Thursday, May 29, 2014

when hopes are deferred

The dreaded (yet impatiently waited for) phone call has come.

Through the last two years my sweet husband and I have longed to start a family.   We waited, lost a child, then waited again.  Finally, we are seriously seeking answers.  I had two ultrasounds on Tuesday and have been anxiously awaiting my results since then.

 I now have my results.  And there have been moments this evening when I have found it hard to breathe or think.
I'm not dying or suffering from something that will render me incurably infertile for the rest of my life... but the words "We found something" are still ringing in my ears.  It is something we can wait to address until after our move out west, but something that is almost certainly effecting my fertility (and health), will need the help of an infertility specialist, and will likely require surgery (which still won't cure me, but will hopefully help or at least keep it from getting worse).

Please know I say these next words with a heart of love: I am not sharing this so that everyone can tell me what I should or shouldn't do to fix myself.  I have read and tried many things... and I know I will try many more.  I know any words of advice would be shared out of care, but that is really not what I need right now. 
We will do what we can when we can. 

I am broken right now.  My heart is hurting and so is Andrew's. 
I am sharing this because we need prayer.  Our dream of living a simple life and raising a ton of kids is being shaken (and even feels rather obliterated in those dark moments).  If you want to know more, please feel free to message me.  I am comfortable with talking about it, simply because this is now a part of my life (no matter how much I don't want it to be) and friends need to be honest about their struggles.

I love you all.  Thank you for all of your prayers for us up to this point.  Please, please continue bringing us before our gracious Lord; the One who knows all things and *always* has a plan for His beloved, even when we don't understand it.
Thanks so much!

 The above words were posted on my Facebook wall about two weeks ago.  My brain is beginning to wrap around it.  It is so hard when something you don't want is heaped onto you and something you desire so deeply is out of reach, momentarily or permanently.  My dream for my entire life was to get married and have children (with a good dose of singing and writing thrown into the mix).  God blessed me immensely with the first part of that dream: my precious husband, Andrew.  That man has proven his love for me so many times through the last two years.

My desire to have children is going to be one I have to fight to see fulfilled.  As much as I want us to be one of those couples who has a baby every two years without even having to try, that isn't what we will be.

And even though I never showed any signs prior to marriage of having any trouble in this area, my body is rebelling against my dream.  I won't go into details here, but here is a quick summary:

My ultrasound showed cysts in some *sensitive* areas; how many, what size, or what kind I still don't know.  I haven't talked with a doctor about these yet, but from what I've heard, this shouldn't be too difficult to remedy.
The other issue found was signs I have endometriosis.  This condition takes many forms and affects women in different ways... but knowing that I most likely have it actually makes a lot of sense with some of the physical experiences I've had.  :-(  I know several women with this "disease" and they do have children, but it has been a battle for them to become mothers.  And some women with endometriosis aren't able to have children.  It can be very painful (I have experienced some of that) and the only permanent cure is usually a hysterectomy (which isn't an option for me right now as it defeats the point of trying to have children).

So, there is a lot still to discover... we are also in the middle of a move.  This coming Tuesday is our official moving day (which I am still so excited about, even in the midst of all of this)!  It will be a while before we are settled into our new life and then we need to get in touch with specialists to see how my body needs to be treated.

I am sad.  I am scared.  And I really don't want this.
I don't like knowing my body isn't working correctly.  I don't like the thought of treatments, surgeries, and pain.  I don't want to be that couple.  These last two years have been exhausting... hoping and praying each month only to be disappointed time and time again.

I need your prayers.  So does Andrew.  We are so glad to at least know what the issue is... but, while the problem could be worse, we were hoping for something easier (you know, the whole "take this pill and everything will be fine" type of answer).

I was reminded of a powerful truth just yesterday though:
This is not God's "Plan B" for me.

It's not as if God realized I had these sicknesses in my body and went, "Oh dear... well, I guess my beautiful story for Rachel is out the window.  Let's see if we can salvage this mess."


He always knew this would happen and it is part of His beautiful story for me.  Right now He is saying, "Rachel... I will need you to be oh-so brave and just trust Me.  If this wasn't My best for you, it wouldn't be happening.  I love you.  I promise, your story is beautiful."

So, though my heart is sick with my hopes deferred, I know I can trust the One who's heart is always overflowing with love for me.

Thank you already for your prayers.  And thank you for going on this journey with me.



Stefanie said...

