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Friday, January 06, 2006


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Who would I be if not for this? Well, for one thing, I'd probably be in the mold of Freddy Arbuthnot, who "turned out [to church] on Christmas Day, of course" and just sort of glided along otherwise. Ironic, considering everything that went down. And I wouldn't put it past me to say some truly asinine things to all the infertiles whom ... well, I don't actually know them yet, but give it a few years and I feel there will be others in RL, unfortunately. It didn't stop infertility from burning me up inside out. But I'd rather have had it than have been totally ignorant of it or of something like it.

By the way, did you get the *complete Anne of Green Gables boxed set* for Christmas?? Can I borrow it one of these days? :)

What an amazing post...thank you. I, too, had tears on the day of the Annunciation. Unlike you, I wasn't successful at pushing them back. The other night I was at exposition and benediction, and all I could say to myself was "just be....just be". I have been praying so hard to just be, and to accept that this is indeed my cross. You have put this into words perfectly for me. And obviously for you. May God continue to bless you ... you are indeed chosen. And yeah, I argue with that voice all the time as well.

There is an uncanny to this I can't quite express...but after the email you reference, today I was cleaning house and listening to a contemporary Christian song that had some lyric in it that went something like, "Would you take the nails out of his hands if you could?"

I thought how bizarre. Of course, who wouldn't? And then I thought of the email I sent you again...and I thought, what if the suffering we are given here does literally take the nails out of his hands, if we accept it, meekly?

There is so much requires a post...

Beautifully done, Brave One. Inspired. Otherworldly. And so freakin' truthful, it smarts.

Thank you. I cannot express how much your thoughts have helped me with my own struggle this last year. Beautiful post.

Otherworldly. (Jen's words)

Having to wait, a little bit longer, accompanied by Sara, Abraham's wife, and Hannah, and many, many others...
Yes, your Mum has it right: it is a higher calling.

Thank you, Arwen, for that beautiful post. I lurk here from time to time, but your last was so touching I had to comment. I've been trying to think of this waiting in any sort of positive light possible. And the best I could come up with was what you so eloquently described. Not getting what you desperately want right away gives you a chance to seek it more mindfully, and perhaps to be more grateful for it than you might otherwise have been when it finally arrives. Thank you again for putting it into words. Kat

What a great perspective. I believe as we walk through challenges of various kinds, as you say, we find ourselves the recipient of a Grace and growth that is the true blessing. During the journey it is painful and hard, but also reassuring to know He walks with us, and in fact walked our path ahead of us to Calvary.

While I do have children, when my oldest son was diagnosed with Autism many years ago, it was a time of grief, yet grace, during that pain. Now, he is 17 and I have learned through the years that I would not trade him exactly the way he is, for all in the world. At the beginning, I was not welcoming of this, but we quickly found such sweet and abiding communion with the Creator of this wonderful young man. I cannot help but count myself blessed, and my gratitude to God of who we all have become is a permanent part of the blessing he is.

Thank you for a wonderful reminder.

Thanks Arwen for this. I'm sort of on the other side now, where the suffering is beginning to make sense, but I waited quite a long time for that. I just wanted to second Veronica's mention of Abraham and Sarah - at one point early in my struggles I dug into the Old Testament to see how long Abraham had to wait - I estimated that between the time when God told Abraham his descendants would be as numerous as the stars, and the time when Isaac was finally born, was like 25 years! Of course we get that crazy Old Testament time scale, where people lived 200 years and stuff, but still. That's a long time.

I continue to hold all of us in prayer - and to thank God every day for all of you who share this journey.

Sonetka said it beautifully: "I'd rather have had it than have been totally ignorant of it or of something like it." I feel that way about so many things -- about depression, about miscarriage...they sure don't feel like gifts in and of themselves, but God can use anything, no matter how horrible, to His glory. That knowledge brought me through some awfully dark times, times that changed me for the better.

Praying for my little one says, "thank you God, for her to have a baby in her tummy!"...but not just for the baby, for the waiting, too.

God Bless you, Arwen. I got here via Rebekah and have been reading about a month or so.

I just wanted to tell you that I am impressed by your faith and I've been enjoying reading - your words are so accurate and filled with Christ's love. Pretty amazing for a girl your age.

I know you will be an amazing mother one day.

Great post. I just want you to now that I was ones that had to wait aswell and it was long and so very hard to do so but I am very greatfull that I did becuase I now have a very beautiful baby boy my miracle that I am so thankfull for, I am in awe of him everyday and I now know I was waiting for him.

Best of luck to you.


You always bring me to such points here. I cannot even properly explain this, but know that I appreciate your posts.

