Pursuing your dreams can be the most exciting thing ever! It can also be frightening and really challenging, especially when they don't turn out the way we planned.
Last year, I was led down a bumpy road. 2014 kicked off with my third surgery in 17 months for aggressive endometriosis. I went into the operating room prepared to awake with the knowledge that my dream to have a baby of my own was over. Instead, I awoke with only the removal of endometriosis, no hysterectomy, and feeling like I was back at square one. (For the details, read my post-op blog post here.)
I had already begun grieving the loss of my dream. I felt peace about the decision. I was ready to move forward in the new chapter of my life. Instead of closure, I was back in God’s waiting room, trying to make sense of it all.
After recovery, I had a few months of relief from the excruciating pain. I was able to focus and work super hard on my career dream, finally launching my coaching business last August! But like clockwork, the endometriosis began impacting my life, holding me back from my dreams and slowing down my progress. As the pain grew worse, my quality of life started to decline again causing me to cancel plans (or avoid making them), and kept me from the gym and my beloved Zumba classes. I began spending more time at home with my heating pad and Sleepytime tea than in public. And since October, my corporate job has required me to work overtime practically every week, making it even more difficult to handle the pain and agony I'm in, let alone to process the aching in my heart.
It literally feels like 80% of the people I know have gotten pregnant since my last surgery... and most of them are people very close to me. It's like the devil is trying to make this already difficult situation 100 times worse. With infertility comes a giant, ugly, uncomfortable elephant in every room. A varitey of feelings begin to surface, making normal conversations just plain awkward for everyone. I feel happy for those being blessed by the miracle of new life, yet my shattered heart simply cannot bear the pain of knowing it, once again, isn't happening for me.
I've asked God "Why?" more times than I can count. "Why am I going through this pain?" "Why do I have to endure so many surgeries?" "Why did I lose five babies?" "Why is it happening for some but not for us?" "Why can't I have this dream?" "Why does it have to be this way?"
Sometimes we don't get a clear answer. Sometimes it's all about trusting that God knows what's best for us. In my head, my dream looks great and everything works out the way I've planned all my life. But if God granted me a baby, it may not go as I'd hoped. There are so many what-if's and the truth is, I'll probably never know what God is protecting me from.
I simply have to trust Him.
On Tuesday, January 27, 2015, I will have my fourth surgery in 27 months. The doctor will again remove endometriosis and perform a hysterectomy (for certain, this time) removing everything but my left ovary. Having a hysterectomy does not guarantee I’ll be pain-free without the possibility of another surgery in my future. For the endometriosis to not cause me problems going forward, the doctor must find every endometrial implant and remove it. There is no cure for endometriosis. While a hysterectomy is not the most ideal option for a 36 year old women who’s never given birth to a child, it’s the next step in getting my quality of life back to live the rest of my dreams (because I have a big list).
Grieving this loss won't be easy. I have a feeling I'll never really get over it, but I do believe it will eventually get better with God's help. This week when I was listening to a sermon from Pastor Brian Houston of Hillsong Church entitled ‘My Faith – My Strength’, God spoke to me through these words; “Never be disappointed with God when things don’t go the way you expected or wanted them to. Have faith that He knows what’s best. We need faith because life has challenges. Sometimes we’re confronted with challenging and difficult times… that’s what gives faith its purpose. We are more than conquerors! What would there be to conquer if nothing was coming against us? Why would we need to be an overcomer if there was never anything to overcome?”
If you’ve followed my blogs for long, you’ll know one of my main focuses is to be an overcomer. Although I never wanted to be in this situation, I find myself in it. The grieving process will take time. Many tears will be shed, my heart will ache, I'll feel angry at times, and my mind will want to question it, but I refuse to let it make me a bitter victim! I believe God gave me this extra year to help build my trust in Him and show me that if having a baby was His will, it would have come to pass. It feels like reassurance.
I wish it didn’t have to be this way, but it is and I WILL overcome it. This mountain will one day move from being the obstacle in front of me to the testimony behind me!