Hang in there, Rachel. Ben and I are just beginning to think about starting a family, and I have had female issues since I was in high school. Sometimes I get worried about not being able to have kids, but then I remember that God is in control, and like you said, it might not be His best for me. Enjoy the time with just the two of you…you won't ever be able to have time like this once kids come along, and try to see it it as a very unique gift that God has given you. I will keep you in my prayers. Hugs.

Anonymous said...

You are one of the bravest people I know, Rachel. Thank you for your words. Your life, however painful, mixed up and heart-breaking in the moment is part of a beautiful work of God through which He will be glorified. Sometimes I feel like we will never understand why these things happen. Why do we have to go through lonely nights where we can't do anything but cry or why do we have to give up things that are so pure and good? But I do know my God and I know that I will be all right, even if it is different than what I thought. And you will be too. If these horrible circumstances can bring us closer to God and give Him glory, then we need nothing more.

A certain darkness is needed to see the stars

Annie said...

Praying for you, beautiful woman! Your faith and trust in the Lord is so beautiful to see. May God continue to be very near to your heart during this time.

Gail Park said...

I can relate to what you're experiencing. Before we had Caitlin, I went through an ectopic pregnancy and a miscarriage. My plans and dreams were definitely not going according to my design and timeline. I don't know what God has for you next, but I will pray for you and Andrew to continue to trust in and wait on the Lord for whatever He has in store for you.

Marianela said...

Praying for you sweet Rachel. <3

Natasha Atkerson said...

I so will be praying for you, Rachel. My heart is breaking for you. I wish I could give you a hug and pray with you right now. Sometimes God's plan doesn't make sense, but He can see the bigger picture, even when we can't.

I could also use prayer right now, my brother and sister in law cut off all contact with our family and hers, their phones are disconnected and we have no idea where they are. Based on some of his previous co workers, they're either in Brazil or Hawaii. It's very hard to trust God, but I know that He's in control in both our cases.
Much love and prayers,
Your friend in Montana,

Sarah Rega said...

My heart goes out to you and your husband. Know that I am praying for you both. I have been encouraged by your faith and determination ever since I started following your blog, and now I feel like I've known you for years. It pains my heart to hear that you are going through a storm. Please know that I will be praying for you and Andrew.

Vicki said...

Hang in there, Rachel. This has to be a tough time for you, but you're absolutely right when you say that this isn't God's Plan B for you. I'll be keeping you and Andrew in my prayers!

decked out in ruffles

Hannah Barta said...

Oh, Rachel--I'm so sorry! Like you, my deepest dreams are to get married, have a baby, and be able to sing and to write and take care of a home. It must be so crushing to have that sweet dream in such a hard place at the moment. I will be praying for you both!


Tabitha said...

Praying for you Rachel! I do not know your pain but I do know the Lord will carry you! I've been following your site for awhile and praying for you and your husband. <3

Maiden Princess said...

Dear Rachel,

Thank you so much for opening up to us (your readers) and sharing what dark valleys the Lord is leading your through at this time. Not only can we pray for you, but the way you choose to handle the everyday trials and storms is speaking volumes of testimony to who God is.

I know for myself, when I came to the "THIS IS NOT GOD's PLAN B FOR ME" part, tears started welling up in my eyes. I've been struggling in an area lately and the Father used your words, your blog post, your obedience and revelation to remind me that even in my life, those struggles, those hopes seemingly dashed, those dreams slipping from your hands, this IS God's best for me!

He's been speaking to my heart lately that even though life hasn't been turning out according to the way I hoped or had thought or dreamed that He is still writing my story the way HE has always known it would be.

He's been showing me that sometimes He has to tear down our expectations of what our lives should be like so that we can be open to whatever His best is for us.

Though I cannot even begin to understand what you must be going through, as a young woman who would love to have a house filled with arrow-children one day, I resonate with the pain of your story.
Thank you for sharing your story Rachel, for living out your testimony before us and for giving God complete control to write the beautiful story He has for you, even when that looks nothing like what you thought He would write. Fellow sisters are walking that road with you Dear One.

Maiden Princess

Anonymous said...

I hope you don't mind me asking, but where are you moving?

Ariel Skye said...

My name is Ariel and I have been reading your lovely blog. You are in my prayers and I want to thank you so much for your words. It really struck a chord in my heart when you said "This is not God's "Plan B" for me." His story for our lives is beautiful and we can trust Him. Thank you, thank you.