Sunday, March 27, 2011

Inspiring and Refreshing Weekend

I had an GREAT weekend. I also had an extended weekend because I took the day off on Friday. My sister invited me to go with her to a Joyce Meyer conference in Baton Rouge. So, my sister and I were part of a group of family and friends (7 women total plus my co-worker and her sister met up with us on Saturday) that loaded up and headed to Baton Rouge on Friday. I LEARNED so much and I can't wait to share the things I realized about myself and about my life. Let me begin by saying that I have never heard of Joyce Meyer before. It was not until she came out on stage that I realized that I had seen her on TV before, but I can honestly say I had never really watched her. I just noticed her while flipping through the channels.

We went to the conference on Friday night and Saturday morning. We had to get there early, and we were able to get great seats. Most importantly, I really feel that several things Joyce Meyer discussed were speaking directly to me and my life.

One thing she said was that you must do what's right for the rest of your life because it's the right thing to do. Even if your heart isn't in it. Even if you don't feel like it. Do it especially if you don't feel like it...because it's the right thing to do. There are so many things I don't feel like doing. I have mentioned before that I often times dread family functions. I have 2 bridal showers quickly approaching. I really don't feel like going. But I know that going is the right thing to do. I think I attempted to smooth over some broken edges in my life last week, but I will save that information for another post:) Stay tuned for that. Anyway, I realized that doing somethings aren't going to be fun for me, but the right thing to do is to celebrate the family that I have. They really are well meaning, even if I don't feel that way sometimes. I am really blessed to have family in my life.

Joyce Meyer said "Complain & Remain" or "Praise and Be Raised". In retrospect I do complain way too much. I need to praise God and trust in Him to see the changes in myself. Complaining and self-pity are not going to get me anywhere. Complaining is not going to take away the miscarriage or my desire to have children. Complaining is not going to give me children. Complaining just keeps me discouraged and unhappy. As long as I praise God, He will give me the love and peace that I need to stay faithful and hopeful.

Joyce Meyer also said that God likes variety because we are all so different. We all need to do a better job of NOT judging others. I think I judge others without even realizing it. I have to remember that God wants me to respect ALL people. Joyce Meyer said that we should remember that we are as good as everybody else, but not better than everybody else. So many times I feel that I am more deserving of a baby than some of the others I have seen. I have to remember that I am not better than anyone.

She also talked about bargaining with God. For example, if God just does one thing for me then I will never do something else again. She said what we need to tell God is that I will definitely do it again if You don't help me! I have to remember to ask for help when I need it! There are too many times I believe I can do it on my own.

Another thing she said that really tugged at my heart is that we become so selfish. I pray for my needs and desires. I worry about how people make me feel. I need to open my heart and mind to God. I need to spend more time praying for the needs of others, and less time focusing on myself.

And finally, the one thing that I feel was most important for me to hear...Some people spend so much time grieving that they take on a grieving spirit. I feel that this describes me. We are allowed time to grieve. Back in days long ago, it was 30 days and then people had to get back to the land of the living. I have been grieving for 26 long heartbreaking months. I have been grieving for so long that I have not been living. I have lost touch with many people that I was once close to. Mostly because I haven't been able to live. I have been consumed with grief. I need to take baby steps back into the land of the living.

So--there is a summary of what I have learned this weekend. I have an uplifted heart and I feel hope for the future. I BELIEVE my husband and I will have children. I believe this with all my heart. I feel positive and revived. I feel inspired and closer to Christ. I know that I am not going to feel this way everyday. I know that it is going to take more time for me to get to an even better place. I know I will still have days when I am sad and disappointed. I am going to try very hard to handle it differently.

Since I really didn't even know who Joyce Meyer was until this weekend, I have never read any of her books. I am thinking of reading Battlefield of the Mind. Anyone read it before? Any other suggestions for good reading? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!! I hope you all had great weekends as well!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How has miscarriage & infertility changed me?

