Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Has it really been 7 months since my last post?? wow.

So apparently I don't have a blog.

I have an online partial ledger of some pretty deep feelings that I occasionally share with the world. 

Perhaps that's too generous. Seldom is more like it...ohh and at this rate, if I post today, all I have to do is post one more time this year and I am now downgraded to a bi-annual sharing of thoughts and feelings.

But that's not why I started this. So, I begin again today.

New blog, new background...both to fit in with the new life we are about to embark upon.

I will start off by describing life over the last 7 months, over a few separate posts and then lets see where we can go from there! After all, I do have three weeks or less before my entire life changes.

Lets start from my last post. Silent Parenting.  (Go ahead, take a break and read that now).  Soon after that was written, my husband and I sat down and had a big talk.  My hubby is always honest with me, he doesn't want to be the kind of husband that tells me what I want to hear and I REALLY appreciate this, even though sometimes the truth stings a lil.

If you're reading this and have struggled with the ugly, dark and scary world of infertility like we have, then you'll probably understand where I'm coming from. However, even if you haven't had our struggles, I'm sure you can understand what I'm about to explain.

I had trained myself into a vicious cycle, one that creeps up once a month, just before my period starts.  No matter what I do, prayer, self talk, support from family and friends, anything- no matter what I tried, I would always get myself thinking "what if I'm pregnant."  Mostly every month for over 5 years,  prior to mother nature taking her course, my brain would shift into that no good, emotional roller-coaster of 'what-if.'  There were some months were I was able to not think of it.... but those were seldom.  The worst part about having a period and endometriosis are that the symptoms of PMS and what not mimic pregnancy!  What an evil game!

Enough was enough, Steve and I talked, cried and just comforted each other.  I finally heard how HE was feeling.  How selfish of me, not to even consider how he felt every month... He was suffering too, but in silence.

We prayed together and decided it was time to stop.  Stop the cycle, heal for our future.  He told me what I needed to hear, which was the truth. The truth, every stinging yet healing word.  We need to live the life God has for us- kids are not part of our story right now!  LIVE THE LIFE GOD HAS GIVEN YOU! (this not word for word, but you get the gist).

I felt like my eyes, ears and heart were finally open to receive these words.  I prayed more, but my prayers changed. I prayed that I would joyfully live the life God has given me and stop yearning for the 'what-ifs.' Joy...something I hadn't prayed for in awhile. Joy. Three letters that have formed a powerful word that has shaped our world this year.  God really has a lot up his sleeves.

Two weeks after this talk, around January 7th,  I got a message from my friend Jennifer Dean.  She is an amazing woman, servant, mother, wife and she has also dealt with the muddy waters of infertility.  We didn't talk much, but kept tabs on each others journey via facebook and her blog. She is wise in so many ways.

So, when I got a message from her telling me to enter into a contest on instagram, I was curious.  I used instagram for photos and whatnot, but had no clue about the amazing support group I would find there.  Jennifer told me about a conference she was participating in and that I basically needed to be there.  Like she's been praying for me and there is no way around it, I needed to be there.  I looked into it and knew there was no way I could afford airfare, hotel, food..etc but was definitely interested in attending.

It just so happened that they were holding a contest to send one person to the conference in southern California- all expenses paid.  I never win anything, I thought.... my stepsister and stepmom win every contest they enter, but not me.  So, I prayed and asked God to bless this entry and that if it was His will for me to be there for him to show me how to make it happen.  We were barely making ends meet and we had no clue we were about to be hit with huge medical bills.

The conference was called the Choose Joy event and was to be held in southern California the first weekend in May.  There's that word again- JOY!  I told Steve about it and that I was going to enter the contest to win a trip, all I had to do was re-post a pic on IG and enter my name on their website.   What a perfect opportunity for me to be surrounded by other women and men who would truly understand what we've been going through.

The contest started January 8 and went through January 17th.  You could enter everyday on their website and got an extra entry to repost this super cute pic on IG: (IMAGE NOT WORKING RIGHT NOW) (you can find it on my ig @redponykells)

I missed the first day to enter, but was able to remember the following day and so I entered a total of 5 times. I was quick to do the first 4, then kinda gave up and then tried once more on the last day.  Gave up because I let self doubt and a sense of unworthiness creep up in my brain- which I now attribute to a series of huge spiritual attacks.  I prayed for this trip and was super excited to watch the video that Emmy posted on IG... who's Emmy? yeah, she's the brainpower behind the Choose Joy Event and oh so much more. She is an amazing woman, friend, wife, mother and just all around awesome person.  I'm still getting to know her, but wow is all I can say. wow.

Needless, to say I was a bit disappointed when my name wasn't the one picked, yet I was overjoyed for the woman who was chosen.  I knew God had big plans in store for her- so many of us were praying for the winner of the contest, that God would work miracles in her life so she could attend.  But wait- there was more good work being done!  There was enough money generated by donors and sponsors that Emmy was able to draw another name.  How awesome!  Again, not my name, but it was that of Amber, another amazing woman of God, mother, friend and now roommate.  You see, God had big plans for Amber and so many women and when a third announcement was made that they had yet even more tickets to give away, my name was announced next!  I had been chosen  to attend! What?!?! this is the girl who never wins anything...but I suppose it had less to do with winning at this point and more to do with God's plan.

Amber was willing to share her room with myself and then yet another amazing woman of God, Nikki!  Nikki's journey is one to gasp at- the amazing things God is doing in her right now, leading up to and immediately following the conference are just incredible.  So, needless to say I was overwhelmed, nervous and excited for the anticipation of the trip to come.

I was still new to the IG community, but from what I can remember, Emmy was able to send the four of us all expenses paid (airfare, hotel, rental car, tickets to the event) and then was also able to bless many more with tickets to the event.   I am sure I missed out on the vast array of other amazing things that were going on from mid Jan-May, so please forgive me if I have some facts wrong.

I told Steve I won and he was happy, yet was quick to keep me grounded in all that we had discussed just two short weeks prior.  The conference was to focus on treading through infertility and adoption.  We are by no means ready to adopt and we are just barely choosing to embrace the life we currently I had to remember not to get my hopes up and to just pray. I prayed for focus and guideance.  I didn't want my wishful thinking tendencies win over me...the what-if's that I had so recently done away with, or so I thought.

About two weeks after being chosen to attend, I was sitting at home after work (it was also my mommas birthday) and I started to stretch.  This was a typical ritual for me, as lifting grown men and doing the various things we caregivers do can make for achy muscles at the end of a 13 hour day!

As soon as I started to rotate my right ankle, I got a full body shock response. I'm talking pain shot up my leg, followed by an immidate warm and tingly sensation all the way up to my head- a surge of sorts.   I knew something was wrong when I tried to walk and nearly toppled over.... this is the beginning of the last six months and is where I will leave you for now.  See you in the next post. I promise it'll be real soon.

Hopeful hearts
broken hearts
aching hearts

eyes opened
renewed vision
tears drying up

pain is so strange
it comes in many forms
blessed to be able to feel

love carries us on
bonds strengthen
life moves on