I am so full!
Fertile Thoughts and her husband invited us over today for a delicious brunch this afternoon, along with GIMH and her husband, and Fertile Thought's sister. It was so good! She's a really good cook.
Speaking of being stuffed, I have gained five pounds since surgery. That might not sound like much (it doesn't really to me, to be quite honest, especially considering all the awesome food I've eaten), but the problem is that none of my pants fit me comfortably. It was great after surgery - I wore either stretchy sweatpant-shorts or a comfy skirt with a stretchy waist band. It was like I was wearing my Thanksgiving-eatin' pants every day for six weeks!
Now, since I can wear pants again and since the weather is becoming a little bit cooler, I need to lose enough weight for my wardrobe to fit again because buying a new one isn't an option.
I started my diet again this week (although that took a detour at brunch this morning, I couldn't pass up an amazing homemade danish!) but I haven't noticed any change yet. Actually, this morning I was up two more pounds to officially make it five. Again, that doesn't sound like too much, but it's the tight jeans that are unacceptable.
I might be getting bloated at this point. It's cycle day 25, peak +11.
Speaking of my cycle, I saw 10KL this afternoon. I haven't seen that in over a week.
So today's Gospel reading has me thinking.
This past Wednesday, I was having terrible pain (it has gone away now, praise God!) and Ryan had to go to adoration alone. I happened to check my email just after his hour ended and saw he had already emailed me from his iPhone. And it wasn't a short little email, but rather a pretty lengthy discussion of today's Gospel reading that he just wanted to send me immediately!
He zeroed in on the last part of the reading:
Jesus said, "Amen, I say to you,
there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters
or mother or father or children or lands
for my sake and for the sake of the gospel
who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age:
houses and brothers and sisters
and mothers and children and lands,
with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come."
He thought it spoke to our struggle. While our lack of fertility wasn't a choice, we are forced to accept God's decision to allow us be childless thus far (which, he argues, is possibly even more difficult since our sacrifice was chosen for us). We might not be called to radical poverty like the man in the Gospel reading, but we have been called to radical poverty in regards to fertility. We are being called to love God more than we want "things" (in our case, babies).
Ryan also pointed that, according to the Gospel reading, if we do give up everything for God, not only will we have eternal life, but that we will be blessed in this life as well. He knows this is a big thing for me, since my broken heart longs for consolation now (I know eternal life is infinitely more important than any blessing on earth, but I am comforted by knowing God will provide us happiness in this life as well).
In the email he wrote: "Jesus has given us an amazing gift. It is not something we would have ever thought to even ask for. We don't have the burden of having to squeeze through the eye of a needle. We have already given up that what we desire the most. We just now need to turn that gift over to his complete service."
So this suffering may have been chosen for me, but it can be fruitful if I give into it. We have been given a great opportunity by God himself to love Him more than fertility. I think he is calling us to make this choice, this sacrifice, in a clear way.
I've already chosen to not do ART (I think you could make the argument that in not pursuing ART, we are literally giving up children to follow Christ); in this way, we have clearly told God that we love Him more than we think we deserve a baby by any and all means. But I have not done everything I could do with this "gift". I still moan and groan and plead with God to take this cross from me.
And this all brings to mind something that has been on my heart a lot lately - that I need to turn everything over to Him completely before it is too late.
And by "too late" I mean before we are blessed with a child, whether through adoption or conception.
I know that might sound odd, since we've already been waiting more than five years and it doesn't look like parenthood is going to happen anytime soon for us, but I kind of think it's like death (follow me here) - only God knows the hour, and you should act like every day is your last, don't put off confession, etc. Well, the same could be true for infertility. I might think I have a ton of time left to right everything with God, but I do not know the hour nor the day I will become a mother. If this suffering is truly to be seen as a gift, then I want to know that I suffered as best I could in the time He gave me. I want to know that I didn't squander it.
I have, at times, allowed myself to imagine me pregnant and it always comes with a feeling of regret that I was a total brat during my infertility struggle, the pregnant me wishing I had suffered better during the x amount of years (apparently "pregnant me" is rather tough). I guess no one really looks at themselves and is entirely happy with the way they're suffering (mainly because a good sufferer is probably way too humble for that!) but I don't want to think I wasted an opportunity from God either.
So I guess what I am trying to say is I need to look at this suffering more as a gift and I need to try to make the best of it while I have the chance. It's just so darn hard to view something negative as a good thing. I need to ask God for help with that part, that's for sure.
And I think the way this can be applied to my life right now in a practical way is to not completely lose it when a new cycle starts this coming week. I can cry out to God, but I shouldn't fall into despair. I shouldn't take it out on others, and I should work on my anger.
Okay, that's my assignment for this week.
I'm now going to plant my bloated self on the couch for the rest of the day. That's my assignment for this evening.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Before it's too late
I am so full!