***My sisters and I are pleased to have guest blogger Cheryl Blinston on The Kusi Life, sharing her struggle with infertility, and how she learned to see the happy through her trial, in our “See the Happy” Series.
I have always wanted to be a mom. I dreamed of holding warm cozy babies, reading bedtime stories, and laughing around the dinner table.
However, my husband and I tried for over five years to have a child. The ache of wanting was constant.
One of my least favorite days was mother’s day because it reminded me of my loss and brokenness.
I remember trying to go to church on Mother’s Day. (Silly me). Moms showed up with flattened corsages, macaroni necklaces, and “I’m a Mom” buttons with pictures of their children’s faces. I lasted through one song and the prayer one memorable year before I left the building sobbing and vowed never again on Mother’s Day.
BJ and I endured over 5 years of waiting, infertility, IVF, and the constant question from others: “When are you going to have children?” We even had one miscarriage after IVF that almost shattered me. But it didn’t.
Happy in the Now
As BJ and I struggled to start our family, we grew closer. We learned to manage the disappointment and we became stronger. Towards the end of our waiting time, we were on an adoption list and we knew eventually, we would become parents.
The tightness in my throat relaxed as I began to trust that God had a perfect plan for me and I just needed to be patient. I remember excitement building as I put my trust in God that He would fulfill His promise to me. Children were coming. I had done my part, I had to let Him do His part.
So one night as we discussed what the sleepless nights, long hours, crying and spit-up would be like (me with stars in my eyes); we decided to be happy. Absolutely deliciously happy with where we were in our lives: right NOW.
- enjoying a full night’s sleep
- relishing in the fact that we could escape to a movie, anytime
- spending hours cooking and eating dinner, just the two of us
- delighting in our clean house
- savoring quality couple time
- traveling whenever and wherever we wanted
We knew that after a baby, many of these moments would be more difficult or impossible.
We actively developed the art of enjoying life in the moment. We would mention our blessings to each other: “Wow, we are blessed with another full night’s sleep. That felt great.” Or we would laugh and hold hands as we left to a late movie showing, knowing we weren’t worried about being home for the sitter.
Now don’t get me wrong, we still ached for children. I still would have given up all the Sunday naps in the world for a baby. But at some point, you must learn to be happy in the now.
And do you know what? It worked. I was calmer. I developed more faith in God. (I still didn’t go to church on Mother’s Day. Let’s not push it.) And I could HONESTLY rejoice with friends who were pregnant and experiencing motherhood.
Eventually, our day came. On a cold winter’s day, our adoption worker showed us a video of an ultrasound and an angel singing the song From God’s Arms to My Arms, To Yours. And one month later, I held the most delicious smelling, warm bundle of joy I had ever seen. Yes, the sleepless nights, spit up and crying all became real, but my joy was full.
I was glad that I had not wasted my last year of life without kids. I had spent a wonderful year appreciating all the blessing I had. And now as a new mom, I had new blessings to enjoy.
What You Can Do Right Now
So what do you do if you are struggling with a trial you wish would end. I would suggest looking for your blessings. What is good in your life today? Write these blessings down and when you have moments sadness, focus on these blessings.
What You Can Do Today
Start looking forward to happy moments. What brings you joy in your day? A quiet run in the morning? A cup of tea before school lets out? A good book in front of the fireplace? Find out what brings you joy and put these moments in your day. Make time for that cup of tea, or find time to read that book. Be deliberate in your day and create time for joy.
Last, know you are not alone. There is joy to be found in trials and while waiting on the Lord. Look for the simple joys of daily life. Realize the strength you are gaining as you wait. And know that God has a plan and it is beautiful.
Parenting is an adventure. Add adoption, Autism, cerebral palsy, ADHD, CVID, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome it becomes a wild ride with extreme highs and lows. You can follow along with Cheryl and her family at Gracefull Parenting.