I needed to escape. I struggled to manage the emotional tide that was swelling. I hopped in the car, barefoot, and started to drive. It was time to pray.
My freshman year of college I had many of these sorts of car rides. If I needed a place to be completely alone and unable to be interrupted there was either the shower or the car. I experienced my first real heartbreak that freshman year. It wasn’t a very long relationship – only a few months – but it became serious fast. When I ended it, I knew I had lost a best friend. Sometimes it is assumed that the heartbreaker isn’t also heartbroken, but I was. My head knew that I had made the right decision, but sometimes my heart felt so awfully confused, and it just hurt so bad. So for many evenings after that, my car was my safe place to drive and pray and cry and sing along with sappy love ballads about the heartaches of lost love. Anyone remember this one – If You’re Not the One – Daniel Bedingfield? And Dan, buddy, the falling thing you do around 2 minutes 48 seconds is just …well, something :/ Tie your shoes maybe?
Flash forward many years and the heartache I am experiencing is of a different nature. Infertility. Unexplained infertility to be exact. No known medical reason. That is good news, but it leaves some large question marks lingering. Ever been there? I think we have all had some questions that linger in our hearts; questions that are linked arm in arm to struggle.
That Saturday as I drove around in my car, barefoot, mascara smeared across my face, a little snot shimmering under my nostrils (I must have looked gorgeous), I laid my feelings out before the Lord – all the mad, sad, and glad emotions – and yes, I think it’s possible to feel all of those at once. What can I say? – Women are complex. And mysterious. And alluring, etcetera etcetera – we can’t help it ;). I also told the Lord I trusted Him. I have questions and dislike the sorrow I sometimes feel, but I still believed he is good.
A while back I wrote a blogpost entitled Hope Deferred: Rejoice When I’m Madsad. I don’t struggle with the feeling of being madsad quite as austerely as I did then, but I still feel madsad sometimes. And I wonder, if our circumstance doesn’t change…if we remain infertile…will I always be a little madsad? Is that ok? Is it healthy?
I read this quote in an article the other day:
“Proverbs 30:15-16 tells us the grave and the barren woman are two things that are never satisfied. The sense of loss from infertility will frequently resurface whenever life situations — such as a menstrual cycle or the birth of a child to another couple — trigger painful feelings of the opportunities lost. We must not be afraid to grieve and allow these responses to run their course. We should, however, guard against allowing our heartache to slide into despair.” – Focus on the Family, Brad Nelson
Those words helped me understand that grieving was ok. I do feel painful feelings when I am confronted with the opportunities lost; with this deferred hope. I should not tuck my emotions down or deny the sadness that surfaces. However, I should be careful to not slide into despair. And slides are tricky. You start going down a slide and it can be hard to stop. Especially water slides…there is no stopping on those…and man, those wedgies…
So I’ve decided I need to pull out my sword and defend against despair. Sometimes you gotta put up a fight.
We will all face trials of many kinds dear friend and the despair drain will try to suck us down its pipes. How dare it. So I’m gonna clog that drain. I’m gonna get the largest hairball I can find (probably from one of my cats or Cody), and I’m gonna clog that drain right up. Now who’s with me? …this has got to be one of the best motivational speeches ever written.
I’m going to clog up the drain of despair with the His words written in His book. Here it goes.
He is near to my broken heart He bottles up every tear As His righteous one, He delivers me
His power is made perfect in my weakness He gives me sufficient grace, Each moment, just what I need
He is working all things together for my good Supplying my every need According to His riches, not my own
These waters will not overflow me In this fire, I will not be scorched This valley is only a shadow
So I will trust in you Dwell with you Befriend your faithfulness
Delight in you Wait for you Commit my way, and watch you act
As I hear your Words So my faith will grow And your joy will be my strength
As I set my mind and sight upon you Your peace will guide my way
So I will be strong and courageous for you are with me wherever I go
I will not fear nor be dismayed For your presence is my home
I will rejoice, pray without ceasing And give thanks in all things
These current sufferings are not worth comparing to your glory that sings
I am your tree Planted by your streams My leaf will not wither
Yes I am your tree, Planted by your streams Yielding fruit in its time
So be still my soul Be still and know that He is a good good father
Be still my soul Be still and know He is making everything beautiful in its time
Scriptures used to clog up the drain 😉 – Psalm 34:17-20, Joshua 1:9, 2 Cor 12:9, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Psalm 37:1-7, Philippians 4:19, Psalm 23:4, Romans 8:28, Deuteronomy 31:8, Isaiah 26:3, Psalms 1:1-6, Romans 8:18, Isaiah 43:1-2, Psalm 46:10