What is Beauty of Barrenness?

Today I've decided to share with you the heart behind my blog.

Beauty of Barrenness

About 6 years ago, God had placed this passion on my heart. To share my story to others. My story of infertility & barrenness. I attempted to publish a few posts, but still felt so much bitterness towards my situation. Undeniably, I got consumed with trying to take it into my own hands trying to figure out how I was going to conceive. Nothing else mattered to me. Out of my mouth came words that just masked how I really felt internally.

I'd lay in bed at night questioning God.

Why?

Why me?

Why can't I have kids?

You know I LOVE kids.

Why would you let this happen to me?

In that season of my life, I had no one to turn to. Literally no one. Even Roger didn't even know how to comfort me. We were both silent in this what seemed like a never ending storm. We were silently trying to stay strong for each other. We weren't seeking God's will or comfort. We were so lost. A part of me even questioned if he would no longer love me because of my barrenness. I was a complete mess trying to hold my broken self together.

I searched for a place to belong, but found nothing. I desperately needed to be surrounded by other women who were going through the same storms. Someone, anyone, who could see right through me & embrace me during the darkest times in my life. I even had a home church yet I didn't feel like I belonged there. I didn't feel accepted as a barren woman. Every Sunday I would step into the lobby avoiding eye contact & I'd feel the weight of the eyes that were staring at me.

hope

People with good intentions, have approached me & asked me questions that just felt like they were pouring salt over my ever constant fresh wounds of emptiness. I'd always just brush it aside. I even joked about why we didn't have any kids yet. But inside, I was desperately searching for acceptance.

Can I just be accepted instead of being questioned why I don't have any kids? Can I just be accepted and not be judged for being married for so long but not having any children to prove for my marriage? Can I just be accepted & not feel like I'm walking around with a curse?

In the most desperate time of my life, I had only one soul that lifted me up as best as she could. She spoke life & encouragement back into my broken heart. She reminded me of the hope I have in Jesus Christ. She dried my tears when all I needed to do was cry my heart out. She embraced me & accepted me through my brokenness even without an explanation of what I was facing. But most importantly she repeatedly pointed me back to the Cross.

It was then, that I knew I had to find my identity in Jesus. I could've become completely bitter & absorbed by trying to find control. Or I could surrender it to God & let Him speak His love over me through the storm. I did just that. It took me a few years to learn to trust God with my complete situation. It was in the midst of this infertility storm that I experienced His comfort in a way that I've never before.

He filled my emptiness with His abounding love & reminded me daily that He was surely working everything for my good & for His glory. Even though I seemed so lost in that storm, He gave me vision to see that there were so many women out there who were also facing a similar storm as I was but without the Hope- giver: Jesus. I knew that as broken and confused as I was, the little bit-sized faith that I had in God cradled me through the storm. God began to give me a new heart & passion for women who were facing the similar battles.

I began to see it clearly. Year after year, God started placing names of women on my heart. Women who I was aware that were definitely facing a hard season of waiting. Waiting on their promises. Waiting on God. God has taught me so much through this season of waiting. He's shown me that a life in a season of waiting does not have to be dark. It can be filled with light. When I chose to let Him change my perspective, I was renewed in my spirit. God gave me a peace & joy that surpassed all my understanding.

He began to slowly reveal the Beauty of Barrenness to me. Daily, I find beauty in the season of waiting on Him. And everyday, He show's up & reminds me that all I need to do is to have complete reliance on Him & He will carry me through. I don't quite know what that means or how it looks like yet. No, God did not give me a blueprint to my future. But I'm willing to trust in His plans for my life and step forward in faith.

Beauty of Barrenness was created to embrace & encourage those who are in a season of waiting. My desire is to encourage you to hold on to Hope. To allow Jesus to minister into the very areas of your heart that resembles closely to mine. I believe that we all seek for a place to be heard, to be known, & to be accepted. You will here. If any of the above resonates with you then I encourage you to follow or subscribe. If not, I ask that you'd help pray over this vision that God has given to me. Pray that all who need administering to will find exactly what they need. Pray that God will provide the very people that needs to read or hear these words.

Photo by Thomas Smith on Unsplash

PCOS: An invisible illness

It’s been about 8 years now since I’ve been diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.) Now, it didn’t just appear one day out of no where. I most likely have always had it but the symptoms just started surfacing once I got married. It took me years to figure out what this meant for me. Even till this day, I still have a hard time explaining it. Why? Because I’ve lived with it for so long that it just became a part of me. I never really had a chance to allow myself to examine and accept the affects of this disorder.

