Thursday, March 8, 2007

Why lovely things?

The past 2 years have been extremely testing and hard and yet a time of amazing growth in my life. In August of 2005 I had an ectopic pregnancy which had to be surgically removed. I knew I was pregnant and we had been trying for over a year and a half. It was devastating to say the least. The worst part of it was that I felt like I was not allowed to grieve. I felt that because I had not really "known" the child, I couldn't grieve for it. There were so many people (friends included) who had recently had much worse miscarriages (if there is such a thing), so mine was not worth grieving. We already had 2 wonderful children, so I felt I needed to just focus on them. Needless to say this wasn't a very healthy state of mind. I carried on this way until about October when the pressure that I put on myself to be "perfect" finally crushed me. Our Pastor's wife is a licensed counselor and a dear friend and I finally went to her and we talked for several hours and I drained most of a box of kleenex. I was the start of a great deal of healing on many levels and in many areas. We continued to try to get pregnant as the desire for more children was still very present. With only 1 functioning tube, our chances seemed less, but "with God all things are possible," or so I told myself constantly. A year ago this month, I woke up one Saturday morning thinking I was have an appendicitis and went to the ER. I kind of knew before we even got there that it wasn't an appendicitis, and the doctor quickly confirmed that with a pregnancy test. Another ectopic, in the other tube. In my doctor's words, "the baby making factory is closed." As soon as I was awake and in my room after surgery, my first thoughts were: at least I never have to take another negative pregnancy test and I never have to try nursing again only to fail miserably. I also knew right away that at least part of the reason for this was that we were meant to adopt. It took me at least 6 months this time to grieve. I really let myself feel everything and it wasn't pretty, but much healthier than the first time around. Fast forward to January 2007 when I had a total hysteroctomy. I still had a lot of pain from the scar tissue from my 2 surgeries and other problems related to the female parts, so after much thought and prayer, I had the surgery. I am almost fully recovered physically. To add to an already trying time in our lives, we found out that we will no longer be working with the high school youth group in our church. We have helped with the teens for the last 6 years and have been in charge for the last 3. It was getting very stressful and we were having a difficult time keeping/getting reliable helpers who felt the same passion for teenagers that we do. We had talked to our Pastor and the Elder board about it several times and had decided to take a 2 month hiatus in January and February so I could have surgery and we could research international adoption and just to breath and try to figure some things out in life. Well, long story short, the board decided it would be best for this to be the time to transition to a different leader for the group and that we would no longer be working with the youth group. It was handled very well, after some initial miscommunications and shock, but it has been very hard and a grieving process not that much different from losing a child (that might sound drastic, but it is true). We recenty sat down with our Pastor and his wife, and they brought up the idea that our church needs a young couples' ministry and would we like to lead it? So, another new thing to ponder and pray about. In the midst of all of this, we have been trying to focus on international adoption: figuring out which country (currently between Haiti and South Korea) and which agency and finances, etc. Then 2 weeks ago, I was out for a walk and saw a for sale by owner sign on a house that I have always loved. I stopped long enough to look at the pamphlet hoping it would be way out of our price range and I wouldn't have to even think about it, but it wasn't. So now we are thinking about buying this house (it is my dream house, so much character and absolutely beautiful and much more space than we currently have) on top of everything else. It just feels like we are entering a new chapter of our life in so many ways and that is so scary and yet a good thing. I said all of that to answer the question of why lovely things? Because if I don't find the good in every day and the reasons to celebrate, I just might lose it. And there is so much that is good and beautiful and lovely and all those things. Philippians 4:8 has long been the verse I have clung to for sanity and it just seems like the right thing to blog about. So this is (hopefully) the only post you will find with anything remotely negative in it. I want this blog to be the place that I focus on the lovely and not the inevitable ugly things in life. My Pastor often says "you are what you think, and what you think you are" and he is right. This is my place to think about the lovely and maybe in doing so, I will become more lovely. I know I will feel more lovely at the very least. Welcome to my blog.


Maren said...

Oh my lovely sister! What a surprise. I am so glad you have taken this step - and even bigger with telling such a hard story. Oh - and way to make me cry at work! I love you so much!

LaughingMouse said...

WOO HOO I'm very excited for you . . . and for all of us who will be reading here and focusing on the lovely things in our own lives.