It was Thanksgiving day and I was taking a morning bath. I was literally just relaxing, talking to Jesus, soaking in the sweet aroma of my day. As I laid immersed in the warm bath water, I suddenly got this overwhelming feeling that my sister-in-law was pregnant again. It was so strange. I had no clue if they were even trying for their second baby. The thought came and left pretty quick and I didn’t think too much of it the rest of the day until we decided to Skype with them in the afternoon. Before we were about to connect with them, that overwhelming feeling flooded my heart again and I knew God was trying to show me His plans for their family. I whispered into Ryan’s ear “I think she is pregnant again.” I was patiently waiting for her to reveal this news to us… I was very confident that what the Lord showed me was true…
Finally, my gorgeous little niece came walking towards the computer with a beautifully decorated pink onsie that read:
“I’m going to be a big sister.”
My heart felt giddy. I was going to be an Aunt to another little miracle!!! Wow… In that exact moment I can honestly say I was happy and experienced joy with them. I often think the Lord revealed this news to me beforehand to prepare my heart to fully embrace this special moment with them because my heart is to rejoice for any one person expecting a child in my life. And I know in that moment that is exactly what I did and I am thankful for that. My sister-in-law beamed with joy as she shared with us a little bit about her pregnancy and her joy carried into my heart. I find great treasure in being an Aunt and this was such an exciting moment for her that I truly wanted to celebrate.
However, part of the reason I started my blog on our journey was to express the real and authentic feelings and emotions that accompany this walk to parenthood. If I am honest, in that moment of great joy and excitement of becoming an Aunt to another child, I also became consumed with deep grief and heartache.
As soon as we said goodbye, I could feel anxiety and sadness entering into my soul. My heart sank immediately. It was just minutes after we hung up when tears uncontrollably dripped from my cheeks. I felt like a rainstorm had just come through my heart drowning every particle of joy in me. It was no longer about them at that moment and I could exclusively focus on me and how I felt in my heart. Ryan held me in his arms as tears rolled down my cheeks. I felt a lack of control over my emotions. I cried out in selfishness, sadness, disparity…
“It’s not fair!!!”
How many more times would I have to experience moments like this I wondered? I remember trying to explain to Ryan my heart as barrels of tears rolled down my cheeks “I’m sorry, I really am happy, so happy, I just am sad…I want this too, you know?”
The problem is that the emotions that accompany this journey are CONFUSING at times.
On that particular Thanksgiving day my heart experienced an abundance of joy immediately followed by loss. As days passed I began to feel guilty for not keeping my emotions in control, for being sad, jealous, and disappointed. I mean I totally had a melt-down like a two year old on my living room floor as I grieved my unborn child. Somehow the guilt caused me to believe a lie about myself: that because I responded in sadness and couldn’t control my heartache at that given moment I was never actually happy for my sister-in-law or the several friends whose wombs became fruitful before mine. This guilt just turned into a deep festering wound and as time passed my heart only became flooded with torment, guilt, and pain. This wound taught me some bad coping mechanisms, that at the time, I thought would help me work through my unwanted feelings. During this season, I had six people in my life between Thanksgiving and Christmas share with me their exciting news of expecting. I thought if I only focused on them during this special time and ignored any flinch of a feeling I had about my difficult journey and the fact that my womb was empty, that the pain in my heart would disappear and I would fully be able to embrace this special time in their life.
Unfortunately, that coping mechanism only worked for so long until my emotions literally exploded from the inside out one day and I had the melt-down of all melt-downs. I felt like a loose cannon. My heart flooded with emotions, some rational and some irrational. My heart sincerely rejoices when a friend shares with me that are expecting a baby and I was afraid if anyone knew the heartache I truly experienced following those moments of joy that they would be fearful in sharing their good news with me. I felt guilty for experiencing sadness and grief instead of only complete and utter joy. I hated that I even felt the way that I did and I didn’t know how to handle these thoughts and emotions.
Grace. This is one of God’s most beautiful gifts to humankind. I don’t think I ever knew what God’s grace really was until my bitter heart came face to face with Jesus.
It wasn’t until I fully embraced His grace that I learned how to handle my emotions and have grace for feelings I don’t want to have, but feel anyways. I was told once, “Desi, you need to have grace for yourself. It is okay for you to feel these feelings, so feel them and don’t feel badly about it.” Hebrews 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
It was in that moment, I realized that I had allowed this guilt wound to grow as I was believing an untruth about myself. Learning to have grace for myself gave me a new perspective in my situation, which truly allowed me to cope with my array of emotions much better. There are so many feelings that come with the walk to parenthood and some of them are incredibly difficult to process. God has grace for me through every unwanted and unexpected feeling I have through this journey, so I have learned to also have grace for myself. God had grace for me even when my heart was covered in bitterness. I have learned to let His grace cover me in those particular moments when a friend shares with me her exciting news of of pregnancy or when I attend baby shower and five people ask me “when are you going to start trying?” or when I am simply having a really hard day. Sometimes it is not easy to have grace for myself, but God knows my heart and how I genuinely rejoice in growing families, even though I still wait for His timing in my womb and my family. Grace has allowed me to work through some truly excruciating and unbearable moments of this walk and it is exactly what I need to find victories in my season.
Grace creates love and love is from Jesus.
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