It's hard to think you're lucky in the face of any adversity. But I look back on the troubles I experience, and I'm glad because without them I wouldn't be who I am. I only hope that someday I can look back on infertility with the same clarity.

I am in a wait too. We are waiting for the referral of our baby. Things were progressing along quite predictably and suddenly we were within 2 months of our match and there is this abrupt dispruption of the matches and they are now delayed by several months.

It is hard to explain, but it does seem like this unexpected delay and wait has deepened and increased my longing for my daughter. Ultimately, I know it to be True that this delay has divine significance and reason, but it is difficult for my human heart to translate and accept what my head is realizing. Your post is was one more reinforcement for my stubborn heart. Thanks!

I'm sending along this comment in honor of de-lurking week, and because I was so moved by this post.

I am not suffering from infertility,(I have three teens and I'm 45), and I hope that does not "disqualify" me from commenting.

I'd like to share a bit about being a Catholic woman who has suffered in the marital embrace and with a sense of body-betrayal due to other afflictions. Back when I was 36, with three small children, I was diagnosed with breast cancer... and coming to terms with the "voice" that calls us to embrace such crosses. I consider myself one of the "lucky ones" who is living with my scars, rather than dying from them.

In short, here's the medical picture: I've had breast cancer which led to mastectomy and reconstruction of chest, armpit and abdominal structures. I'm now suffering from osteoarthritis and a pair of degenerating hips (both will be replaced one day.) I'm 45 years old and feel like I've gotten the bum rap of bad genetics--suffering from stuff that shouldn't be hitting me till I'm retirement age!!!

Spiritually, the aspect of redemptive suffering has played a deep role in my life... so what I may not have here on earth, I hope to one day gain in heaven.

I end the pity parties (that my medical struggles often plunged me in) when I learn and re-learn that I cannot choose the body I have. Sure, I can choose to take care of it, as I should, but God gave me THIS body. And He knew, in his infinite plan, that this body, flaws-and-all, would be the one I would have for life.

In fact, this recent hip problem is unrelated to cancer-- it is congenital-- I was formed this way IN THE WOMB! (Doctors "missed" my hip dysplasia as an infant and so I suffer now.)

So you could say, that, in a way, my "weakness" has been used by God in my life to direct my life toward him. I know He has had my best interest at heart both now and always. For even as He knit me together in my mother's womb, He knew that I might suffer these afflictions, but He also knew that I would come to Jesus.

I do not blame my all-loving Creator, the source of my life, for such crosses. (Even Jesus, formed perfectly in the womb, as the most perfect human, suffered The Cross.) I don't blame my crummy genetic history (since I can blame that on The Fall.)

I am just slowly learning to be grateful. Even if I was a perfectly healthy body, I'd still be in need of loving redemption by a God who dares to love me enough and call me to His perfection and who provides for it with his grace, and one day in heaven, with a perfect glorified body. (It boggles my imagination!)

Thank you, Arwen, for sharing the struggle and for valiantly being a Simon of Cyrene for the believers who read this post--helping us to cherish the splinters we receive from our individual crosses.

Not lucky, blessed. God has a better plan. Trusting in God means believing that the cross is best for us. It was for Jesus, & it is for us, no matter what shape or form it takes.

I'm at 17 years of infertility, two incredible adopted daughters, two God-filled adoption experiences, and six that fell through, the last one only 2 years ago, absolutely breaking my heart, and worse, my daughters' hearts. But, like Peter, "Where else would I go?" I am blessed by this cross. Luck has nothing to do with it. It is the plan that my loving father has held from the beginning of time for me, for my husband, and for each of my girls - "plans for good and not for evil...plans for a future and a hope." (Jer 29) He's got a plan for each of us, slowly unveiling it, so that we can embrace its wooden beauty.

Waiting in silent agony stretched me like the arms of Jesus on the cross, beyond my limits, growing me into the woman that God wants me to be. Not being able to control my body & the outcome of my best efforts, being obedient to His teachings despite the cry of my heart, forced me to face my poverty before God. He's God. I'm not, no matter how hard I try. If my daughters arrived easily and through my body, I would have seen myself as more of the creator, rather than as the receiver of a gift. That's what children are - pure gift, no matter how they arrive. Tightly closed hands would have continued to control, rather than open hands receive. And, receive I did - grace, consolation, healing, wholeness, joy, humility, faith, hope, and love. God wanted me to love more deeply so that I could serve more purely & rely on him more fully. The tears I've shed have watered the soil of the garden of my heart where virtue grows.

Let the tears come. Offer them up for all those little babies who will never see the light of day, for all those women who are pregnant and afraid, for all those children who are neglected and abused. They are all on the cross with you. Your suffering, our suffering, can bring life if it is full of love.

It really is a better plan.


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