Sunday, February 12, 2017

the day I found out I wasn't pregnant

Writer's note: You're about to get a glimpse into a struggle in this heart of mine.  Like most humans, I've asked God "why?" and every single time, the answer has been "for My glory and your good."  Can't argue with that.

I have written so much in the past 6ish months but am just now to the point of sharing (some of) what I've written.  I wanted to wait until I had a tidy ending, a joyful resolution, before sharing.  I really did.  We need people who have been where we are waiting at the metaphorical finish line, cheering us on, sure.  I wanted to be that person.  We also need people with us in the grit, the hard, the uncertainty, the middle.  Right now, that's who I've been asked to be.

I'm not entirely ready, to be honest, but when the Lord tells you it's time- well, sister, you better push "publish".  This is me, in the middle of the story, the hard, the grit, not knowing exactly how all of this will turn out.  This is me attempting to walk well in the struggle, knowing it's for His glory and my good.

Also:  this is a long one- you may want a snack before you get started. 😉
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It was a Tuesday.  I was so hopeful.  We had only recently said the word "baby" without "someday" attached and kicking it way down the road.  So many women around me have gotten pregnant without even trying, some while trying to prevent it.  Maybe that's why I thought it would happen quickly for us, too.


It was a Tuesday morning when I found out I was not pregnant.  I didn't expect to be so...sad.  Wanting a baby was a relatively new thing at Casa Cook, so in some ways, I felt like I didn't have much of a right to be upset.  But I was.  And I had a full day of 6th graders to teach.  They had no idea that their teacher's heart had just been broken right before they came to class.


Like I said, I didn't expect to be so sad.  Maybe a little disappointed, sure.  But I was honestly, deeply sad.  I cannot recall ever feeling that type of sorrow.  This was a different kind of hurt.


I put on a brave face and taught two blocks of math and one of science, I went to a meeting, I had bus duty.  I coached through a practice and decided to go to Starbucks before heading home.  When you're sad and you've been trying to cut back on caffeine for a baby you just found out you're not having, a pumpkin spice frappucino sounds excellent.  So I drove (totally out of the way) to Starbucks.  And I sobbed the whole way there to God.


"God, You know how much I want this baby.
Father, You're giving babies to people who don't even want them.
God, You know we love You and will raise this baby to love You.
Jesus, do You even see me down here?
I know this world is a messed up place and there's a lot of people needing a lot of things from You right now, Lord, but do You see this?
Do You see me?
My sister is due in 4 weeks.  4 weeks, God.
One of my very best friends is having twins, Jesus.
Every picture I see on social media is a newborn or a nursery or an announcement or maternity pictures or a gender reveal or a baby shower or an honest company diaper ad.
How am I supposed to do this, God?
God, for real- how am I supposed to do this?"


The weekend before, I wrote a letter to our future son, who we hope to name Everett.  We've had his name picked out since before we were married.  I wrote that letter believing that he (or his sister) was absolutely in my tummy and I just hadn't found out yet.  I was wrong.  And I was crushed.


I talked to (at?) God the entire way to get my frappucino.  I asked all those questions, and then I went from sad to mad and asked a few more.  I kept noticing all of these out of state license plates, but I carried on with my drive and my rambling.


When I got off the exit, trying to pull myself together so I didn't look like a total lunatic to the frappucino people, there it was.  I got stopped at a red light, right behind yet another car from out of state.  And there was his name.  The dealership they bought their car from?  Everett.


I actually said out loud, "Really, God?!  Really?!"
And then in my heart, "You know that's who I wanted to be in my belly.  And he's not.  And there You go, putting the name we want to give a baby right in front of my face."


Y'all, it made me mad.  It felt like a kick when I was down, salt in a really fresh wound.
And so, through tears (by now I had my frappucino and could get back to crying in the privacy of my car), y'all, I straight up said to God, and I quote, "How am I supposed to teach my babies that You are faithful when You aren't faithful to me in this?"


Immediately, I remembered the words I had typed in a letter to my future child the day before.
"Sometimes this Jesus life takes you through places and things you never would've dreamed, for better or for what seems like worse...
Though His plans may not look like yours, you can trust that they are the very best...
Because Jesus- He's the only thing we can be completely sure of in this life.  He always gets it right.
He is perfectly faithful...Run to Him, not away from Him, when things get hard..."


