I am notorious for being a cheerleader to my friends, family, and my children, shoot, even to complete strangers.... You name it. I see someone down and I immediately slip into my, "You can do this," mode. I am like that when friends are down about something, or my children have gotten hurt, or my husband is trying to decide on where to move us when we retire.... (ok, my WNY peepers- you've got us for awhile...)
But when it comes to myself? I am like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I suddenly go from "happy cheerleader, all is good, we can do this" to "whoa is me..." Most of the time, I deal with what ails me and move on. I am a continuous work in progress when it comes to trusting God and what He has in store for us and understanding consequences. There are consequences to every action. (Isn't this something we try to teach our children from day 1???)
So with that being said, I'm once again opening myself up to some serious raw exposure and risking some probably less than kind responses, but, I'm gonna "cheer" myself right out of this...
My husband and I are totally, completely, 100% open to life.
Translate: My husband and I do not use any form of artificial birth control, medication, products, etc, etc.
We do NFP (natural family planning) but even doing that, I'm not the most religious taker of my temp or charter of my charts. Which is why, at day 26, my temp is elevated to an amazingly high temperature and according to past charts, I should have started today. Now, I can always start on day 31, which is why I will not post this blog until then, or maybe until day 103 (random)because sometimes, my body is also an anomaly. Meaning, it needs an instruction manual according to my husband....
Of course, yesterday and today I have felt horrible, which, thankfully because of PMS, peri-menopause and a husband who has been out of town all week, this could indicate pregnancy, but it may not. I have researched my due date already, and have slowly begun to accept that fact that I may have misread my chart/cycle.
Now, let's go back three days ago when I first realized we may have been together during my fertile time....
I began to cry. Quite hysterically I might add. I had just received notice that we qualified for very little financial aid for the school I really wanted to send my oldest daughter, and was hormonal over my husband being gone. We have had an after school activity EVERY NIGHT SINCE HE LEFT.... I haven't exercised since Sunday so I'm feeling sluggish, but here is this chart looking seriously like a pregnancy and I hit panic mode.
The first words out of my mouth were, (selfishly so) "Oh God, why did I do this?" As though my love of my husband caused a great horrible scandal!! I felt terrible for feeling this way. I was angry and hated NFP, I wanted to move away because if the neighbors talk now, just IMAGINE what they'll say if they find out WE'RE GONNA HAVE ANOTHER BABY!!!!!
And probably the worst thought in my head was, "What if there is something wrong with this baby?" I had this feeling of dread that we already played with fire having two babies after I turned 35 (one 4 days before I turned 40) And now this one would be due the month before I turned 42? Aren't I taking an unnecessary gamble with the life of a child?
You can probably see now what my husband deals with on a daily basis when I'm not freaking myself out over a "potential" pregnancy... Yes, feel sorry for him....He has his hands full...
I immediately felt terribly remorseful and cried even more to God saying I was sorry and how horrible He must think I am for even thinking such incredibly shallow thoughts. I also was determined not to let it occupy one more thought in my head at all...at least not until I took a pregnancy test, which I won't take until next week, because by then, I'll know something is up...
But when I spoke with my husband on the phone yesterday and revealed to him my concerns and let him know I was so sorry I was such a terrible miscalculator of math, he laughed and said, "Amy, one word comes to my mind. Twins. "
Well, once I almost threw up in my mouth and choked out a "hush it" I laughed and realized that God had made us the most amazing couple on earth. (yes, I am only comparing us to us...) My fears that he would be so upset were washed away. If I think I'M old, he's going to be 45 this year, and always worries about people telling our little Kiki at her high school graduation that her grandfather in the wheelchair is a sweetie -AKA my husbster.... He laughed and said he had a feeling I was fertile because he understands how the pill has almost completely ruined my sex drive and the only time I ever feel even the slightest bit frisky is when I'm absolutely fertile- well, here is where I screwed up- I didn't think I was feeling "frisky" I just thought it was a nice gesture as a wife..... haahahahaha. I know, TMI, TMI, but keeping it real folks....
In all seriousness, I talk the talk all the time. I tell people that every single one of our pregnancies were planned to the day, except the one I miscarried all the way back in 2004. My cycle is clockwork and as I've aged, my cycle has gotten weaker and weaker and I can tell I'm entering pre-menopause just with my charts- I even sat on a panel at my MOMs group and touted how amazing NFP is and how it causes you and your spouse to communicate and it's beautiful, HEALTHY, all-natural, etc, etc....
But as soon as I saw those high temps, I wanted to abandon ship.
I wanted to find that "easy" button and push it and shout to the world that I had had enough.
I was tired of "doing the right thing" because I know a million people who pop a pill, get a shot, use some kind of prophylactic and THEY DON'T WORRY ABOUT THIS!!!!! They certainly don't believe they're doing anything wrong!
But then it hit me. I know what my faith teaches. I believe so strongly in my faith, that I'm willing to look like a fool for Christ. I'm going to repeat that, because it's worthy of being repeated. I believe so strongly in my faith, that I'm willing to look like a fool for Christ.
Does that mean when the going gets tough, I get going? I jump ship? I get back on the bandwagon I was on so many years prior? All because I want something easy? I want to be in control? I don't want to be pregnant? I don't want to lose sleep? I don't want to be frugal with my finances? I don't want to be embarrassed to admit how many kids I have? I don't want to be overly burdened?
Reread that paragraph. Go ahead. I'll wait. 10 sentences. 10 words that stand out immediately. 10 things that made me stop in my tracks and realize something.
It's not about me.
Suddenly all the conversations I had with the priest at my parish all made sense. He would always tell me, "Amy, it's not about you."
I would sit there and try to think as deeply as him, but it was lost on me. Because I couldn't see past the hair on my nose (or in my nose I suppose, but I'm trying to type a serious blog today).
Sitting there, looking at my crazy chart, feeling sorry for myself, and having that "litany" of "I don'ts......." made me suddenly realize it's not about me.
And if I want to truly live that way, that includes, not being in charge (so to speak) of EVERYTHING, including my willingness to participate in the creation of new souls.
So whether or not I start my period next Tuesday (because that will be day 31 and I ALWAYS start by then) doesn't matter. What matters is, what does God want from me? Does He want me to see this as a burden? Does He want me to be in control and what exactly am I "in control" of? Does He want me to be more fiscally responsible with our money? Does He want me to be proud of beautiful children my husband and I have created with Him when people ask? Does He think I'm really "overly burdened?"
If I really trust Him, shouldn't I let this be a lesson to me? Not a "haha, you're in trouble" lesson. But a lesson in 'do as I say, AND as I do?'
I can't be a true disciple of my faith if I only say the words and don't actually follow them. I can't claim to be a true follower of Christ, if I'm not also willing to take up my cross as well. I am in awe once again of God's amazing grace. How He opened my eyes to this right before I fell into that trap of depression, anxiety, and worry.
He is in control. No life is found unworthy in His eyes. He loves us all and He will provide if we truly trust. Will He shower me with a solid 9 hours of sleep I've so desperately been seeking for over 14 years? Probably not, but my husband used to say something that really annoyed me when he would work over night and several days in a row without rest- "honey, I'll sleep when I'm dead." Not the most pleasant thought, but his words make sense. I'll sleep eventually, but holding onto the teaching moments that God gives me, is totally worth the sleeplessness. I will trust.
I will trust.
I will trust.
I will surrender to your Will, Lord. Help me surrender. I believe, Help my unbelief.