. And the second half it's all "woe is me, honey will you rub my back?" Ever been there? It's not much fun. It's also unpleasant to be experiencing feelings that you feel guilty for having. After all, I realize that I'm not in a bad situation by anyone's definition. I have a husband who loves me and is eager to create life with me. We have only been married 8 months and really not trying to conceive for long at all. So many women, maybe even some of you, have faced so much tougher circumstances and struggles that I don't begin to know. God forbid that I ever should. But I always try not to diminish a person's pain just because someone else has it worse, and that's exactly where I was this weekend.

One thing is for sure though, God has this whole timing thing figured out! He's had eternity to be working on it and as it happened there was a really poignant lesson scheduled for our teens this week and I was in charge of the teaching for it. The theme was "No Matter How Small" and was focused on life issues that our society faces, the 5th commandment, and Dr. Seuss's Horton Hears a Who. It is our mission as Christians, like Horton, to protect and defend life that is unable to defend itself especially the unborn, the severely handicapped, and those at the very end of their life. I was preparing the lesson with the belief that I was taking care of such a life, maybe only a few cells big, but it gave special meaning to it for me and I embraced the assignment. By the time I delivered the lesson though I knew I wasn't pregnant, very sad about it, and it seemed awfully unfair to have to be talking about baby baby baby. The prayer service at the end though was prepared by another member of the core team and provided a chance for healing for me, and growth for the teens. Our whole parish is participating in the spiritual adoption of unborn babies right now and last night was the teens' chance to "adopt" their own babies. Even as I found out that I wasn't pregnant, thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of women found out that they are. For many that was joyful, blessed and welcome news. For many others though, it was terrifying, unwelcome news. Some of those tiny, brand new lives are at risk of being aborted over the next several months, or may face, along with their mothers, complications, developmental diseases, or other trials. It is those babies that we all chose to spiritually adopt by giving them a name and praying for them over the next 9 months. I chose the name Gloria for my little baby and plan to take seriously my role as intercessor for her. You'd better believe I'll be praying like a crazy woman for this baby that's not mine, and asking for one that is at the same time.




8 comments:

Andrea said...

Oh Erin, You are certainly taking great steps to move on from your disappointment. I have been right where you are. It will as you say, happen in God's time, and it will happen. It will be a wonderful blessing and an exciting time for you and your family. Your "adoption" of that unborn Gloria, and possibly her mom too, is an awesome thing!

Chloe said...

I've been through the same situation. Month after month, since we got married, I keep hoping I'm pregnant only to be utterly crushed when I realize I wasn't. It was so hard for me to deal with, I get depressed and cry a lot - especially since I wanted a baby so badly- that I sometimes frustrate even my ever-patient husband. We finally did go to a doctor who confirmed we had infertility issues, and that depressed me even more. But despite all these, I never lost faith. And now, my faith has paid off.

So just be patient and continue having faith. It is so true that it's all in God's hands. He will give you one whenever he deems you're ready.

Alissa said...

Oh you're such an inspiration. I know that when the time is right you will be blessed. FOr now continue your prayers about Gloria.

Southern Belle Mama said...

What a touching post...I know that it is trying at times to fully rely on God's timing, but as you said, he's got it figured out. This is the first time I've heard of adopting an unborn child to pray for, and I think it is wonderful. What a great way to invest in our future...and reach out to those children who may not have anyone else lifting up prayers for them. :)

Carrie said...

Erin, I can sympathize with your desire to have a baby and frustration over the "am I, or am I not" days spent wondering. I'll be praying for you.

d.a.r. said...

What an amazing and well written post. You are inspiring!

Neely said...

Dearest lovely friend Erin, You will be such an amazing mommy! I can tell that just by the short time I have gotten to know you. God will give you a baby thats meant for you when he see's fit. I think we all have that I think/hope Im pregnant moment a few times at least. You are wonderful!!!

Suzanne said...

You remind me so of my friend, Elaina. She is one of the most faithful people I know and comes from one of the most faithful families I have ever known. It is always difficult to remember that God has a plan for all of us when it doesn't seem like things are going "our way." Case and point: When I was four, my brother, David, died 12 days after he was born. Six months later, we adopted my brother, Scott, from a young woman. Scott has always considered David his guardian angel and my parents and I are lucky enough to have two angels in our lives, David and Scott. God knows when you are ready to bless you with such a gift. I admire you for being so open.