Thursday, June 3, 2010

Mara

"Don't call me Naomi, " she told them. "Call me Mara,
because the Almighty has made my life very bitter."

Ruth 1:19-21

I love THESE 2 post by Jill (read the bottom one first), a fellow blogger who struggled with infertility for a long time.  She and her husband went through IVF 3 times before getting pregnant with sweet Amelia.  I love her honesty.  This post has stuck with me since then and I think about it a lot.  Especially lately.

Here is one part in particular:
A few days ago, my devotional was on Naomi. It stuck with me. For once, I could relate to Naomi's story. Namoi's name meant pleasant, which described her well. That is until she lost her husband and two sons. After her loss, Naomi would no longer let anyone call her by her name. She would say, "Call me Mara." Mara means bitter. She said, "The Lord Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me."

So, as I stated before the IUI didnt work.  Now, we have to move onto IVF, but that will be a ways down the road.  We found out the Wed before Mother's Day.  Luckily, we were going home to WM for the weekend to see my Feff and friends.  Just being HOME was so healing to our hearts.  Worshipping with our church family at WFR was enough to take our minds off of Mother's Day.  I refused to cry and just focused on being there with people that I love so much.  Worship was AMAZING and we sang some of my fave songs or praise.  I had to stop singing a few times to keep the tears away.  The hugs, kisses on the cheek, and conversations meant more than I can say...I just had to keep it light that morning so that I didnt break down forever. 

The last 4 years (FOUR years...thats so hard to write) have been SO tough on both of us.  We are so hurt and so angry...but closer to each other than ever.  Our Faith is strong, but we also dealing with anger and the questions we have for God.  My dear friend Amber always says that there are certain conversations that she is going to sit down and discuss with God when she gets to Heaven.  First of all, I would like to watch that :) and secondly, this will be mine to discuss!!  OBVIOUSLY there is something that we are not getting.  I keep praying/yelling for God to just smack me over the head with whatever that is.  How much more can we take?  I havent even called my Dr since then to discuss what's next.  What is there to say?

We were SO blessed to know that we were getting away to Hawaii shortly after all of this. I think we were just living day to day to get away from EVERYTHING for a week.  We were so hoping to be able to write "we're pregnant" in the sand as our announcement, but God had other plans.  Instead, it was the perfect hideaway from life.  We stayed off technology and really only watched TV a couple of times, and it was the news or ESPN at that.  (We were so lost after coming home!!)  It was perfect timing and such a great place to "heal."  We saw rainbows (usually more than 1) everyday.  The first day, I thought "Thank you God for that beautiful rainbow and helping me remember your promises" and thought what a special moment I had seen.  Later that day, I thought it again.  By the 3rd or 4th rainbow of the week, I just grinned.  (I will be posting about our daily events w/ pics later...I am slowly working on them, but they ARE all in draft form)  I dont want this post to be a "downer" after getting back from Hawaii, but I wanted to get some things out that have been on my heart lately...before I posted a million Hawaii pics! 

The post from Jill kept resurfacing in my mind over the last few months.  I love how Jill highlighted that GOD never called Naomi bitter, but always be Naomi, which meant pleasant.   One Sunday morning a while back in Bible class, we were discussing how to raise faithful children and things related to that.  Joe started talking about how Hannah promised Samuel to God before he was born and how we can model that today.  Loving the story of Hannah, I read more of the chapter in I Samuel and noticed the first few words here:
In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD.
And she made a vow, saying, "O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head."  
I Samuel 1:10 

In bitterness.  IN BITTERNESS she prayed!!  IN BITTERNESS.  Can you tell that I was FLOORED when I read this?!?!?  In bitterness she prayed, and God answered her prayer.  There have been so many times in the past that we have prayed through our anger, especially recently.  We are ANGRY and BITTER and do NOT like God's answers to our prayers...but at the same time we know that He is Faithful and has a better plan for us.  Better than we can imagine.  He is Mighty to Save. 

After the failed IUI this time, I was crying and Ben was holding me and I knew he was crying as well.  He admitted that he was feeling depressed, angry, hurt, and sad.  It was SO hard for me to hear that.  It made my heart hurt even worse.  Ben is so strong and doesnt show much emotion.  I guess I dont pay enough attention to his feelings b/c he has always been the one to hold ME up.  It just made me realize how hard this has been for BOTH of us and that this is OUR dream and not just mine.  He's not just along for the ride...he jumped in WITH me.  And on top of it all, I feel so guilty that he is having to go through this.  It's MY problem and my poor husband has been such a rock through all of this.  (oh goodness, the lump in my throat.  I have to stop talking about this!!)

Right before Hawaii, I needed something to read and started to re-read  "Redeeming Love" by Francine again (can I just stop and say that if you have not read this book, RUN to the nearest bookstore and get it!). Guess what on of the names that Michael calls Sara/Angel/Amanda is?  MARA. Bitter. Oh yes!  I about fell out when I read that. Coincidence?

