At the risk of sounding crazy or psychotic, I'm going to just put it out there... God has made it clear to me in the ways that only HE speaks to my spirit.... THIS IS GOING TO CHANGE EVERYTHING. This = me choosing to have faith. Everything = my relationship with my Creator who loves me so much.
Do you have children? If you do, then you can identify with me what it must be like to create something so special...to have a connection with something to precious....this is what I imagine my Creator feels for me, only more because I'm human, and my Creator is not. Nonetheless, my Creator and I have serious trust issues that go way back to my early formative years. In an effort to not point fingers and to take responsibility for the things that are mine to be responsible for as I am now an adult...this part of my story might seem disjointed. At a young age one of my parents was not physically present in my life for 48 out of 52 weeks of the year. This had a tremendous effect on me and as I got older and it seemed that God allowed that to happen to me mostly because He didn't care about me. It only made sense then to conclude, my needs and wants were not important and if I were going to have them met, it would be by my own doing = I trust no one, I need no one and if there comes a circumstance where I need something, it is up to me to make it happen. Obviously this is extreme language. I was not a neglected child! I just decided that emotionally, I wasn't going to need. In my mind, to emotionally need something meant that I would not have what I emotionally needed and would sit in a heap of emotional pain. This began some coping mechanisms like denying any need I had emotionally.
I manufactured relationships in my life to provide for (what I thought were) my emotional needs. This led to more brokenness and pain. In Oct 2012 an event occurred in my family that resulted in me choosing to be a part of some more intense counseling. My heart still stops beating when I allow myself to mentally go back to that night in Oct. The counseling was not only about the surrounding circumstances of the horrific event but also about learning how to grow this very stunted emotional part of myself....this part of me that was so shut off from acknowledging that I emotionally needed ANYTHING that I now faced a self-created an inability to receive emotionally from others, including my Creator. My counselor suggested I practice mindfulness everyday by picturing my arms held outstretched allowing in the good from others and specifically from my Creator. In nature, on my runs I would imaging God loving me with His creations of such beauty.
I have tried in a very effortful manner to make this work in my relationships, mainly my relationships with important men in my life, i.e. my dad, the man I live with. I have failed over and over and have come up to many walls of more emotional pain. It's so confusing. I have made some progress. I am making a big effort to spend time with my dad more regularly and learn about him, let him know me and not candy coat things like I have in the past. I want him to know the real me and I'm not going to manufacture a person that I *think* he wants me to be (in order to manipulate what I think is love out of him) which only results in a fake relationship with someone that doesn't exist (fake me).. I have made very little progress with the man I live with. I remain insanely guarded emotionally. I am insistent with myself that I not manipulate out of him whatever it is that I think I need emotionally. I refuse to be manipulative although that in an of itself is a process! Nonetheless, in all these relationships I've been floundering. In my day to day, there's much more pain than anything else. I don't know what that means except I know that pain speaks. Pain creates change.
I saw my counselor again in August for what I thought was a very specific issue and her response took me back because it seemed like she wasn't understanding what my issue was. She said "don't you think it's time that you stop giving the men in your life, so much power over you?". WHOOAAA! That came from left field. This led into a very deep discussion of the void from childhood...we all have stuff, this is just my stuff. This is where it turns into my responsibility. Everyone has stuff, including me, and I'm not a victim of my stuff any longer. Hence, the mindset I've come to believe: when I bring myself to a HARD level of physical exertion, my emotional walls of concrete begin to crack. What if this was a portal? A portal for my Creator to fill the void I sense with only the substance that He can provide. Clearly I cannot go back in time to 35+ years ago and give myself what I needed emotionally. What if I LEAN into this...lean into the HARD, lean into the hard physical work knowing my Creator is RIGHT THERE on the other side. I now believe, my Creator who keeps on pursuing me has made a way...a way for me to experience what I needed to fill my void. No one can go back in time and change history but this is different and even better. I have the benefit of what history has created in me and a new appreciation of what I'm being provided when I LEAN WAY IN. Leaning into my strong became my spouse to emotionally lean on.
During months of training for IMTUF (spring, summer, fall of 2016) and especially afterward I had this gut feeling that I could not describe in any other way than a "gut feeling". It was a sense I was on the verge of something big was going to happen that was going to really catapult my life in terms of these relationships. I wasn't sure what exactly this would be or how it would manifest...not at the time.
Sunday, January 8, 2017
Wait! WHAT? That's right. I'm late. WAIT!! WHAT??!! How late? Ummm... a week. Now the fact that my bra is too tight and I gained three pounds last week for some bizarre unknown reason is making horrible sense.
