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Saturday, February 2, 2013

reflection in the struggle


Over the last few weeks, I've been struggling with so many thoughts and emotions. I've been struck continually by the thought that "this is my life"...for better or worse. And it may not ever include children. And if it doesn't, then what? 

In the moments of sadness and loneliness, I feel guilty for having those feelings. Because I'm so blessed. I have a wonderful life. But sometimes it doesn't feel full enough. It is too quiet. Silent, almost. And in those moments, I tell Him..."I'm listening. If it's not your will for me to be a mother, then what am I called to do? What am I here for? What is my purpose?"

As much as I love my job (and believe me, I do), that can't be it. My whole purpose of being. It can't just be to get up every day and go to work. And come home, work some more and go to bed. Then do it all over again the next day. There has to be something bigger than that.

And if I can't have children, I need to figure out what I need to do to fill my life and live with purpose. Unfortunately, I don't have all of the answers yet. But my heart is telling me that I must find a way to serve others. Whether it is...to go on a mission trip. Start a non-profit. Mentor a child. I don't know what it will be. But something.

Infertility has definitely changed me and it continues to change me. It sounds weird to say but I'm grateful for this experience because I'm a better person than I was four years ago. I've always thought the struggle would make me a better mom. And it would...if I get that opportunity. But if I don't, it has still made me a better person. It doesn't mean I like it. It doesn't mean it doesn't hurt like hell.
But I somehow know that I was supposed to go down this path.

I don't know where the road will take me and surely there is more pain to come in my life. But my goal is to remind myself daily that joy is a choice and we must rejoice even when life makes it difficult to be happy.

24 comments:

Amber said...

I relate to so much you said in this post. I never pictured my future and growing old without having a family. Yes, I have nieces and nephews that I adore, but it's just NOT the same thing, despite what everyone tries to tell me. Lately I have been bored with my job and feel the pull to find an organization to volunteer for. Hopefully we both can find the purpose to our life soon.

Katie @ Loverly She said...

You’re so right, Jessah, joy is indeed always a choice.

It sounds to me like God has been using this whole experience to prepare you for something. I pray He begins to fill your heart with hope, that whatever happens will be better than anything you could have thought or imagined.

-Katie

Alana at Ovuline said...

Hi Jessah, I really like the quote you have at the top of your blog. It's a great reminder to stay strong during the long road to parenthood. You have a really great attitude. Wishing you all the best.

Dream Chase said...

Jessah, I am struggling with a very similar thing right now regarding my IF. I say similar because my job is to work with young children with disabilities and behavioral challenges and so I know by helping these families I am making a difference, but at the same time, there must be more out there for me. There are some days where I feel if I try this, try that, work harder it can happen, but then there's the scary voice, the voice that says, what if it doesn't? What if I truly can't be a mom? What do I do with the rest of my life? How do I move on? it's so scary. Heck, I don't even know what to pray for anymore. Pray that something works? Pray to stop wanting a child? pray for peace? I know what you mean by IF changing you for the better, it has changed me so much and I am so humbled now by much around me due to having gone through this, but what is for? What to gain and where to go from here? I realize my commenting did nothing to alleviate your own fears and questions, but maybe there is some comfort in knowing you aren't alone? That others wonder too and feel there must be more to life. I just wanna say *hugs* It's funny, 'cause I'm going to blog today too and it's going to be a bit similar to yours since I really feel stuck in the same place at the moment.

Kailey said...

Totally agree with your post. What an encouragement! I certainly needed that today. Thanks for posting!

Brooke @ Silver Lining said...

I love this post. It's so honest and real. I agree - taking care of others is such a big part of my life, and it brings me the most happiness.

I found your blog from the hop, and I'm so excited to be your newest fan and follower! Let's be blog friends?

Brooke
silverliningtheblog.com

Lyndsey Davis said...

That's a wonderful perspective. I only hope that both our destinies include motherhood.

Infertile625 said...

I think this ALL THE TIME. I know I was called for something. We all have a calling. And as much as I love my job, that's not it. I often think maybe there is something bigger for me and I should listen to find out if its something without children. But I guess I'm just not ready to give into a life without children, if that is what I am called for. Well said Jess! Well said.

Stephanie F said...

What a heartfelt post. I don't know you very much (have only been following you a few weeks) but I can see through your writing what a loving and honest person you are.

Your views about your experience truly humble me... Thank you for sharing those most inner thoughts that inspire me.

I hope you find your purpose :)

Stephanie
http://sharelovealways.blogspot.ca/

Good Timing said...

The quote on that first pic you posted is so true, isn't it? Wishing you peace and happiness - no matter what happens.

rebecca vandemark said...

