As 2015 came to a close, my Facebook and Instagram feeds were flooded with friends’ recaps of the past year.
My first instinct led me to make a collage including pictures of Matt and I kayaking down the Eagle River, hiking the rocky bluffs along Lake Michigan and Green Bay, taking two family vacations, getting baptized, and having fun (and this didn’t even include memorable fun friend outings!). Infertility was not in the forefront of my mind.
Later that day, I saw a woman I follow on my “It’s Positive!” Instagram post her year in review — but strictly from an infertility standpoint. I thought: Hmm, I wonder what our infertility year would look like in a collage.
So I made one.
I couldn’t believe what we had endured — and there it was encapsulated in a tiny square: Needles, bruises, puncture wounds, blood, pills, ovulation tests, negative pregnancy tests, sterile exam rooms.
Part of me looked at this collage, and I felt sad, disappointed, depressed … a failure.
But I was also encouraged by our strength and perseverance through this past year, and uplifted in reflecting on how the Lord had deeply strengthened us. I dreamed that 2015 was going to be “our year.” But while it wasn’t “our year” to be pregnant, it was “our year” to draw nearer to God, strengthen our marriage, challenge ourselves, fight doubt, overcome fear, and discover our purpose beyond infertility.
It’s important to grieve, cry, and mourn through our journey — Lord knows how many pillows I’ve stained with tears. But I want to encourage all of you to not see your life as one big infertility collage. See the good that comes from the pain. Embrace the strength you built through the waiting. Be motivated by your courage. Walk confidently knowing that He is Lord over your day, your doctor appointments, your body, your infertility, your life. You can choose.
I choose joy. I choose strength. I choose contentment. I choose patience. I choose to move on. And if I can, so can you. It’s possible, because all things are possible with God!