Celebrate Recovery - Infertility Style - Letting Go

I have to admit that this is the step thus far that is probably the hardest for me to get excited about because it is the one I am most familiar with. "Letting Go" has been a theme in my life, partly because it can be so difficult for me, but mostly because it has created the most transformative moments in my faith journey thus far.  I think it is essential for us as Christians to learn how to really let go and give everything to God through Jesus!

I think I've preached this sermon more than a handful of times.  Thus, oddly I'm a bit bored with the idea. Isn't that sad?  So the question becomes how do I relay this message with just as much passion as I did at first? Perhaps, by letting go?

This blog post though isn't about sermon writing, but instead it is about the journey through Celebrate Recovery's Healing Choices Infertility Style. Thus, I will respond to the questions as I have with previous chapters/choices.

So I have to begin with a confession.  This journey through infertility has made me question how committed I really am to the call to ministry.  At times along the road I have stopped, thrown my hands up in the air, and said that I would rather be a mother than a pastor.  I have come to the place (or at least I think I have for the time being) of accepting the call to ministry, regardless of how God answers my prayer to become a mother.  That is tough.  I feel like I have already sacrificed much (as has my husband) for me to be a pastor, and yet the blessings and rewards God has poured out on us are great!  I am blessed in soooo many ways and I have much for which I can give thanks to God.  There have been more blessings and rewards than sacrifices, even though the sacrifices have seemed difficult at the time. Retrospect helps me to see God's covering of grace and all encompassing love in those same moments.  And those sacrifices no longer seem like sacrifices, but gifts.

Letting go can be hard, because for me it is a full-out commitment to Jesus first. It is my whole life - nothing held back. It is complete trust (or should I say attempted trust) that God is good, wise and knows what is best.  And that full-out trust is a blessing, but the road there is trying.

All I have to say- is it is 120% worth it to let go and commit all of your life to Jesus Christ!

"Go back to choice 1, page 24 under 'Action 2: Write about It.'  Reread your answers to questions 1 through 3. Write about how you feel different about them today."

It is really nice to have permission to not be in control.  It is quite freeing.  In fact I would even say it is a blessing to know that I don't have to fix myself.  I wish there was a way I could share this with the women in my Resolve support group.  To not have to try every medical possibility or option for parenthood and to not feel the pressure of it being my responsibility to give it my all is a gift of God's grace.  I don't have to fix my body, my attitude, my emotions, my diet, etc.  I can leave that up to God - God knows what needs changed and what is just an old infertility wive's tale.  God knows my heart and my desire and I can trust Him with what is most precious to me!  But, now that I have in a way let go here, I realize that there are other areas of my life where I need to recognize this same truth applies.

Since working through choice one, I think I am doing a better job of saying to people, "I really just can't handle that emotionally right now. Can you give me a little space to process. Thanks."

"How do you feel, now that the burden of trying to control all the people, places, or things in your life has been lifted from you?"

I no longer feel like I have to teach people how to be kinder to those who are currently barren. I no longer feel the pressure to be the Voice for all women and couples in my place.  I can dismiss an ignorant comment and not think that because I am a pastor and called to this stinky journey I have to be the one to respond.  I can just be a regular person.  I don't have to be the crusader.

I think it is also about accepting that I am not being denied motherhood because God wants to use me in ministry in a new way.  This makes it easier to not be so angry at God.  Yet I am still working through that some, because this journey has created new ministry opportunities for me.  But, can I accept that God won't be disappointed in me if I don't take advantage of those opportunities?  Does God only love me when I "perform" and use my difficult circumstances for His glory?  I know theologically that God just loves me for being me, but does my heart agree with my mind on that?

I think sometimes there is latent anger because there is still a small part of me that feels that our becoming parents somehow rests on my shoulders.  Once I figure out the right thing, or complete the right mission, then the path will be opened for parenthood.  I know this is stinking thinking, but it is there and I think this is a common feeling among the currently barren.

So I have found freedom in recognizing that I'm not in control, but I have also gained clarity on ways that at least on a subliminal level I still feel like I have some control.

"What does the following phrase mean to you? 'The old life is gone. A new life has begun!'"

Ahhh, it means I get to live in grace and not the law!  My righteousness is found in Jesus Christ, not myself.  I don't have to be perfect, because Jesus is perfect for me.  I don't have to be judgmental, because God's grace extends to all, thus I'm called to be compassionate.  It means the Holy Spirit is constantly at work in me turning my heart over and over, renewing and transforming my mind, molding my character, correcting my bad theology, and overall revealing God's love in my soul.  It is an amazing blessing of God's grace!

"What are some of the first things you will ask God to do in your new life?"

I've known God since childhood, but I first really gave Jesus Christ my life my sophomore year of high school.  And it has been an amazing journey since.  And I sometimes think it wasn't until graduate school that I fully accepted God's gift of grace.  (Thank you God for the University of Chicago where I had to face my sinfulness and for Wesley Theological Seminary where I couldn't ignore God's grace.)

What do I want God to do now?  Continue to transform me to be more like Jesus, especially my heart and my relationships with my family members.  To help other people to forgive me for the ways I have hurt them in my arrogance.  To help me to fall in love with God over and over again.  To prepare me for heaven and use me to spread the good news of the Kingdom of God so others can also be prepared for heaven.

Notice, God answering my prayer for the gift of motherhood isn't the top request.

"What are you having a difficult time letting go of?  What is stopping you from turning these things over to God's control?"

I think one of the difficult things on the journey of infertility is letting go of having any control over the future.  I really feel like choice one dealt with this question well.


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