This is SO inspiring. Simply beautiful. Thank you so much for your heart that is so willing to share. You touch so many people~myself included! Many blessings! ~ Rebecca~

Chappy said...

Thank you for this post, it sums up so many emotions I have been having.

ThistleAshD said...

Oh God does have a plan for your life that is for sure. I read this book when I first got divorced called "Breaking Free". It had a really good chapter on the need of every woman to be fruitful, but it connected it to the verse of Isaiah 54:11. You should read the verse. It's really encouraging :) But basically it promises that if a woman can't have children of her own the Lord will use her to bless the lives of others in such a way that she will have more 'children' than the woman who had her own. It's really beautiful.

Kym said...

Hi Hun. I know we aren't exactly "friends", we're more of blogging acquaintances....and I know that I can't relate to your infertility, but I can relate to your feelings and frustrations of wondering what your purpose in life is. It can be an exhausting journey..trust me, I know.

Who knows...maybe if you turn your focus to something else for the time being (I'm sorry if that sounds easier said than done), maybe taking the stress of bringing a child into the world is just the thing that you need at this point in your life?

Anyways, the point of this comment is just that I want you to know that I'm here for you, any time you need a friend :) xo

Alice, Pretty Confused said...

I can't even imagine how difficult it is sharing this kind of story online, so thank you for sharing. I'm wishing you lots of luck and happiness for the future, wherever it is that you end up xo

2justByou said...

The struggles and hardships that we go through in life make us stronger and better people. You are an inspiration to others with your strength and optimism.
~Kim
http://2justByou.blogspot.com

E. said...

I've been feeling a lot of similar things lately. What purpose should my life have, if I can't have children? It's a really tough question.

Whitney B. said...

Really need this today. Thank you.

Laura Rahel said...

I am so sorry for your struggle Jessah. You are such a lovely person and I hate when others have to deal with the same heartbreaking realizations that I have.
Coincidentally though, one of my major goals for 2013 is to go out of the country on a mission trip! If we lived near to one another, we would be finding purpose together.

Thinking of you and hoping for some contentment to come your way :)

b.b. of :: something glorious blog :: said...

you are so eloquent in the way you composed this difficulties in trying to understand what the plan is in this struggle. i swear there are just some days that you hit the nail on the head for me and write exactly how i feel even when i haven't been able to form the words to express it myself... sometimes i just want to put a post on my blog saying "yeah, what she said..." linking to your posts, haha.

but the last line of your post reminded me of Nehemiah 8:10 - "do not grieve, for the Joy of the Lord is your strength." and it is so incredibly true... He never promised we would have it easy, but He has promised we won't be alone in our hard times, and for that we truly can be Joyful. and yes it takes making a conscious effort every day {even many times a day}. so thank you for reminding us all to continue to choose Joy in the life we've been given rather than what we don't currently have {yet}.

i'll continue to pray for your future =)

Heather said...

Continuing you keep you in my prayers. I came across this post shortly after we lost Isaac and were back in the throes of TTC. It spoke to me and just thought I'd share it with you: http://www.shaunaniequist.com/blog/2011/1/12/enough.html

Especially this quote from it: "I want to cultivate a deep sense of gratitude, of groundedness, of enough, even while I’m longing for something more. The longing and the gratitude, both. I’m practicing believing that God knows more than I know, that he sees what I can’t, that he’s weaving a future I can’t even imagine from where I sit this morning."

Hugs and prayers.

marymac82 said...

This is such an inspiring post - you have an amazing perspective in the face of such difficulty. Thank you for all your words, I truly wish you all the happiness in the world.

Charleston Hokie said...

It is so brave of you to put this out there but I imagine it feels so good to get it out of your system! I've sat down to blog about this very thing so many times but was never brave enough to hit the "post" button. You are surrounded by your online friends all cheering you on-me included. Don't give up yet. Take time to yourself-do things for you and then when the time feels right you'll get back up on the ride. 2012 was my year to turn it off and take a break. And you know what-i feel so much better now. I'll try again and if i get burned again, it will be ok. My head is in a better place now. My spinning instructor said a quote the other day that I think applies to infertility too. WHen your body and mind give up-your heart takes over. So true...So give your heart some time to heal....sending you prayers from SC.

Sarah said...

You could not have put this better. It's like you are in my head... writing it all out. HUGE hugs to you. Have you read the poem The Invitation by Oriah Mt Dreamer? I love that poem (it's on my blog in a tab). It reminds me to see beauty even when every day is not pretty. I read that poem when I'm the most down. I don't know where life will lead for you but you have an amazing spirit and I can't imagine it will be anything but spectacular. :)

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