Wednesday, February 11, 2015

"We are Never so Lost God Can't Find Us"

It's been over two weeks since realizing our dreams of a bigger family were once again not going to become a reality. At least not yet. It's been an interesting two weeks with lots of thinking, reflecting, deep conversations, and searching. Maybe in this post I can help explain how the three posts Accepting What Isn't Meant to BeDo the Dead Visits Us in Our Dreams , and Lessons I've Learned in My Pursuit of Happiness  are all in many ways connected to one another. I know from talking to other moms and reading others' posts I am not the only mom that has experienced this sense of getting lost on this journey of motherhood so some of you I think will understand a little better than others. So here goes...

I've mentioned multiple times that I was depressed about two years ago now. In fact this spring marks two years ago that I would say it all peaked. They say you have to hit some sort of bottom in order to get back up. You have to realize I will acknowledge now that I was in some sort of internal battle then but at the time I fought those that suggested maybe I needed to seek some kind of help. My mother suggested talking to my doctor. I shut her down. My sister suggested I get on anti depressants. I detested the idea of having to be medicated to control my feelings and behavior. I didn't believe in that stuff. My husband suggested I talk to the employee counseling group he found flyers for at work. Told him if he didn't do so many things to piss me off I wouldn't seem so angry and upset all the time. If there is anybody that can see the difference in then and now, it is definitely him. Marriage is through the highs and lows, right?  He saw me at my lowest. I met him at his lowest. We have had our highs and lows, and God knows we don't always see eye to eye, but we do pull each other up even if we fight the other the whole way (a common problem when you're both too damn stubborn).

I've gone into different details at different times but what I want to focus on now is the irrational fear I think this moment in my life created, which in turn lead to parts of what the three recent posts were talking about. Somewhere with the stress of work, two little kids, marriage, and home ownership I lost myself. I have always been the one no one worries about, the one that others say, "oh it's Ang, she's got this," the one that's known to be super self sufficient, in control, and stubbornly independent. I am the adult version of that three year old of mine that stares me down and tells me, "NO! I can do it myself!"

But when we were struggling with money when we made the move to the new house, when I was fighting with my husband on a way too often basis and even erupting into those epic battles we swore we wouldn't have in front of our kids, when I couldn't stand the pressure and stress of my job anymore, and when I felt so tired and worn down I had no energy for my kids and that wonderful mommy guilt of feeling like a terrible mother ate away at me, all I could see was all the ways I was failing. I was doing everything for everybody and none of it felt like enough. It was the most lost feeling I'd ever felt in my life. And I hated myself for it. I am a control freak and everything had just spun completely out of my control.

But even as I lost sight of myself, I didn't lose my faith. If anything the climb up strengthened my faith. Even though we had always planned for a third baby and had always dreamed of a big family, that experience from those few years after the birth of my second until about a year ago had created this fear that with the birth of another baby it would lead to it all spinning out of control again. I had just started to feel like myself again. I was feeling confident again. Even as we started planning for the third I had this fear that I wouldn't be able to balance it all again-a baby, two older girls, work, marriage, the house.  I was scared of that losing control again feeling, I got anxiety just thinking about that feeling of defeat and failure overcoming me like a dark cloud again.

Before we started trying to get pregnant last summer, I started noticing this feeling screaming at me. Intuition, I kept saying. I think part of it really was intuition but I'm thinking now part of it was that sense of fear too. I knew with each failed pregnancy that it was going to end before I ever saw the signs that it was ending so I think intuition was a part of it that feeling I was experiencing. I knew with the first pregnancy right away. I miscarried that one right before six weeks. With the second my intuition didn't start screaming at me until about five days before. After that second miscarriage I was even more hung up on that intuitive feeling I couldn't shake. I've even told others I think it's telling me there's only suppose to be two children; we're not meant to have three. It's not meant to be; we shouldn't even try anymore for a third.

I'm an overthinker and overanalyzer.  Why do I feel that baby #3 is not meant to be? Or was it just intuition that those pregnancies weren't the one. After much agonizing I confided in Nate about this strange feeling I've had. I dragged my feet on it because one I thought he'd think I was crazy or two, if he believed we should listen to my supposed intuition then he'd be sad to hear that there may not be any more children. We've both always wanted a big family. I say three, he says three or four!. The more I pondered this the more I wondered was my irrational fear of failure or struggle part of what I was misinterpreting as intuition.

Then I had the dream. The dream was again focused on this internal battle I had about whether I was experiencing anxiety and fear towards the change that would come with expanding our family or if there was some level of truth to this intuitive feeling that kept telling there was only suppose to be two children. At first I took it to mean I should trust my intuition, that we shouldn't and there wouldn't be anymore kids. Then I started to see that it was all about control.

I am a controller, and the message started to become more and more clear that me, the controller, the one that thinks she has to do everything herself, needed to part with that sense of needing to control everything.  I cannot control everything.

As I went for a walk recently, as I was still struggling to figure out what it all meant,  I said, "Please just give me some sort of sign. Something that tells me if this nagging feeling about a third kid is intuition or just fear". I didn't want fear to be why we didn't pursue our hope of a large family, I didn't want this fear to make me a crazed worry parent about my children's well being, I didn't want my fear of failure to be what held me at this strange standstill always lost in this confusion of intuition and self doubt. Even though I have always believed in God, have never doubted his presence in my life, and have had many "signs" nothing was so clearly answered to me the way I was this past weekend.

A few hours later as I was browing facebook, waiting on Nate so we could leave, one of those inspiration images passed in my newsfeed. It had the image of a stork carrying a baby and here's what it said, "Let your faith be bigger than your fears." I froze it on my screen and showed it to Nate because him and I were just talking about whether my nagging feeling was just irrational fear or an intuitive sign that we should listen to.  I'm glad now I showed him because even though I remember the image of the stork was from an organization called Save the Storks (a pro life movement), I scrolled the internet multiple times later looking for that image from this organization with that quote on it, and I can't find it anywhere. I can find the quote and I can find the Save the Storks site with other images but there is nothing with the two of them combined. This graphic message that jumped out at me, speaking straight to my concern of my fears in regards to a third baby, is nowhere to be found in the massive world of cyber space. It's like it was never there; like I never saw it. But I did see it and so did Nate so I'm not crazy.

And just like that all my worry, anxiety, confusion, frustration, all the emotions I've felt in regards to experiencing the two miscarriages, and the doubt in expanding our family was gone. If and when we're ready it will happen.  I need to trust my faith that it will all be okay, it will all work out in the time it should, and I need to  push aside my fears. So even in the moments where we feel lost or have even lost a sense of ourselves I guess the biggest message I got was we're never so lost that God won't find us and guide us back. Sometimes it's two weeks; sometimes it's two years; and I know from others' experiences it's even longer.


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