It’s hard to talk about our flaws isn’t it? Who goes around talking about what makes them broken and imperfect?

in pain

September is PCOS Awareness Month and I’ve decided to share somethings about PCOS that you may not be aware of:

  1. Infertility. PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder women can have and its also the one of the most common cause of female infertility. 1 in 10 women will most likely have PCOS.

  2. Beyond the Ovaries. Even though its named Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, the ovaries aren’t the only thing affected by this condition. It is a condition that affects the health across the board and it affects each person differently.

  3. The Symptoms are Endless. Irregular menstrual cycles, male pattern baldness, weight gain, infertility, depression, anxiety, sleep apnea, acne, struggle with weight loss (insulin resistance) , obesity, a higher potential to have Type 2 diabetes, high blood sugar, and more. You don’t have to have all the symptoms to have PCOS. It is a chronic and invisible illness.

  4. There is No Cure. As of current, it’s quite unclear what causes it and treatment for this disorder can only keep symptoms in check. Studies are still on the rise. A theory is that genetics play a role; however, this is not proven. The effects are not just physical but they take a huge toll on a person’s mental health.

  5. Lifestyle Transformation. Studies have shown that the best way to improve symptoms is a change in lifestyle such as diet and exercise. Which is quite typical for any diagnosis right? What you consume, you become. Your body reflects what you put in/on it.

  6. Lack of Self-esteem. It’s not a surprise that women struggle with self-esteem already. But women with PCOS are affected even more so this way. Because of anxiety and depression they feel this intensely. It’s an emotional effect.

    “In a study in women with PCOS, it has been shown that low self-worth and body image perception in women causes increasing of the anxiety level. Physical attractiveness and sexual response changes affect the Self-confidence in these women. Self-confidence is the most important determinants of mental health that play an important role in promoting mental health. In other words, cognitive processes, emotion, motivation, decision making and choice, is the result of Self-confidence. Since low Self-confidence has a negative effect on feeling, thought and relationships between people, it requires further attention. So this study was done for ascertaining Self-confidence in patients suffered from PCOS in comparison to women without PCOS.”

Quite honestly prior to getting diagnosed, I thought that all these things were normal about me. My doctors couldn’t see it. It took me 4-5 years just to get diagnosed and it was finally by an infertility specialist. Believe me when I say this, it took me a LONG time to be able to share my diagnosis with people. Especially those closest to me. I didn’t want the judgement or the pity. I didn’t know how I’d handle it. I don’t quite recall when, but some time after, I was able to start talking more about it. I know that this disorder does not define who I am. But in a season of healing and trust, I’m learning to embrace my body and to love it as my Creator intended me to.

This has taken me a long time to get to. It is a practice. To be intentional with what I’m consuming. To be conscious of what I surround myself with. To treat this body as a beautiful temple for the Holy Spirit. This body does not belong to me and when the time comes, I want to look to the Lord and say that I did my best to care for it. Grant it, there are days where PCOS overtakes me and I’m literally fighting with every ounce in me to not allow it to throw me in the backseat. You see PCOS is an invisible illness. It’s affects are daily. Some days, I feel like a normal human being. Most days, I’m pulling myself out of bed and praying that I have the energy to survive another day. This is my reality. It’s a mental and spiritual battle just to live with PCOS.

If you or someone you know has PCOS or a chronic illness, please don’t hesitate to share your story.

I see you and love you.



Sources:

https://health.usnews.com/wellness/slideshows/8-things-you-didnt-know-about-pcos?slide=10

https://www.babygaga.com/12-serious-facts-about-pcos-women-dont-know-but-should/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4275552/

Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash

HOPE-less?

 

 

Lately, I've been feeling a bit down & blue. I guess to be exact, DEPRESSED. It's really starting to take a toll on me. And I'm not sure where to go from here. All I can do is leave it in the Lord's hands. Because I am a mere human being that does not have the will power to cast off my PCOS. But then again, like I said, I am human. I have doubts, and lately, I've just been researching & figuring out what to do next. The next step. Because I'm just a planner. That's how I am. 

