I know that I have discussed a few lessons that I learned throughout my journey to becoming a family, and yet, I have discovered another one. As time fades the raw pain of my infertility, my discovery of life lessons learned continues.
Before my struggle with infertility, I was a bit harsh. I cared about people and had a heart to help others, but I was a little judgemental. I wondered many times why people dealing with issues didn't just deal with them and move on.
My parents divorced when I was seven. It was not nice. It was not calm. It was really hard. In fact, it really stunk. At age seven-- I grew up. I became a shield for my sister. I tried to stop anything coming our way from ever finding her. And I held all of the negativity inside. That was my focus-- to protect and to make everything okay.
That is serious business for a seven year old.
That became my "job"-- my personality-- my life. All work and no play. Take care of others. Make everybody happy, even if it costs you your own happiness. That was my role... the "go between", the peacemaker. And I was okay with that.
I guess because I came out of the divorce "normal," I thought that everyone should deal with their issues and move on... I mean, I did it as a kid, right?
But making the decision of pushing the fertility envelope versus adoption got me. I was completely at a loss for what to do, and it brought my anxiety to crazy levels. I couldn't just deal with it and move on. The decision completely controlled me. I was lost.
This process was by far one of the hardest things that I have had to conquer in my lifetime. And it took me a while, but I did it.
I realized after this wild and crazy journey, that anyone can hit rock bottom in life. Each person is only one doctors appointment away from hopelessness. Or one lay off away from unemployment. Or one instant from loss.
I realized that the homeless man that holds up a sign on the exit ramp may one day have been a successful businessman that took one step and was lost.
Or the woman with dirty kids at the grocery store purchasing her groceries with food stamps may have had a great life-- until her husband left her.
Or that the pregnant teenage girl may have had great things to look forward to in her future-- until she made one wrong decision.
I know that we think sometimes that we are "better than" whatever...you fill in the blank. But we are not. No one is immune to sickness, a bad economy, or impulse decisions. We are all human, and we all make mistakes. Luckily, we have a God who usually turns those mistakes into blessings, whether it be divorce, infertility, or another disappointment. Show compassion to your fellow man-- because he is just like you.
"This is what the Lord Almighty says:'Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.'"--Zechariah 7:9-10