People always tell you to trust your gut. I don't know, maybe that works for some people, but my gut is untrustworthy. Anxiety brings on a very fussy gut. Seriously guys, the fear of the fire drill sent me home sick so many times in Kindergarten I ended up at a specialist for chronic stomach pain… just ask my mom. I have never been able to trust my gut... if the situation for any reason causes me to be nervous, my gut will tell me to run the other way. For example, my gut would have never allowed me to get married. I've mentioned before that I was anxious when I got engaged. I was nervous about getting married. I was not calm. My stomach was uneasy. I was anxious... it took time for me to breathe and for the anxiety to slip away. Time for my stomach to chill out. The morning after the wedding, I woke up with so much peace. And I've gained more and more and more since then. Sam was the right man. Marriage was the right decision. It was the next right thing.
I've got another one of those BIG type of decisions looming. Some times I think about it and I feel really good. It feels like a good plan. I feel happy and optimistic about the possibilities. Other times, particularly when I think about committing to that step, announcing the decision, signing paperwork, etc; I feel nervous. When I think about what could go wrong in five, ten, twenty years because of this decision, I feel nauseous. I can't trust my gut here.
I think my greatest fear is loss and pain and heartache. Really, just more of the same. For a while the whole concept of doing nothing, of not cycling, of not trying, seemed absurd. I thought I'd send myself into a panic attack at the mere idea of leaving the embryos frozen in Florida and taking a break from all of that. But the longer I've sat in this place, the longer I've enjoyed it. My life is good. Seriously, it is. Sure, it's partly because I'm prohibiting my mind from wandering down the deep, dark, twisty roads of infertility misery. I'm not allowing myself to really even think about infertility let alone dwell on it. But the feel good feeling is also because not trying means I can't fail. I am not plagued by worry. I'm not spending countless hours researching the benefits of eletroacupuncture or the potential effects of eating a roast beef sandwich or skipping a prenatal vitamin. I'm just living, maybe for the first time in three years, and it feels really nice. I'm not a hundred percent sure I'm ready to open myself back up to the potential for more heartache, more loss, more regret, more rejection.
However, I also know that doing nothing will most likely yield more nothing. Sure, the Lord could bless my womb and we could get pregnant next month, but He hasn't promised me that. And I believe that the Lord asks us to do life: to make choices, to work hard, to try, to grow, to fail. If we want to grow our family, we are going to have to take some risks. Risks can feel really scary though, especially when past experience says that risks don't bring rewards, but ruin. When your expectations are crushed, your hope can be lost amidst the rubble.
I've written about this series before, but it's come back to my mind recently. I keep hearing this phrase in my head over and over again. Jeff Henderson shared in the series Climate Change that God is in the business of building hope in our lives, but we have to trust him... especially when life doesn’t make a lot of sense. That trust looks like simply choosing to do the next right thing and letting God take care of the big picture. At first that really seems like a dumb idea to me. I like to be in the know. I like to see how everything will work out. I do not like to react to unforeseen circumstances, I like to be proactive. I like to know how the story ends. But lately, I've been thinking more and more that maybe knowing the whole story isn't for the best. If you told me three years ago that I'd be here (still infertile, still childless) I'm not sure that I would have had the courage to go on. Because really, my worst nightmares wouldn't have included all of this. So I've been thinking maybe I don't see the whole picture, maybe I don't know the whole story because the truth would freeze my feet. All I have to do is trust and take a step... do the next right thing.
I don't know if the next right thing will be THE thing that brings home Baby Greavu, but I'm hoping that it will at least bring us one step closer. And I guess that's the leap of faith… trusting that the next right thing, will lead us to the next, next right thing, and so on. We just focus on the step right in front of us and trust that He sees the whole journey.