Only part of the story

Our blog has been quiet for a few weeks, and it’s mainly because I feel like we’re in a waiting period.

Our most recent doctor appointments were pretty disappointing, and we’re waiting to have a conversation about what to do now.  I don’t know what our doctor will say or what path we’ll be on when we leave the office.  My mind cycles through the few options I can imagine and then begins to anxiously wonder about the options I can’t imagine.

So I’ve been trying to keep my heart quiet.  With nothing but a conversation on the horizon, I’ve tried to engage in the moment and not anticipate the next.  And wow, I realized I haven’t truly done this in two years.  There’s always been something fertility related to anticipate.  Even when we took a small break, we knew what was happening that next month.  I still had something to focus on.

But for these two weeks between appointments, I can’t anticipate anything fertility-wise.  There’s nothing known to focus on, so my mind has felt freed up.

I didn’t realize how much of my focus has been consumed by infertility in the last two years until now when I don’t have anything to focus on.  For a few days after our last appointment, I felt empty.  I felt like nothing was happening in my life that gave it any value.  But as my eyes widened and turned to the other people and stories in my life, I realized that there are important, worthwhile things happening.  I just hadn’t been tuning in as much to them.

I felt the Lord say, “Don’t give infertility 100% of your focus, because it’s not 100% of the story I’m writing for you, even now.”

Infertility has felt like the whole story of my life lately.  Don’t think I’m being hard on myself.  In the beginning when we were new to treatment and the drugs, doing research, and riding the rollercoaster of hope and disappointment, it required most of our hearts and could be overwhelming.  But now that we’re not making progress and don’t know how long we’ll be on this road, I see that I need to get on with other things in the midst of this.  If we can’t even glimpse the end, then I can’t just keep getting by in the other areas of my life.  Who knows how long that could go on.

So I’m learning to shift my focus.  I’ve put my mind to adapting small group lessons on dating for our high school girls.  It requires a couple of hours each week, but that time flies by.  I love organizing the thoughts and teachings that will help our girls date well with less hurt and more purpose.  I’ve been praying hard that they will listen better than I did and not have to end up learning these same things the hard way.

I was able to go home and spend a very short weekend with my parents and my brother.  What an awesome gift from the Lord — a wonderful reminder that we are deeply loved and connected, and also that we need to give our love just as much as we receive it.  We are not alone in stress, and the Lord wants to use us as ministers to our loved ones even though we struggle ourselves.

I don’t know what’s next on a lot of levels.  I keep wanting to “make progress” and feel like something is happening.  The whole waiting aspect of infertility has been really difficult.  But in this period where we literally can’t do anything on that front, there are other things to do.  Infertility is part of our lives, but it’s not the whole story.  Therefore, it doesn’t deserve the whole focus.

There are people I want to love better, things I want to be more purposefully engaged in, and a life I want to continue to build.  I can, and should, do those things regardless of our infertility.  As much as I’m scared to let go of this overwhelming focus on a baby (What if we don’t try hard enough?) I want to look around and see what else God wants to do in me and through me.

Because this isn’t His whole story for us, so it doesn’t deserve our whole focus.

100% of our focus should go only to the One who is writing 100% of our story.  And thank you, God, that infertility is only part of our story!

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