This is a rare, vulnerable post for me. Generally, my rule about writing on personal topics is, “Don’t share until you’ve processed with the Lord and the people in your inner circle first.” Well, I’ve been processing for most of the year, and I can’t say I’m more resolved now than I was at the start.
However…this is a story that really makes Jesus look good. So that is my main reason for sharing it. A vulnerability hangover for the sake of the gospel is okay.
The most unexpected find
2022 has been…interesting. It was the year that, at the behest of my husband and close friends, I sought a second opinion about my fertility. Several years ago, I was treated for an infection that had been left undiagnosed for years. It was likely the result of a sexual assault from college. I was told there was scarring, that I wouldn’t be able to have kids. For most of my adult life, I convinced myself I never wanted kids, anyway. It was a way of keeping my heart safe.
Funny thing, though…my marriage is the healthiest it’s ever been right now. And lately, out of nowhere, I’ve had this crazy desire to have a baby with my husband. Ridiculous, right? So we sought a second opinion, started to investigate our options. I had an ultrasound to re-evaluate the damage. And…
The scarring was gone.
Seriously. I can’t explain it. The doctor showed me the screen and said “Your organs all look great!” I said “That can’t be. I’m damaged; this sort of thing doesn’t just go away.” But…it did. Guys, I have no idea how to explain this. No one does. Either that first doctor was wrong, or…God did something only God can do.
Miracles and other messy things
I know, I know. If you’ve been following me for a while, perhaps you’re thinking, Wait a minute. SB finds it really insensitive when people say God is responsible for medical miracles, because he didn’t heal her father from cancer. And you’re right: that’s still a very delicate issue for me, though the grief I still have over that loss is not nearly as fresh and raw as it was when he died, eight years ago.
I have reached a place where I can hear statements like that – “God healed me” – for what they are: statements of gratitude, not a “screw you” because they got lucky and my father didn’t. I don’t believe God heals based on who gets the most prayers, or whose life has been most righteous (that’s a pretty anti-gospel approach that Jesus thoroughly debunked).
I know God can work miracles, and I know God sees the bigger picture that contains every loose thread, every seemingly “mindless” event that feels beyond redemption. Some things we just can’t know; what we don’t know, we trust, because God’s character is love and justice.
Explaining the unexplainable
All that is to say, I believe that every good gift is from above; that includes physical healing. God is the God of chemotherapy and surgery and antibiotics. He is the God of every scientific breakthrough, the creator of every ingredient in every prescription and vaccine. He deserves the credit. He is not limited to human expertise. Even if a professional of the highest qualifications reads my chart and says, “Yep, your uterus is a mess.” Nothing is beyond him.
I did my part and took the antibiotics to cure the infection, but the scarring was another matter. It wasn’t bad enough to require surgery, but some time after the diagnosis, there was a layoff and we lost our health insurance. The immediate medical danger was taken care of; nothing more could be done in the meantime.
It’s with those thoughts in mind that I reach a place of praise and gratitude for my situation. I have no idea how it happened, but against all odds, it did…and all I can do is give thanks to God from whom all blessings flow.
Even if he doesn’t
This is all great news we weren’t expecting to hear. But we have yet to actually make a baby. These things take time, I know. But at least now, I have updated answers and a plan for going forward. I have…a spark of hope that feels uncomfortably dangerous. Is that weird? It feels incredibly weird. Is it real? Can I trust it? Am I opening myself up to heartache if we go down this path, and no pregnancy occurs (or is completed to term)? It’s all such a mystery still.
I’ll be honest, being optimistic does not come naturally to me. Having anxiety disorder means always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I still, deep down, don’t see this motherhood gig happening for me. But once upon a time, I truly believed I would never get married. God has surprised me before.
Though even if parenthood never happens for us (biologically, anyway)…God is still good.
Even if sperm never meets the egg at the right moment in time…the symptoms I used to have from the infection, which came in unpredictable flares, are gone. Seriously, what a gift.
Even if the closest we get to parenthood is being honorary “Auntie Beff and Uncle Josh” to our friends’ kids…our marriage, which used to be fraught with struggle, is in a really good place right now. We’re a team again. And that happened, somehow, after we were forced to drop out of marriage counseling when Josh lost his job, and it would be years before we’d find financial stability again.
Just…praise God for it all. Even if we don’t get everything we hope for. Even if.