My Weakness

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My Weakness

In November 2014 we completed our one and only round of IVF, “our last try.”

The cycle was almost a bust because for reasons unknown at the time my ovaries weren’t responding to the meds. (We would later learn that we got a bad batch of meds that were virtually useless).

Of the over 24 eggs eventually harvested, only 17 were deemed mature enough to fertilize.

Of those 17 eggs, only 11 actually fertilized through forced sperm injection in a petri dish.

Of the 11 that fertilized, only 6 kept growing past day 2.

On day 3, one looked “slightly better” than the others, though none looked “perfect.”

That first embryo of just 10 cells would be our first transfer, and she would become my first ever successful pregnancy.

A few days later I got the call. Somehow, 2 more embryos had proven strong enough to freeze.

2 more chances, maybe…

I had lost over 100 pounds and was in the best shape of my life when we began in 2014.

I had planned, and I had worked hard for every inch of victory I gained.

I did the hard work of therapy and began the arduous journey of dealing with my crap that had led me to the grim prognosis I received about 2 years prior.

It was in my control to change everything, and I did.

I didn’t know it then, but while I pressed into the intense runs and long mountain treks, I had also begun an injury to my hip, a tear to the cartilage in my hip joint. The tear was completed the day I gave birth to our sweet daughter.

That day, I learned anew how little was actually in my control.

Exercise, which had become a welcome refuge and deep therapy of its own, was ripped away from me and was instead replaced by a steady and never ending pain.

It took 15 months for a correct diagnosis, 1 very painful hip surgery that I still can’t google the specifics on,and almost 3 years of rehab, learning to walk again, and countless setbacks to arrive where I am today.

And not a day went by that I didn’t think about those 2 frozen embryos and wonder if instead of “when” we would try if instead we would “ever” be able to try.

2 months before the actual frozen embryo transfer I finally got the “go ahead” to try.

My pelvis was finally holding, I had regained enough strength, and the muscle spasms had subsided.

Only this time, I would be heavier, older, and in worse physical condition than ever before. How could I do this now?

I felt so weak and unable, and, to be totally honest, ashamed to be in this space with my fragile flesh.

The world will think me a fool.

My power is made perfect in weakness.

I heard it echo through my mind again and again, His still small voice.

It was time.

God moved mountains to get me to even this space, and He was once again asking me to trust Him.

We were finally able to give one of the embryos a chance at life. A chance I had thought many times might never actually come.

I have had doubts fill my mind, I have battled fear relentlessly, and I have been reminded constantly of my weakness. And He gently reminds me that I am not the author; He is.

Here I sit, wonderfully nauseated by the new life that grows within me, because God is bigger than my weakness.  He is able. He is the author and perfecter of my faith. And though I might have to lay my weakness before Him one thousand times a day, He isn’t mad, He isn’t surprised, He holds me in all my brokenness, and He loves me so much that He is willing to keep repeating, “My power is made perfect in weakness.”

His love truly is more precious than rubies.  What do you need to lay before Him right now?

 

Daring God and Moving Mountains

“When pain is to be born, a little courage helps more than much knowledge,

a little human sympathy more than much courage,

and the least tincture of the love of God more than all.”

-C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

V and mommy

She was serious but full of compassion as she read over the lab work.  I was tired. In all honesty most of me lay dormant inside, unable to be roused since the twins died.  Now, when we talked of Ashley and Bethany, they were referenced to simply as “the twins.” But they weren’t talked of much now, the time for polite grief long gone, and life must move on.  The battles for, and adoptions of, our four beautiful daughters had long been finalized and all our energy must be poured into life with them…

“Your liver is beginning to fail.”

The words seemed to hold in mid air for a while.  She looked at me trying to ascertain if I comprehended the gravity of the situation.

I did.

I left her office and sat it my car.  Failure. Me. Age 31. Was this how my life would come to a close?  A slow, painful death of my own creating? 311 pounds–the weight I had eaten myself up to since burying the twins.  It was threatening to bury me when all I was trying to do was bury all the hard feelings. I had always struggled with my weight but this was more, so much more.  I had a problem, or a million problems. But did I care?

I cried an ugly cry.  The snot pouring out of your nose, eyes red enough to stop traffic, blubbering, smack-the-steering-wheel-multiple-times sorta cry. And when I was done and my eyes were firmly swollen to puffy little slits, the stillness spoke– Do you want to get well? He didn’t ask because he didn’t know, He asked for my benefit.  Yes, yes I guess I did. A fire began inside me in that moment. And then, the birth of the most forbidden dream of all was whispered into my heart…

Pregnancy.  Try again. What?

I could not contain the laughter or the tears.  Seriously God? Is it time to go admit myself into the mental ward because HELLO, look at me.  My name is failure. I began to list off every single detail that must be overcome for me to even TRY to become a mom again: the weight, my various health issues, the doctors response after losing the twins, the money, and on and on.

I pointed to the mountain and I dared God to move it!

I say dared because I had an attitude about it all that would make most faithfully obedient believers blush.  I didn’t doubt that he could, my attitude came with the “would he” part and the “trusting” part. But God…was bigger than all the feelings I had tried to eat away, and he was bigger than my terror.

Sitting there, 100 percent a mess, certain I was broken beyond repair, truly terrified of what lie ahead, God met me and he breathed new life.

I love how He meets us right where we are, just as we are.

He had me in his hands the whole time.  When I could not see, He could, and he carried me on to dreams that I was not bold enough to dream.  He carried me through my fears one step at a time–just one step at a time. Trusting Him is the best part and the hardest part.  But you know what?

He moved that huge mountain!  He overcame every obstacle. And the delivery of that beautiful dream came wrapped up as a gorgeous baby girl in July of 2015–14 years after first being told we were infertile.

Today, I need to remember that He is a God that can move mountains.  Here I am again, facing a huge mountain and daring God to move it.

What mountain are you facing today?