God identifies Himself (to Moses) as "I AM Who I AM" in Exodus 3:14.
"I AM Who I AM" translates to "I will be to you all that I AM."
This was my opportunity to let I AM be to me all that He IS.


And even though I was still crying, I managed to squeak out, "thank You." It started small at first. Then with each little thing, my voice got stronger.  And so did my gratitude.
"Thank You that You see me.  Thank You that You hear me.
Thank You that when You gave me words for my future child, they were words for me, Your child, too.
Thank You that You know my babies' names before You even send them to us.
Thank You for keeping us safe.
Thank You that Your plans are best.
Thank You that You have a plan.
Thank You that You are good.
Thank You that You are good to me.
You have been good to me, Jesus.
You are being good to me right now, even though this doesn't feel good.
You are faithful.
You have been faithful.
You will be faithful.
To me.
To my babies.
Thank You that You're faithful.
Thank You that I'm going through this so I can empathize with women who have felt this same sorrow.
Help me not be angry.
Help me know it's okay to be sad right now.
Help me to not stay sad.
Help me trust Your goodness.
Help me trust Your heart is for me."


Seeing my future baby's name, right there in front of my face, made me mad at the time.  It felt like a cruel joke.  But that same night, I could see through my tears that my children are known and loved by the Father before they're even being formed in the womb. (Jeremiah 1:5)
That sticker hurt in the moment, but now I can see it as God saying, "I see you.  I love you.  I know your heart and your dreams.  Your littles are Mine.  I know their names and I have good plans for them.  I love your littles more than you do.  Trust Me with them."


If you are going through the heartbreak of wanting to be a momma and it's just. not. happening.:  I have now been there.  And it is a heartache like no other.  It made me dread the next month before it even came.  It made me sob until my eyes were swollen.  It is the most lonely kind of hurt.  I'm so deeply sorry.  I really am.  If you're local, I'd love to hug you and get you a frappucino and talk to Jesus on the behalf of you and your future littles.  It is hard, this I now know.  And I'm sorry.  But you're loved.  And you are not alone.  Hear that, dear one: in your loneliest struggle, you are not alone.


Future Momma, it's okay to be sad.  Hear that so clearly:  it's okay to be sad.
It's okay to feel that pit in your stomach and lump in your throat when you get that pink and blue gender reveal invitation.
It's okay to feel mixed up when you feel intense joy for your friend's announcement muddled with your own wondering if or when it will ever be your turn.
It's okay to wonder how on earth you're supposed to go to (and smile through, what?) yet another baby shower.
It's okay to cry as soon as you make it to your car.
It's okay.
It's okay to want to scream at the next person who says "you're next!" or "when are y'all gonna have a baby?"
And also the next person who makes some comment about your "commitment to your career" being the reason you "obviously don't want kids" and/or "won't have kids for a long time."
(See also: "do y'all not want kids?", "can y'all not have kids?", "are y'all not ready for kids?", or even the opposite, "you're young- you don't need to worry about babies right now.")
Yes, these are all real things that real people have said to my real face. Every last one.
I am so serious.  I wish I were not.
(note:  no, I didn't actually yell at these people.  But I really did want to.  #thefruitoftheSpiritisselfcontrol)


Also- and I feel like it's so important that you know this, Future Momma- it's okay to bring your (mixed up, super huge...ok, just me?) thoughts and feelings and questions to God.  He can handle every single one.  Nothing you think or feel or ask is going to take Him by surprise or knock Him off the throne.
Bring them all and lay them down- no need for you to carry it all around, because He cares about you (1 Peter 5:7).
Bring them all and- for the love, no matter how you feel- please, don't stop talking to Him.  I promise you: you can come to Him angry because the goodness of God will meet you there.  You may come to Him angry, but because He's a good, good Father, He will hold you until you've calmed down.  He'll give you the strength you need.  You may come sad and broken, but He won't let you leave like that.  He will be to you all that He IS.  Let Him be to you all that He is.


He is making everything beautiful in His time.  He is a God of redemption.  Jesus loves to heal and rescue and restore, and He is so, so good at it.  I'm praying for you, Momma.  I'm believing that He is going to redeem your story and make it such a beautiful reflection of His love and grace.  I'm believing He's doing the same thing with mine.