While in Hawaii, after reading "Her Mother's Hope" by Francine Rivers I started "So Long Insecurity" by Beth Moore.  (these are the 2 that I had autographed and SAVED to read while in Hawaii)  Beth spends some time talking about Rachel from the Old Testament and her insecurities with being infertile.  I had forgotten about her struggles...and to watch her husband have babies with her SISTER.  GOODNESS.  Last night in church, we looked at John the Baptist and we honed in on his birth.  His mother, Elizabeth was infertile and actually hid for the first 5 months she was pregnant b/c of the shame she felt from being barren for so long.  That is 2 stories that "fell in my lap" over the last week that I am now going to go study more on.  Coincidence?  I think not!  

So, while I will copy Jill and say that for right now my name is Mara, but I know that it will not be forever. I also know that God doesnt see me as "Mara" and I know that He is hurting with us.  I just wish we could SEE and KNOW and HEAR that it's all going to be OK.  God give us the Faith to move through this time of bitterness.  

We are doing OK on the outside, but we dont let people see the insides that are hurting so much.  I think we even try to hide those places from each other.  I am trying to be more open and transparent, but it's hard.  Please pray for us through this time.  I pray that this be used for Him somehow and pray for a BILLBOARD with instructions for the future on it.  God, make our next steps SO obvious that we cant miss it!!!!!! 

And I leave you with words to the 2 songs that have been replaying in my head:   

You hold my every moment
You calm my raging seas
You walk with me through fire
And heal all my disease
I trust in You
I trust in You
I believe You're my healer
I believe You are all I need
I believe You're my portion
I believe You're more than enough for me
Jesus, You're all I need
and
And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?
Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me
Yes, I can see a light that is coming
for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You,
still I will praise You

Thanks for your prayers...we are so lucky to have the best support system to help us through this!
Love, K
(Hawaii pics tomorrow, promise!)

9 comments:

Stephanie said...

Continuing to pray!!!!!! This story is all too familiar even down to it was my problem and not his.

Natalyia said...

My heart breaks for you both. I love your honesty Kristina and I'm sure what we as readers are feeling is just the tip of the iceberg. Thank you for letting us see some of the pain you both are in. And through it all, God is still making His prescence known. :) We will be praying daily for y'all. Love you!

Pamela Hill said...

I just wanted to let you know that you are such a blessing to me. My husband and I dealt with infertility for 6 years and it was pure Hell. Yes, I've been known to call myself Mara, more than once. Unfortunately for us, we ended up ending our marriage. But I know that God was right there with us through all the tears, disappointments, and frustrations. I am praying for guidance and wisdom for you guys. Much love!
Pamela

Kate said...

Thank you for sharing your heart here with us. Please, please, please continue to do so, so that we know how to specifically pray for you and your husband, and to lift you both up.

I cannot fathom the pain your heart is carrying right now. But He knows it. Give it all to Him. Don't give up asking for what you desire.

I am praying for you.

Moore Memories said...

Oh my goodness...I was already an emotional wreck reading your post yesterday and really wanted to pray about everything on your heart (and mine)before I commented. Then, I saw your other readers comments and it made me more sad. I just HATE that you AND Ben are hurting...really HATE it!!! I am so ready for miracles and knocking on heavens doors for you!!!! BTW~Whether you know it or not, you are AMAZING!!!

Jenny B Latshaw said...

Just wanted to let you know that I am still following your story and that there is hope. 10 years of hurting and crying every mothers day, nearly losing the one baby I was blessed with...and now I am renewed with Bailey Elyse. I thought of adoption- but i was never in the position to. I thought- I will be the cool aunt and never a mom. I had given up on having kids but I always said that I WOULD NOT have kids after 30 years old! Guess what- Bailey was born early 4 days before my 31st birthday! God listens and He DOES have a bigger plan!

Jessie said...

Hi, I just stopped in from Kelly's Korner and boy am I glad that I did!!! Your words and insights are just what I needed to hear. Thank you for listening to our Savior and sharing from your heart. I will pray for you and your husband. I know that He will bless you beyond measure!!

Danielle Bridgers Banks said...

I know the heart break that you are enduring!! My husband and I started trying to concieve in 2006 as well. No one knows the pain that infertility creates unless you have lived through it. We still haven't become pregnant, but God did send us a beautiful baby girl through adoption! I will pray for you and your husband. I will pray for the strength for you to get through what lays ahead and I will pray that God will send you a child soon!!

Butterfly Kisses said...

I found your blog through Kelly's Korner and I'm glad I did. I have been where you are and know your pain and anger. I will be praying for you! I hope to check back in on your blog very soon and see your big announcement! My husband and I struggled with infertility for 5 years. We endured 4 IUIs, countless tests, surgeries and lots of medicines before God answered our prayers with our little miracle. Praying for you!

-Beth

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