WOAH hold up now. Is she doing a personal post?! Why, yes, yes I am. I haven't shared much about my life/thoughts/struggles/etc. in this corner of the internet in, what feels like, a year. This time last year I was still feeling my way through the dark pit of bitterness that comes with infertility, and, let me tell you, it's not a small space to get out of. It's vast, lonely, cold. Water drips from old, rusted pipes and echoes in the emptiness.
Have you been here before? Have you found yourself alone in an empty dark space, blindly feeling your way around in hopes of finding a sliver of light to crawl towards? Straining your ears to hear anything other than the lies this world is whispering to you? I have. Many times. I've sat against the cold tile of my bathroom, wedged between the toilet and the tub, as tears slid down my face onto a stomach that still, after 6 years, has not been able to carry a life. I've stood in the quiet of our living room that was just filled with the laughter of our nieces and nephews mere hours before, toys still scattered all over the floor, not wanting to move them for fear of losing the joy I had just felt from their presence. I've held despair in my hands. I've inhaled loneliness. I've walked through the shadows of abandonment.
And, like any form of heartbreak, after a season of grieving I found hope. Joy. Peace. Restoration. I found a way out.
I began to unravel the thread that holds my fears and free what was bound behind years of tangled knots. I learned that the more I allowed my walls to be broken apart, the more opportunity I had to receive the light of joy back in my life. Instead of dwelling on what may never be, I chose to focus on what is. I changed my way of thinking. No, it isn't easy to do. Changing how you think and react to the trials this life throws at you is never easy. But, it IS a choice. I could lay in a hole and pull dirt over me or I could stand up and feel the light on my life. I chose to find joy through the songs of birds, who know not where their next meal comes from yet they refuse to stop singing. I found peace through the warm breeze in the springtime air. Restoration washed over me as I sat in the brisk river waters. I began to dwell on gratefulness; not only in good times but also in the trying times. Grateful for the pain that strengthened my marriage and for the broken pieces that taught us forgiveness. Grateful for being able to help mother so many of our nieces and nephews all these years. Grateful for the people God has dropped into my life who taught me how to hold on tight with fists of thanksgiving to what we do have, and for the people who are constantly illuminated with hope in their own lives.
Choosing to live a life full of thanksgiving makes holding onto hope much easier.
"Never worry about anything.
But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks.
Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable,
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--
dwell on these things."