A "You" Shaped Cross
This is an excerpt I wrote back in December 2022:
“This comes to you after a lot of tears. And I mean a lot. Phone calls, frustration, losing my cool at times. Sometimes suffering and bearing the weight of difficulties is just a lot. Through tears, I’ve been given a lot. In the past few months I’ve made more emergency room visits than I have in my entire life with conditions that just aren’t appropriate to say in a blog. I’ve watched results come back with numbers deceasing, seeming to promise 0 hope for a way forward. I’ve watched friends take care of my broken body, ER nurses keep me calm, while others have seen my broken spirit. ‘Maybe God is entrusting this to you’ said a friend on the phone. And I sobbed. Hard.”
The ER visits were many. The number of vomiting episodes trying to correct my cycles were obscene. Nerve damage that took innumerable time in all kinds of therapy was time spent. Bleeding risk, etc. The details are many but I will spare you the majority of those.
When I had this phone call with my friend, at the precise moment where it felt like God had not entered the picture, that simple phrase “maybe God is entrusting this to you” made me feel to my core that God was there, present to me even in the midst of my suffering.
I’ve had friends say to me “Anna, this must be so difficult for you. Is it hard knowing all of the difficulties that you’re facing impacts your fertility?” People look at me, the infamous ER visits, etc. and say “I don’t know how you do it.” Fast forward to September 2023 and I drove all the way out to Minnesota to be under the care of Mayo Clinic and their team.
Is it difficult? Immensely so at times. For me, mine relates to the immense risk that pregnancy would cause for me if I were to be pregnant some day. However, the truth of the matter is this: I am not barren. Even if I never have children of my own some day (which, no one is guaranteed to be able to have kids). God has given me the gift of many children in my life. My goddaughter uses her pretend phone to call “Miss Anna” when I’m not at their house for the 5,000th time that week because she misses me. When I pull in their family’s driveway I can hear her and her siblings squeal “Miss Anna is here!" and proceed to ask (or beg) me to spend the night. All of the children, even my two year old goddaughter, know my favorite blanket in their house and call it "Miss Anna's dottie" (dottie is what the kids call each of their blankets). And, the 4 year old of the family I’m currently living with runs up to me when I get home from work with the biggest smile and hug and says “Miss Anna, how was your day today?” And when I leave in the mornings says "I hope you have a good day". I am very blessed by the presence of these children, and am not left barren.
God has allowed suffering in each of our lives. That, if taken rightly, or at least if taken wrongly and asking for God’s mercy and ourselves changing, are meant to sanctify us and make us saints. I look at others who have different experiences from mine (those who suffer directly from infertility, insomnia, etc) and think “there’s no way I could do it.” And I imagine that that’s how others look at mine. God entrusts each of us with our own struggles and brings us closer to Him through them, if we allow it. That isn't to say that we shouldn't try to relieve them (I'm on my 3rd specialist, among a handful of other specialists for how this has impacted my body). I hope that you aren’t frequenting the ER, are a total bleeding risk, and having to drive out to Mayo Clinic, puking your brains out, etc. but I do hope that whatever “you” shaped cross you are enduring, that you know that God is with you, and we are here for you too. Don't hesitate to contact one of our FertilityCare Practitioners to schedule your first session.