Last night when I went to bed it was "feels like" zero degrees. Currently, it is "feels like" NEGATIVE 5. Again, all I look at is the "feels like". What does it matter that the actual temperature is 11 degrees if it doesn't feel like 11 degrees? (Can I get an "Amen"?!) Also, it says that it is 11 degrees and sunny. Does this seem strange to anyone else?
I am currently attempting to get my body out of the "couch potato mode" that I am forced to shift into during the four weeks surrounding each IVF attempt. One week before, two weeks during, and often one week after is spent preparing and recovering. They want me do no exercise during this time and of course, I listen. (And even if I didn't, JB would make me listen.) The bad news is that my attempt to get out of couch potato mode has been hampered by some sort of strained muscle in my lower back. I thought that this sharp pain may have emerged because I tried to jump too fast back into the world of exercise. JB disagrees. And, since he is going to be a doctor in six months, I suppose I should, maybe, possibly, if I have to, listen to him. JB says I pulled something in my lower back. Either way, it hurts to walk so running is nearly out of the question. Last night we went to the gym. I ran about a mile and was then forced into a walk by the discomfort. JB is saying I need to stop exercising altogether while it heals. Grrrrr. I can only exercise until January 10th before I have to stop for IVF again. Come on stupid back.
In other news, I am feeling better and more emotionally ready to move onto try #4 as each day progresses. The Lord continues to show me things in his word and through prayer and each day, the sadness that is still present, becomes less intense. This morning, for the first time, I felt like I woke up, happy. That felt really good. JB reminds me that I am always telling other people who are struggling with grief not to worry. That the sadness will pass. But when you are in that sadness yourself, it is hard to remember that it won't feel like that forever.
So, what I have been learning?
Well, one of the biggest obstacles both JB and I have had to overcome during the last six weeks is realizing that in order to fully commit our lives to the Lord, we have to be prepared to give him everything.
Now the only way you can understand this is to picture the thing in your life that you truly believe you cannot live without. Do you have it pictured? If not, stop reading for a second, and figure out your thing. It may be a thing you currently have or, like me, a thing that you desperately want. Okay, got your "thing"? If so, proceed to the next paragraph.
Three years ago, I would have told you that I could not live without being a mom. Heck, even six weeks ago, I had doubts that I would find my life worth living if I lived it childless. Some of you men out there find that ridiculous I know. But chances are, you have your own "thing" that you would feel the same about. Then, I started praying. I mean really praying. JB and I started talking. And the Lord started really ministering to my heart.
There are two particular stories in the Bible that He has used to help make this point clear to me. One was the story of the rich man. Do you remember him? Jesus told him that the only way he could enter heaven was to sell everything. I always thought that was strange. I plan to go to heaven, and I own things. What does this mean? You can't possibly sell everything.
The second story was that of Abraham and Isaac. In case you don't know the story, after decades of infertility, Abraham and Sarah finally had a son. Isaac. Then, the Lord told Abraham to take Isaac to the top of a hill and sacrifice him. In the end, the Lord stops Abraham from killing him moments before, but all the same, Abraham was prepared to do it. I have always wondered. What the heck was the Lord thinking? Kill your son? I don't think so!
I started thinking about both of these stories that I had heard so often when I was a kid. Two stories that were common in Sunday school but never really meant anything to me. So we should be poor and willing to sacrifice our children? Hmmmm ....
But during this last week, I finally understood what the Bible was telling us in those two stories. Jesus wasn't telling this man he had to be poor to go to heaven. God didn't want Abraham to really kill Isaac. Instead, what he was saying was, "Will you give up the thing you want MOST of all for me?" Oh man. Or make that "Oh no!"
Think about it. For me, it is motherhood. But most likely everyone reading this blog has an "idol" of some sort in their life. Motherhood, for me, has been my idol. It has been the thing that I want so badly -- more than nearly anything. Would you give up your MD for the Lord? Would you give up your family? Would you give up your dream job? Would you even give up the children you currently have, as the Lord asked Abraham to do with Isaac?
I have briefly discussed on this blog that the Lord has been slowly showing JB and myself the bigger plan He has for our life. More and more we are seeing that the life we visualized was a life we wanted but not necessarily the plan He had for us. I guarantee you that if we had had children when we wanted to, three and a half years ago, my heart would not have been open to that calling. I would have been busy with my children and my household. I would be going to ballet lessons and calling babysitters. (Okay, maybe not ballet. But you get the idea.)
Instead, I have my quiet house and my extra time with the Lord. Instead, I have felt him repeatedly asking me if I would give up the one thing I want more than anything for Him.
I said yes. I said that I would. But in the back of my mind I kept thinking. Well, that's okay. Because I can always adopt. Adoption, was the one thing I could control in this journey. We have always wanted to adopt, but I had allowed it to become an "ace up the sleeve" to guarantee motherhood. A few nights ago, JB and I were sitting on the sofa talking, and I realized that I had to give up every bit of my children-idol. I had to be willing to give it up all off if the Lord needed or asked me to. That meant giving up children altogether -- biological, adopted, or even a third hope -- to run an orphanage or be involved with motherless children in some fashion.
Maybe the Lord is calling JB and I to go to a country where having children would not be safe? Or maybe he knows that we need to have our child/ren when we are older. Or maybe there are children that need to be adopted that we couldn't adopt if we had a household of our own children. Or maybe, I won't even know why we are still childless this side of heaven.
The truth is, I pray everyday that the Lord will allow me to be a mother. I will never stop praying that prayer. I also will never stop believing that I will be a mother. Please don't read what I am saying and start yelling at the computer for me not give up! Don't worry. I am not giving up in my motherly desires WHATSOEVER.
But in the meantime, I have to strive everyday to be like Abraham and to be willing to give up the thing I want most and to put God in first place in my life. If I do that, then no matter how my life turns out, it will be the best plan for me and the best plan for God's kingdom.
This is not an easy road. It's a road that I am sure will have many more bumps and turns as I learn to completely give my life over to the Lord. If you think of it, this is something you can add to your prayer list for JB and me -- that we will allow God to completely use us -- however he sees fit. And even if it isn't the way we thought we wanted. Pray that we will trust him -- 100%.
And pray we don't freeze when we walk outside today.
P.S. I fixed the link on my blog about HEISMAN from yesterday. If you didn't vote yesterday (or tried to vote but couldn't), please scroll down and throw a vote out for him!