 

Lately this his has been my daily routine:

Google-->How to treat PCOS-->How to conceive with PCOS-->PCOS diets

 

And so on and so forth... one page leads to another, and all the information on the websites are great & "helpful" but where do I begin? Where do I start this whole entire process of life change? And then the questions pop up again in my head, "Why, of all the people in the world, do I have to be diagnosed with PCOS? Why me?" It's not that fertility is impossible for me, its just a bit more difficult. My chances are slimmer than most women. Which starts to make me feel like I've lost my womanhood. Not being able to conceive naturally like others. 

 

Day in and day out, I think to myself & pray quietly. Today, the Lord has just been reminding me that "Sometimes the Lord calms the storm, but sometimes He lets the storm ride along, & calms His child."

I believe with all my heart that their will be some sort of sunshine at the end of the road. But its just taking me a while to get to that point where I can just let go & accept it. This is my current struggle. I know my Lord & Savior has a plan for Roger & I. I know that through this journey, the Lord will be able to glorify Himself someday. I just need a sign. Or an answer. Which is why I'd like to share this poem with you. Its been a great reminder for myself. I took it off of SawdustandEmbryos.( My Inspiration) Check it out. I hope this poem gives you some sort of comfort as well, in any situation even if not like mine.

Wait

by Russell Kelfer

 


Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, "Wait." 

"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith, I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word. 

"My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'no' to which I can resign. 

"You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply." 

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting for what?" 

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

"I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me. 

You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint."You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

"You'd never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

"The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

"You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I'm doing in you.

"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait."

 

 

The Truth

So, Roger & I have been married for about 6 years now. It was a young marriage & we didn't think about how or when we were going to have children. As most people assumed that the reason as to why we got married at such an early age was that, he possibly knocked me up. But the truth of the matter was we never slept together. So the answer was no. We didn't get married because I was pregnant. We got married because two people came together & felt love for each other & wanted to commit to each other for life. We wanted more in our relationship. And we felt that God had made His plans for us pretty obvious. We were to get married. 

At age 15 & Roger was 19, exactly 4 years older, we got married, traditionally/culturally on February 19th, 2005. We've had a great first couple of years testing each other & getting to know each other. Learning our ways & our passions together. We never really planned to have kids right away because we were so young, but we weren't going to use any contraception. We felt that if it was God's plan for us, we would conceive when His time was right. But another year passed by, and then another, and another. And we just couldn't figure out what the problem was wrong.

Well, I kind of felt like it was my fault. I mean, with no protection, you would've thought that we would've conceived right away. But no, we didn't. A little detail that I forgot to mention. Just about a month after our 'wedding,' I missed my period. Now of course, I'm sure anyone would have assumed that they were pregnant. That's what I thought. So Roger & I got kinda of antsy and we decided to run to the store & get a test. I don't recall how expensive it was or what the brand was. But as you can imagine, the result was NEGATIVE. It was pretty heartbreaking. Good thing we didn't tell our family & friends or else it would've been harder on us. 

In that moment when fertility was questionable to us, we felt a sense of joy & we immediately wanted to talk about everything we wanted in life. Kids, family, house, I mean there was so much running through our minds. And in a blink of an eye, it all fades away. Now, my period never really came back. It never restored itself, & to be honest, no pain was in sight, & so I let my body "feel" like it was ok for a long time. Now ladies, unless you have menopause, it is not normal for you to not have a monthly flow. I can't believe how long it took me to actually go out & see a doctor. I tried many things to brush it off. I just thought, "Hey! I know I can have kids! Maybe its just not the right time right now!" But really, I was starting to lose a little hope everyday. 

I'm blessed to have been born into a church going family. I am a Christian. We both are. Christ followers. I'm blessed to have a handful of people around me which include my family & few friends, who've slowly gave me words of encouragement to keep on moving forward & keeping my hopes up. To have FAITH. Most importantly, my husband Roger. Our experiences & times that we share together, and these struggles that we are facing, are bringing us closer together. Not just with eachother, but also with our relationship with God.  But sometimes I feel like no one really understands this feeling of "barren-ness." I truly do believe that in His time,which is the right time, we will conceive. I just want us to be able to open up our hearts & our minds to those of you who care. Asking, for your thoughts & prayers. Which is why today I decided, I'm starting a blog. I don't care if you want to judge us. But this is my space. My blog. And it helps when I can talk about it.

Welcome to our world. There it is. The truth & nothing but. Our pain, our struggles. And its only the beginning....