This is post that I've had rolling around in my head for a couple of weeks now. I was looking at our wedding & honeymoon pictures, and I thought about how different I was then. I realized that although our wedding & honeymoon were about 2 and a half years ago, I have changed so much. Almost all of those changes have come from my experiences with my miscarriage and infertility. Now keep in mind that these changes are about ME. I can speak for no one else. This is just how I feel I have changed during this time. Many of the changes are not for the best, but some of them are.

Let me start with the negative, so that I can end on a positive note.

I am no longer the innocent happy-go-lucky girl from that happy time. I am no longer that girl who believes that when you get pregnant you get to have a baby 9 months later. I am no longer the girl who finds it easy to feel hopeful for the future. Hope and happiness are things that I have to work hard and pray for. Both were things that used to be so easy for me.

Jealousy, anger, and bitterness were never, ever a big part of my personality. Now I find it difficult NOT to feel one of these things. I am jealous of those who are so easily handed the gift I long for. I am angry that it is so easy for them, and it makes me VERY bitter to feel this way.

I used to feel such joy and peace when seeing pregnant bellies and small children. I would just picture what it would be like when it was my turn. Now it just breaks my heart. It reminds me of all of what could have been, all that I've lost, and all that I might not ever have.

I used to be a social butterfly. I loved to go places with different friends. I used to enjoy every one's company. Now I find it a big chore to mingle with others. Talk always turns to children and pregnancy. It is just too hard to deal with sometimes. I am finding it easier to stay home and immerse myself with the online community of friends who do understand. I find it easier to immerse myself in books and movies because it is easier to pretend than to deal with my reality.

I used to look forward to holidays because it is the few times a year I get to spend time with my extended family(aunts, uncles, cousins, etc,). Now I dread it. I spend weeks dreading it. Being around my extended family makes me sad. It makes me feel like a failure. It reminds me so very much of all that I've lost and all that I long to have. Many of my cousins, all younger than I are painful reminders of this.

I question my self-worth. Am I worthy enough to even deserve a chance to be a mother? Have I done enough to deserve such an amazing gift? What have I done to deserve such heart ache and loss? What can I do to make it right? How much more will this hurt? When will it be enough?

Now, on to more positive changes.

My husband and I are stronger than we ever anticipated. Through every frustration and failure, we have survived. Our relationship is stronger than ever. He has been more supportive and understanding than I deserve. In times of anger and frustration, it is so easy to lash out at the one who is there the most. Every breakdown I've had, he has endured and supported. He is so much more than I ever deserved. Life would be unbearable without him.

I am drawn closer to God. Even in my worst fits of anger, even when it's directed at Him, He loves me and forgives me. His mercy and love never cease to amaze me. Even when I feel that He is against me, I know deep down that He is there to comfort me. I find deeper meaning in His Word, and I try very hard to put His commands to use each and every day. I know that I can do more, and He forgives me when I fall short.

I learned what true friends are, and who they are. I lost some friends. Friends who got pregnant, friends who had babies, friends who find it easier to remain close to those who are able to have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. I know that some friends do not want to hurt me. However, them abandoning me when I needed them most is what hurt most of all. I was doing my best to deal with the rest. Anyway, there are a few who have stuck by me. No matter what. My mom, dad, sister, and brother have stuck by me no matter what. Two particular friends who may not understand my journey have done their absolute best to make me feel loved and supported. Their loyalty and support have meant more to me than words can even begin to express.

Because of my own emotional struggles, I have learned to be more patient and understanding with others. My struggles have made me more compassionate. Sometimes people just need an ear to listen. Sometimes the words that others believe are helpful are really quite hurtful. Sometimes it's best to just be quiet and listen. Offering others an ear is all that is needed sometimes.

I am incredibly thankful to technology and the world of the Internet. I have found people who truly understand my thoughts and feelings. The do not judge me for it. They just understand it. The blogging community is the single most reason I don't feel totally alone. I've gained so much support and guidance from the amazing people who blog. Thank you to everyone who reads my blog and offers me support. Without it I would feel totally alone.

Well, there it is. A rather lengthy post, but it tells what's been rolling around in my head for awhile now. Remember that this is only a reflection of what I feel.