Monday, March 5, 2012

Suffering Gracefully

"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made great in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." 
~2 Corinthians 12:9


The only person who suffered more gracefully than Paul is Christ Himself.  Paul continues to serve as an inspiration for those of us who read his writings.  He speaks often of suffering, of trials and temptations and times of weakness.  I've been struggling lately.  For a while now, actually.  I've debated whether or not to speak openly about this.  It's easier to get through it when I don't have to think about it (though it's often all I can think about).  However, I'd like to suffer gracefully, and I think part of that is being open about my difficulties.  So here goes.

We've been trying to get pregnant for a year and a half.  At this point, with Caleb's second birthday approaching, we had hoped to have at least a 6 month old.  Instead, he's about to turn 2 and we're not even expecting.  Not to mention that March is our last chance for a 2012 baby, then we're heading into 2013.  Another year would pass without a pregnancy.

I get that it's not about numbers and dates.  January 2013 is only one month after December 2012.  But there's something about rolling into another year that aches.  We prepared (well, I did, anyway) for Caleb's conception to be difficult.  We were shocked and thrilled when it happened nearly right away.  Given my medical history, I thought it likely that this second one could take longer.  I had no idea it would take THIS long.  Granted, Caleb was breastfed for a year of the time that we've been trying, but countless women get pregnant while nursing and he wasn't feeding around the clock, so I don't consider that to be a deciding factor.

I have not been as gung ho as many other actively trying women.  I've gone back and forth on charting many times but never went for it, the reason being that I drove myself halfway to crazy while charting last time and it was all in vain anyway.  Three months worth of detailed charts showed that I was not even ovulating, and yet I was already pregnant (for 5 of those weeks).  Do I want to be tricked into thinking that I'm not ovulating again?  Or, keeping last time in mind, what's the point of charting if I'm not going to believe it anyway?

So what has gotten me through the past 18 months?  This verse: "For we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His good purpose" (Rom. 8:28).  God has ordained my life, my husband's life, and the life of our child(ren).  He sees the full picture while I see merely a speck.  He knows more than I do.  Perhaps there's a car accident in my future that would cause me to miscarry.  Perhaps there's a medical condition in which treatment would jeopardize the baby's life.  Maybe having a baby at this time would be too stressful for Caleb, but given a little more time he would handle it well.  It could be that God is simply trying to teach me.  How can I know any of this?  I can't.  But God does.  Whatever His reasons, He is acting for our good.  He loves us and wants to do what's best for us, even if what's best for us and what we want are not the same.

That's not to say it doesn't hurt.  It does.  All the time.  But even when my heart aches for the baby we haven't been able to conceive, I still trust His promises.  God is faithful (Lam. 3:22-23; 1 Cor. 1:9).  God is love (1 John 4:7-9).  God gives peace (Num. 6:24-26; John 16:33; Phil. 4:7).  God gives comfort (2 Cor. 1:3-4).  Praise Jesus that in my times of despair, I can come before Him and cry out to Him and receive His blessings.

I don't say any of these things because I'm so very spiritual or wise or mature.  I don't write them so you'll think highly of me.  Truth be told, I write them more to remind myself of His promises than to tell others about them.  This post is not about my strength, it's about my weakness.  In my weakness Christ has the opportunity to give strength and to Him be all the praise and glory for it.

The yearning for a baby is always there, even if only in the back of my mind.  I think about it every day.  Sometimes the sadness overcomes me and it becomes a struggle to remember any of these promises.  Thankfully God remembers His promises even when we forget them.  Suffering gracefully isn't just about when the burden is light, it's about enduring when the burden is at its heaviest.  May God give me the ability to wait patiently on His timing, and conform my will to His, whatever it may be.

1 comment:

Mrs. Chappy said...

Jessi,

I so relate to this struggle, as you know. Before Ellie we had a miscarriage followed by several months of trying, not trying due to schooling, then trying again. The ache doesn't go away and ironically, the more you "try" the harder it seems to be to get pregnant. Continue to cling to God's promises. His timing is so perfect and someday you might get a glimpse of why this struggle now. I know for us, we've been able to reflect on that time now, and see many ways in which God was working. Blessings to you.