Tuesday, 2 February 2016

motherhood challenge

recently there has been a thing called the motherhood challenge going around on facebook, where you post up a number of pictures that you love of you as a mum and then tag a number of people who you think of as good mothers.  It all sounds very nice doesn't it?!? But for me it has proved a bit of a challenge...will if I'm honest each post has left me feeling lots of conflicting emotions;

happiness - at seeing so many beautiful children

sadness - that I am not a mother

jealousy - what do they have that I do not?!?

anger - why has God blessed these women and not me?

insecurity - does God not think I'm good enough? 

guilt - why can I just not be happy for them and scroll on?!?

You see two years ago.  my husband Paul and I decided we wanted to try for a baby.  Paul already has three daughters from a previous marriage, they are all teens and absolutely beautiful inside and out. I love them very dearly and thank God for them every day, but I wanted to be a mum, not just 'Alice...dad's wife!'

But nothing happened.  

Well actually a lot happened in life. my mother in law was diagnosed with terminal cancer,  I gave up my career as a teacher,  we followed God's  call to ministry with the salvation army,  went through various stages of growing up with the girls, moved to wales to run a church and watched my mother in law lose her battle with cancer.  Yes a lot happened.  but no baby.  

Whilst we went about very much enjoying trying to start a family(!),  I watched countless friends and family (and I mean countless! so many! ) announce their pregnancy, show pictures of bumps and baby showers and eventually smiling faces as their gift of joy was delivered.

but nothing happened for us. 

After a number of tests we were told we had unexplained infertility (great! ) and that because I had been so blessed by three beautiful step daughters, we we ineligible for any treatment under the NHS.
I cannot even begin to describe the pain and emptiness of it all.  Or the complete loneliness of the journey. Many friends have never understood why I had to cut myself off from babies and pregnancies and I struggle to understand the potent concoction of feelings that come to the surface at the most unexpected of times. 

But

through it all I have come to see that 'the joy of the lord is my strength' not a fake smile that you plaster on when someone asks you  'will you be next?!?' but that deep seated, rest assured joy that says my God is faithful,  he has plans for my life and that regardless of it all I am special in his eyes. 

is it easy?. ... definitely not!  some days it takes all my effort to just get out of bed!

do I have the answers? ... there seems a lot more questions unanswered than have been answered.

However

God has reminded me time and time again of this verse and I am trying to laugh without fear of the future.

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