Celebrate Recovery - Infertility Style - Getting Help

Since last week's entry I have found that this idea of recognizing that one doesn't really have control is pretty significant in the journey through infertility.  And it is the desire to have control that the medical "profession" or more accurately the fertility industry takes advantage of to make a profit.  But deep down the women and men on this journey know they do not have control and that is part of why they get so angry at God.  I think angry because of the loss of a sense of control, but also angry because they sense that God has something against them.  This is where the second healthy choice in "Life's Healing Choices" comes in, because it is a reminder that God does care and God wants to help.

Isaiah 43:1-3 (NIV)
But now, this is what the Lord says—
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
    Cush and Seba in your stead.

1.  What pain has God been using as a megaphone in your life to alert you to your need for help?
God has used the pain of infertility to repair my relationships with my sister and my mother.  It has revealed some deep hurts that I didn't know were there and I think helped all of us to have better practical theology when it comes to parenthood.

2. Who or what have you blamed for your problems--either partially or completely?
I know it is cliché to say this, but I have blamed my parents not truly understanding my temperament as a source of hurt in my life.  I think it can at times be difficult to move past that question of "had I been born or raised in a different home, how would my life be any different?" But then as I observe families with children and wonder how their kids' lives would be different if we were their parents (stinking infertility thinking), I recognize that the home they were born into and are being raised in is the perfect home for these kids!  Love matters most! Every parent is going to make mistakes as kids are born each with his or her own personal temperament that is different from his parents.  Each child is her own individual.  Each parent has to discover for him or herself how s/he will raise these different temperaments. No one is perfect. And the places where my parents were weak actually made me stronger, more resilient, and more attentive to these needs in others. My parents' weaknesses alongside their strengths helped form me into the person that I am today. And yet there are elements of who I am that would be the same no matter who would have raised me.  My parents didn't make me into the person that I am today--a variety of people and circumstances including my nature at birth had an influence.  In other words God played a key role in making me who I am!

3. What pain have you been denying?
You don't really get to deny pain anymore once you are told there is a problem and that becoming a parent isn't going to come easily. That reality is right there in front of you all the time. What you do with the pain is somewhat up to you, but it seems as though the path is similar for others on the same journey.  Whether or not you allow yourself to feel the pain should be a choice, but it really isn't.  It just is. But how deeply you allow it to be expressed (or admit its existence) can help you work through the pain and find healing in its midst.

4. What denial busters (crisis, confrontation, catastrophe) has God used to try to get your attention?
I would say additional revelations about the physical conditions that have got in the way with our becoming parents have created crisis moments. I don't know if confrontation counts as there is no way to escape confrontation with infertility and often it does not appear to be God's voice, but rather the voice of a broken culture. Catastrophe would be devastating.

5. In what areas do you feel stuck in the pain of your past--powerless to change?
I can't change my past dreams of the future, but I can trust the formation of my future dreams to God!

6. What area(s) of your life are you now ready to allow God to start helping you?
I hope that I am able to trust God with all areas of my life and that I have learned once again from this journey that I am really not in charge.  The more difficult aspect is trusting that God's plans are indeed good and that human sinfulness and brokenness won't interfere with the good that God has planned.  That is probably the more difficult aspect of this discussion - where does free will and the brokenness of humanity fit in with trusting that God's good and caring intervention will prevail?  I know that God is bigger and is powerful enough to overcome these odds.  But I don't know what God's good plan is other than someday I'll be able to look back and say that it was indeed good!

7. What are you still afraid to turn over to God?
I am still afraid that in letting go of something that is important to me God will take that something or someone away.  As a kid I remember saying good-bye to some kids I had met knowing that I would not see them again.  From a kid's perspective my parents didn't want me to cry so they said we would meet again.  I don't think we ever did and if I were to meet them today I probably wouldn't even know it was them.  Interesting.  This happened in several different forms during my childhood.  I would trust something into the hands of an adult and it would never be returned. They would forget it or misplace it or destroy it.  I remember my grandfather wanted to make adjustments to a board game I had made so that he could fit it in the copy machine to make copies.  I couldn't trust him to make adjustments without modifying the game because he didn't take the time to understand the game and why it was so important to me.  So it isn't so much "what" I'm afraid to turn over to God, but "why" I am afraid.  I hold on to possessions loosely because I know they aren't mine and they can quickly be taken away by a flooded basement, the wrong box being accidentally taken to Goodwill, or the like. And people go away to.  They move. They change. They die.  But what I need to think is that they are transformed and this is a good thing.  I can trust God, because God transforms instead of taking away!

8.  How are your feelings for your earthly father and heavenly Father alike?  How do they differ?
When I was a child and youth these feelings were much more similar.  I wanted to do good and do right in order to gain both of their approvals.  As an adult I now see my earthly father as a child of my heavenly Father - so that comparison on many terms has ceased.



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