Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pursuit of peace



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  It's funny how time has a way of putting things in perspective.

2011 was full of surprises, challenges, and changes. I accomplished some awesome things, struggled through some tough times, said hello to some good things in my life, goodbye to bad things, and ultimately changed as a person. For the better? I'd like to think so.

I started off the year with high hopes of getting pregnant. Actually, almost exactly a year ago is when we said we would start "trying". I had the whole plan figured out. I was proud of myself for finally being ready after many years of geuinely being afraid of having a baby. At first we didn't tell anyone. I didn't want the added pressure from friends and family asking questions or giving advice. That lasted all of a few months, and then my world began to crumble.

When I didn't have a period for nearly three months (and was not pregnant), I decided to get checked out. My doctor diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I started taking multiple medications in an effort to get my body to cooperate with my plans. I was terrified. I couldn't believe this was happening to me... me of all people, the person who had their entire life figured out. Yet every month I would hold on to some glimmer of hope, only to be continually disappointed. I began to realize how very little control I actually hold over my own life.

I finally had to start talking about it. At first I started a seperate blog so I could write out my own thoughts without anyone knowing. But I slowly realized that this hurt too much to hold it all inside. So I started talking. Along with that came my own guilt of thinking I was too depressing to be around. I couldn't feign happiness or hope when I truly didn't have it inside me. What friends of mine want to talk about hardships, struggles and heartbreak all the time? Who wants to listen to that?

People who truly love you, that's who.

Along with the realization that I was no longer in control of my life plan, I began to realize how much I need people in my life who care about me, who will listen, and most of all, be honest with me. Yes, my husband is a huge source of encouragement with his never-ending supply of hope and optimism. I truly couldn't be going through this without him and his strength. When I want to be sad and hopeless, he will listen, hold me, and let me feel what I'm feeling. At the same time he will express his hope for the future. Oh, how desperately I wish I could be more like him.

And then there's my friends. It's scary to me how much I've discovered I need them in my life. I am not the type of person who admitts (or even believes) that I must rely on another person, or need what they can give. Yet, how foolish of me to think I could make it through this life alone. I have discovered that when you are depressed and sad sometimes, not a lot of people want to be around you. I have lost friends this year because of my own pain. That's why when you find someone who will stick by your side through bad times, you appreciate it so much more. It means so much. Those friends are the only ones who also deserve you at your best.

So to those people, thank you. You know who you are.

Little did I know what a journey this year would take us on... the hopelessness I would feel, the struggle to stay positive, and ultimately the pursuit of being at peace with the whole situation.

This year was full of thing I never thought would happen.

I never thought we would struggle to get pregnant.
I never thought I would run two half marathons.
I never thought we could live on a $7,000 a year pay cut.
I never thought owning a home would be so much work, yet so rewarding.
I never thought I would lose friendships I held so dearly for so many years.
I never thought I would gain a friendship I now cherish.
I never thought I would be on my way to accomplishing a lifelong dream of being a Psychologist.
I never thought I could be so out of control of my own life situations.

... and yet, I never thought I would be so at peace with my life.

For me, 2012 is all about the pursuit of peace. Coming to terms with the things that have happened this year is a continual struggle for me. I constantly wrestle with believing God has a plan, and that this IS a part of that plan. Believing that He is good. That He is faithful. That He only wants the best for me. Inner peace with all that has happened in the past, the things going on right now, and what will happen in the future -- that is what I'm striving for.

I am by no means there. And even if one ever does get there, it doesn't mean that the pain stops or the struggle ends. Sometimes I will still be depressed. I still need help keeping the right attitude, and I still need people who will hold me up when I want to fall down. One thing people like to say to me to "encourage" me is that this is just a bump in the road, and that they are confident we will get pregnant someday. But I couldn't say I've learned anything from this whole ordeal if I truly believed that.

Because if I've learned one thing, it's that we are not guaranteed anything in life. Whatever actually happens is a blessing. Anything else good in my life is over and above the fact that I was simply given the gift of my own life. Babies are miracles... the eighth wonder of the world. Life is precious. I no longer expect to be given one. All I can do is take one step at a time, do the next thing thats in front of me, and trust God for tomorrow.

I can no longer plan on the future. I do not know what the future holds, but I can thank God that He does.

I find peace in that.

7 comments:

  1. Perfectly written!

    Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. ~John 14:27

    I'm proud of your growth and maturity this year. 2012 will hold some great things for all of us, and we all have a fresh dose of HOPE to see us through anything!!

    Love you!!

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  2. I cannot even imagine how hard the preganancy stuff must be, and you're right people who are your true friends and the ones who love you the most are the ones who will stick by you through it all! I've been through some really rough times in the last five years and I've found my true friends and my one true love through it all.

    God does have a plan for everything and he's going to be there for you no matter what. And I can totally relate to you about the homeownership, its a long rough road sometimes but its totally worth all the hard work!!!

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  3. this is wonderful stephanie, and a great encouragement to ME, and to many others, i'm sure...thank you for sharing your heart.
    love, mrs. johns
    Psalm 48:14

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  4. What a refreshingly honest post, Stephanie. I'm so happy that you've been able to see the good in the bad, to stay positive, and to find peace this year. But you know, "finding peace" is not something that once you find it, it's there forever. I've learned and noticed that it is a continous goal of mine to keep positive too, to CONTINUE finding peace. BEST of luck in 2012-- you've accomplished and succeeded at so much in 2011. You're going to have a great year!! :-D

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  5. Stephanie, that's one of the hidden blessings of infertility: letting it be a call to surrender and a fresh realization of the amazing gift of life. In my low times I think how unfair it is that David and I have had to work so hard just to get to the starting block of parenting . . . but then (usually through my husband's gentle conversation) I can be lifted above the self-pity to see that this pain is really a beautiful gift, if I let God shape my thoughts and continue to cling to the reality that He is good, all of the time, and that this is really his plan right now. Right now I have no idea when we'll have kids, but God does and that moment has been planned in His mind and will be perfect.

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  6. Nice. Love u! Looking for the best in 2012! Dad

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  7. I saw the nice comments you left for me on my blog, and I followed your link to this specific post, and Oh. My. Word. I kid you not, it's like my heart and soul wrote the words here. The part about feigning happiness and hope, and being depressed. Me, girl. Word for word. I'm by nature a happy person, but this process has changed me. Irrevocably. It's just now that I feel like I can breathe, and it's only by letting go of (some) control that I've gotten here. And you're right that our own birth is such a blessing, and that anything and above that is NOT guaranteed. It's just been in the last couple of days that I've considered what it would mean to us to never biologically have children. That's a topic for another post. :)Anyway, thanks again. I look forward to reading more. Oh and I'll add you to my prayer list. :)

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