Friday, November 22, 2013

Worn

I'm going to go ahead and warn you that this is a very raw post. I'm throwing it all out here. My one goal in sharing this is to share my testimony of the power of the Holy Spirit and prayer.
I don't think I "dealt" with my last miscarriage very much at all right after it happened. In some way, I think I quietly withdrew. From God, and in a way, from others. I also think I knew I'd be working through all this when it happened. I knew this was going to be hard. 

When I got pregnant this last time, I had several people in my life who got pregnant right before/after me, one in particular who had a due date a week or so from mine. I hated being around her because I did not want to be the kill-joy.  I did not want to be the elephant in the room. Her happiness, her milestones reached, her exciting developments were meant to be shared, and wanted that for her without any guilt for her. This was a great moment for her and she should be able to share without having to hide it for my sake. At the same time, while I felt such happiness for her, I hated the reminder of my own loss, and in a teeny-little way, I resented her, all while loving her and feeling happy for her at the exact same time. So, being near her became so emotionally exhausting it distracted from my worship and study of the Word. Since then, I have avoided nearly any pregnant person in fear of resenting them, because I honestly don't want to be that person. I don't want to harbor such feelings. I want to be happy for them and not feel awkward. 
All of this has been a constant reminder of my humanity, of my sinful nature. And that convicted me... I hated this sin. I hated feeling so distant from God. In my "anger" and sadness in the unanswered prayer of a continued pregnancy, I had pulled away.  In addition to this, my possibly hormonal nine year old hasn't been such a peach lately.... and her struggles have been so taxing too, and I have laid awake at night wondering what we have gotten ourselves into, what she will grow up to be, and why parenting her has to be so, so hard, particularly when to everyone on the outside it seems like this precious, precocious girl is a walk in the park. In short. I have been distant, ungrateful, and angry. I have sang, prayed, and loved, but not in the passionate way I know I should as a follower of Christ. In some ways, I was going through the motions, simply because I knew better than to pull entirely away from Him and going through the motions was the best way to stay focused during this rough patch. Like a placebo pill. It's just that those feelings, of loss, anger, and frustration are hard to talk to anyone about, hard to admit, and hard to move through alone. Fortunately, I never have been alone in this. More on that in a bit. Anyways. I've spent Spring, Summer, and part of Fall, a good 5-6 months in this spiritual and emotional rut, without the words to explain it to anyone. But then, I heard the song by Tenth Avenue North called Worn. And it was like the words were coming directly from my soul in a way I couldn't verbalize. The bridge of the song hit the nail on the head:
My prayers are wearing thin
Yeah, I'm worn
Even before the day begins
Yeah, I'm worn
I've lost my will to fight
I'm worn
So heaven come and flood my eye
s

And I started praying the words of the song.
 I "
cried out with all that I had left."  
Did my pain go away? Nope. But I did start to feel whole again. To feel Him again. That's the beauty of seeking Him.
Jeremiah 29:12-14a:
[Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.]
So for the past few months, I have tried to draw nearer. And I have felt hopeful. 

I finally made my follow up appointment, nearly 6 months later, just another step to move on and move forward. I researched, I read, and recorded, and armed with lots of questions and possibilities, I brought my list to my OBGYN and asked him what testing had already been done, and what tests he could now do, and what tests he could refer me for. I had a list of syndromes, diseases, disorders, and other things I wanted to discuss. I was very proud of myself for the research as every thing I had on my list my doctor confirmed as sound possibilities worth exploring and testing. 10 ridiculously huge vials of blood, and two appointments (one at the hospital lab, one at radiology) later, I had the results. A positive anti-nuclear antibody test. Likely Hughes/APS, the auto-immune blood disorder that can cause repeated miscarriages. Kinda scary to hear, but I felt so grateful for some answer, some validation of my research. Anyways, with blood thinners, it can be treated.
Today, I had an HSG procedure (uterine x-ray that was.... very invasive and extremely painful. I cried.  It came back negative for any structural abnormalities, meaning no fibroids, cancer/tumors, polyps, ruptures/tears, or blockages, which helps confirm that APS (or whatever is behind the positive ANA test- again, most likely APS which i have an appointment coming up with a specialist) is the main culprit in our pregnancy problems. 

Hurting from the cramping from the HSG procedure, I came home after picking up Mak from her Nana's and checked the mail today. I was feeling glum and distant again, struggling with the frustration that folks with no business raising children because of their sordid lifestyles, women who choose to abort them because it's inconvenient timing, never have to wait months for an appointment with an auto- immune specialist, never having to lay exposed and vulnerable with excruciatingly painful dye flowing through their Fallopian tubes... and then I flip through the massive stack of bills, brochures, and sales papers from the mailbox. I find not one but two hand-addressed envelopes with my name on them. I thought, it's a bit early for Christmas cards. When I opened them, I found that two friends, from two different circles and stages of mine and Jake's lives, who didn't even know each other, had written powerful words of encouragement to me both citing a conviction or pull to pray for me. I was overwhelmed with tears when I read their letters, each lifting me up in such a profound way. 

I tell you all of this to testify to the power of the Holy Spirit. When you are in a dark place, when you struggle, whither you know it or not you are NOT alone.  In my time of spiritual weakness, friends were praying without even knowing that I have been struggling so. With my 3rd due date fast approaching, I know the struggles are not over. In fact, I know that what we've been through will probably always hurt some, a scar on my heart so to speak. But wow. The words of that song are so SPOT ON. Sometimes when we are worn, heavy-hearted, we are going to want to give up, to doubt, to wonder, are You there, God? Are You paying me any attention? Do You love me? Why don't You heal my pain? --The lyric that says "I've let my hope fail/ My soul feels crushed/ By the weight of this world" says exactly what I'm talking about.--  But in the midst of those dark feelings, the Holy Spirit moves! He stirs, He speaks. He HEARS us, y'all. Through prayer (my own and from those moved to pray for me by the Spirit), through music, and their words of encouragement, I felt HIM. And in the words of another current favorite song, O the Blood resonates:

And in my sin, yes EVEN THEN, He shed His blood for me.
 

He doesn't stop loving me for asking Him bitterly WHY He allows a drug addict to get pregnant and carry a child and not me.
Even when my praise becomes half-hearted, lack luster. 
Even when I am so resentful of another's successful pregnancy.
Even when I have doubted His love, His plan, HIS VERY EXISTENCE, He still loves me. 
Even when I have shut Him out.
Even when I am ungrateful for the amazing gifts He's already given me.
And what's even crazier is know all this, knowing my doubt, my fear, my SIN, He willingly hung on that cross, thinking of me. 

That's just... Wow.

God, forgive me for my sin. All of it. All the darkness in me, all the doubt, all that. Thank You for restoration. Thank You for hope and peace. Thank you for the Holy Spirit, and for prayerful, loving friends who lift me up. Thank You for a supportive husband who like a rock, lets me lean on him in my weakness and never makes me feel inferior for my humanity. Thank You for taking my place when I am so very undeserving. 




1 comment:

Melissa said...

Love love love this post. Praising God that even though you are in such pain, He is working in you & showing you how much he loves you, through it all. I have some of these same feelings regarding others successful pregnancies, asking God, BEGGING him, why not me?! But He has shown me how to worship him through what i am going through & I am continually drawing closer to Him. Even in my wrongful attitudes & even in my pain.

I am praying for you, girl! Glad you have found some answers. xoxo