She walked in the other night, a breath of fresh air. Five-foot-nothing with a couple inches added on with her stylish heels. Cute outfit, gorgeous hair, twinkling eyes, and an infectious smile. I was intimidated.
It had been a long day at the new job and I was still finding my way, wading through paperwork, trying to make friends, and hoping I was where I was supposed to be, literally and philosophically! Despite my excitement about the new job, there was still fear and hesitation...and a nagging doubt that I would be able to handle it all-- these pregnant women in crisis when in some ways, I was still a woman in crisis after losing my own pregnancy.
She smiled at me and introduced herself, this beautiful woman who comes in to volunteer at the crisis pregnancy center a few evenings a month after her day job. She was perfect in my eyes--poised, friendly, and gorgeous. So I assumed her life must be perfect, too. Why do we do it? Why do we compare, contrast, measure, and evaluate ourselves against other women? Why do we draw conclusions from what we see before we even speak?
But even though I was intimidated-- and let's be real, a little jealous-- I still wanted to get to know her.I wanted to hear her story. I was inspired and curious that she would volunteer her evenings at this place despite working a full time job and have a baby at home.
I think God wanted me to hear her story, too.
Because as she opened the cover of her book and laid it all out there for me, I knew it wasn't a chance encounter. Her chapters of infertility, of then conceiving twins, of her son dying in her womb and her daughter dying in the neonatal ICU. Her subsequent chapter of the adoption of her daughter. That somehow she knew she was still called to work here. That God gives grace. That some days it's hard to see the clients conceiving child after child-- often unwanted. But there's grace. And there's redemption. And there's healing. You can do this. You are meant to be here. Despite your story. Or maybe because of your story.
That's what I heard that night. It was exactly what I needed to hear.
All because I asked her story. And because she wasn't afraid to share it.
Open up your heart to others, sweet friends. Don't be afraid to let them read the tough chapters of your story. It might be just what someone needs to hear.
I have Fridays off now and it makes me ridiculously happy. And it gives me a lot more time and energy to write. So. This time I'm making a solemn vow an honest effort to get back on the blogging bandwagon. Because when I looked at my last post and realized it was posted on July 30, I promptly fainted couldn't believe it!
In addition to writing and sharing more, I'm planning on bringing back Wisdom for Wednesdays, my weekly sharing of quotes, thoughts, and Bible verses with you. Stay tuned!
The job. Remember when I shared about a possible job opportunity? It happened! I'm not back in crisis pregnancy center work and I couldn't be happier!
Back in the summertime, I was extremely stressed with my current job, mourning our miscarried child, exhausted from my daily commute to my old town for my old job. One night I was crying/venting/desperately begging P. to fix everything. In his calm way, he asked what my dream job would be right now.
Working part-time at a crisis pregnancy center, I answered through my tears.
The next day, I went to a previously scheduled meeting with a center to discuss volunteering. By the end of the meeting, there was a job possibility arising.
Two months later-- and a LOT of prayer and discernment (because of my control freak cautious self in decision making)-- I'm now a nurse and sonographer for them.
And I couldn't be happier or more grateful that my passion is now my job.
The fertility stuff. In addition to grieving our little Ignatius, our follows up with my doctor shed more light on the situation. It's one of those things. When you find out abnormal results, are you glad because now you have an answer or sad because they're abnormal? Honestly, it depends on the day for me.
In addition to PCOS (which I knew I had), I have low progesterone and a clotting disorder, both of which put me at high risk for miscarriages. That's the sad news. And let me tell you, it brings on a new grief, a grieving over a body that doesn't work right, that puts me at risk to lose more babies.
But there's always hope. And I'm deeply grateful for my NaPro doctor. He's compassionate, faith-filled, and a highly competent physician. My treatment is minimal and hope-full.
It's a chapter I hadn't anticipated in my book, particularly not in our first year of marriage. But it's our story. And God continues to write with grace and beauty when I'm least expecting it. I'll keep sharing with you because that's what I do. And that's how I believe God gives further meaning to our suffering. I can't tell you how many women God has sent to me in these past few months who have shared their stories of hope, strength, and encouragement in the midst of subfertility/infertility struggles. I am grateful. And so I share mine.
The husband. He's great. I just love him. He shows me how to love more steadfastly, live more spontaneously, and trust God more deeply. In the midst of my fear of my medical diagnoses, he is my rock and a gift. So grateful.
He's currently knee-deep (or maybe neck-deep?!) in coordinating the local 40 Days for Life Campaign as well as a leader in a local religious liberty men's group committed to bringing our country back to its moral foundation. But when he's not busy with saving lives and freedom...
He let me cut his hair for the first time! And he liked it better than the salon.
Brownie points for shaving down our budget (yep, pun intended) and for my mad skills.
A friend and I are hosting a women's Bible study beginning tomorrow. I'm so excited. We're doing a "mugs and muffins" breakfast theme for refreshments and hosting it once a month on a Saturday morning. I spent the afternoon making Healthy Cinnamon Sugar Apple Muffins and Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins. Here are some pics of the muffins (in process) as well as the book we are using for the study:
The cornfields are turning golden. It's gorgeous. I'm not ready for winter at all, but I'm thrilled that fall is on its way. Because...you know...my Fall into Autumn board.
Time for some prayer at the Adoration chapel with P. and then I am off to bed! If you are cooler than me and staying up late on a Friday night, check out the other Quick Takes hosted on This Ain't the Lyceum. Goodnight, sweet friends!