Have you ever been in a situation where you felt as though sharing your life with the world would just over-burden your possibly already taxed friendships? Or, perhaps, you have chosen not to tell anyone what is really going on for fear of a personal complete meltdown?
Perhaps you staunchly claim the need or the right to privacy?
Well, I won’t argue with you there. BUT, I will protest. Could this claim simply be a wall that we build to protect our areas of greatest insecurity? We can claim the right to hold hurts and struggles inside on the supposition that we’ve earned our badges of secrecy.
And, most of us have. Earned them that is.
Most of us have walked grief’s shore and felt our homes invaded by unwanted pain. From sickness to sorrow, we’ve been there. If not personally, than with someone whom we love.
I think now over the past decade of dealing with an eating disorder, walking with a close friend through rape, weeping with my family over unexpected fights and the deaths of two grandfathers, balancing a full-time teaching job with a full-time graduate school load, and, most recently, living in the world of infertility. Slowly, I came out of the closet regarding the anorexia that was literally eating me up, and I found total healing. I let myself unburden myself on other friends’ shoulders regarding the horrors of rape, and I found comfort. I stopped protecting the facade of perfection surrounding my family, and I found support. I was open about my inability to get everything done while dealing with piles of homework and grading, and I found release.
Now, I’ve blogged about infertility and found a measure of community. For the past several years, I’ve actually kept a separate anonymous blog about infertility. Yes, I know it has colored the pages of this blog occasionally as well. But, I stopped sharing the details. Sometimes that was simply because I didn’t want students and acquaintances reading about the status of my ovaries. Sometimes that was simply because I claimed privacy. I claimed my right to my secret. I claimed my right to hide my shame.
Now, I’m faced with a quandary. What should never have been thought of as shameful is now being shoved into the far recesses of my story. Because I am now successfully pregnant, I can plead the excuse of “needing to move on” and not deal with the insecurity that infertility caused. I could easily choose to ignore the fact that insecurity often left me feeling less-than and inadequate. Why couldn’t my body simply perform one of the most basic functions that it was created to do? Even foolish teenagers were having more success than I was.
Now, my story has a different ending. I’m pregnant. 9 weeks, 2 days. But, do I really want to share that I first went through rounds of medication and eventually three rounds of IVF? Do I really want to share all the implications of a heart wounded by grief? Do I really want to share that I still struggle to talk to my Baby or really connect with this dream that has been so fleeting in the past?
No, I don’t. I would prefer to tie a tidy bow around the infertility part of my journey and forget about it entirely. I would prefer to embrace this pregnancy with all of the normal emotions of an expecting parent. I would prefer to NOT know exactly what estrogen, progesterone, and hCG levels mean, and exactly what the doubling rate of a certain hormone is, and the correlation of numbers to miscarriage. But, I do.
And, I don’t want to be ashamed of that.
I don’t want to hide how this baby came to be because I consider it somehow “less-than.”
God still did this miracle. God planned the perfect moment of this baby’s conception. God knew what my heart could and couldn’t take.
I would be kidding myself if I didn’t acknowledge that He has brought me on a tremendous journey of learning surrender…trust…hope…and hoping again. More than that, I’ve gained friends who live all over the world who have either dealt with or are dealing with infertility currently. Some have had their babies. Some are pregnant. Some have miscarried. Some are still trying. All are hurting and hoping. And, I am one of them.
I am a woman who had to claim like many of the Bible heroines a faith in a God whose plans don’t always make sense or match our timing.
I’ve had to claim that my failures are God’s victories.
Make that claim with me this morning. Let us all, like ancient King David, be willing to “become even more undignified than this” in the worship of our Savior and whatever He chooses to do in our lives.