I woke up one Sunday AM with that tell tale nausea that fits only one condition. I mentally spiraled very quickly. A test. That will help me see the truth. I have an IUD. THEY ARE 99.3% EFFECTIVE! Not to mention, I'm 41 yrs old and have five children. Maybe, you didn't get that part. I'M FOURTY ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't want any more children. I'm totally satisfied with the number of babes I have birthed and I love them, they are all healthy and thriving. I am running again... a LOT! I'm signed up for a 100K in July for crying out loud. THIS. CAN. NOT. BE. HAPPENING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I called my doctor immediately and was greeted with her concerned tone. I stopped by the next morning for a blood draw to check hormone levels. I was to come in the following day for an ultrasound and doc apt. My doctor called me personally before my visit to tell me my hormone levels were very high and she fully expected to see a pregnancy on ultrasound. The only question was if the pregnancy was going to be in the uterus or in a fallopian tube. Well thank god. I still have hope. I'm sure the pregnancy will be in a tube. That will mean I have surgery to remove the tubal pregnancy and then she can remove every freaking reproductive organ in my body. I drove to the doctor's office later that afternoon with a feeling of major dread. This is just not happening right now. It's almost Thanksgiving and I'm NOT thankful in any way, shape or form!
"Amy?", the ultrasound tech calls me as I try to be non-existent in the waiting room fully of happily expecting mommy's. All the fun times of an internal ultrasound....and if you've ever had one, you know what I mean with the level of awkwardness! Nonetheless, she started the ultrasound and there was the sac including a tiny blob firmly planted IN MY FREAKING UTERUS! My heart sunk. She zoomed in on the little blob. THERE WAS A HEART BEAT!!!!!!!!!! I began to sob. Everything I thought I was doing in my life is no longer. I already know what this means for me. This has to be the worst thing that has ever happened to me (or so I told myself). She then began to measure my ovaries. During one of the measurements I said, "Doesn't that ovary just look tired?! I think it's just too tired to do this!" She laughed and said "Is your husband at the bar right now?". I didn't reply. I don't have a husband. That felt like a dagger even on top of everything else I was looking at. Six weeks and one day gestation. Due date: July 18, 2017. My life flashed before my eyes.
The next two weeks was spent mostly crying. Crying on the way to work and on the way home. Crying during lunch and crying myself to sleep. Sometimes, even crying while I forced myself to cook food that all looked and smelled like different forms of vomit. Crying because....well the bottom line is, I'm selfish. I worked like a maniac over the spring and summer to lose weight and get my running game back...at least to some degree. I didn't finish IMTUF (AGAIN!) but I had a strong performance at a 55K in July and felt strongly about my running self again. I felt like I was getting my strong back physically, and mentally too. Now I get to watch all of that go out the window. I've been trying to run still....it's like running underwater. I cannot breathe. My HR is through the roof. So I walk. The other day, I walked 5.5 miles and the next day my glutes and hips were sore. WHAT THE?! This is my new norm....sigh.........
Faith. Faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit. What in the honking heck does that mean anyway? The only way I could sleep at night is by deducting my circumstances into what looked like a math equation. IF, THEN. If I am a faith person....If I'm a Jesus person...... Then, this must be a miracle. This is a purposeful miracle that clearly was not a random act of punishment. AND If I believe those things, then I also believe that this purposeful miracle is a gift rather than a punishment. I don't believe my loving Creator allows life that is not FOR purpose. And I also believe that I don't understand His ways. This is the truth that I live by and why I would chose anything different in these moments is beside me. I have nothing objective to put on a list of why I should believe this way. I don't have a path of how we will fit now seven people in our already exploding 1400 sq ft home. I don't have a clue how I will survive this emotionally and physically again. I've said so many times in the last year that I was so glad to not be having any more children, to be finally moving on from this place. Nonetheless, here I am. I realized, it is by way of faith that I can believe I will be cared for, believe that this little one who has yet to be born, was created with a purpose and was not a random act of crazy circumstances. Faith. It's my way of living intentionally. It is my privilege to live in faith. ***long exhale***
Did I consider terminating this pregnancy? ABSOLUTELY! Especially when I found out I was early enough that it would be a matter of taking a pill that would cause me to miscarry. I appreciated the fact that I had a choice and was going to allow myself to go through the process of deciding. In the end, my feet were firmly planted in the place of allowing this babe to grow and take over my body for a short period. I hate how I look when I'm pregnant.....in a million ways. I hate how I feel when I'm pregnant...in a billion more ways. I suppose that is my gift to my unborn babe....a gift of allowing something to happen in spite of how I feel....which is horrible, inside and out while a little cutie pie is formed and growing on the inside.
So now what? We carry on. We met with some builders to see about remodeling and adding on to our home. We are looking at other properties with bigger homes. Just last night I woke up worried about a name for the child. I chose to see the positive and focus on the fact that this is a baby. Not a liver transplant or something catastrophic. My attitude is critical. What I focus on will grow....meaning, if I focus on all the things I am not doing and ways that I am temporarily limited, this is going to suck. However, if I focus on the excitement of possibility, the good, the LIFE that is being created, there is potential for contentment and joy....that IS MY middle name after all. : ) I am choosing day by day to get up, be grateful and live in faith that just as this babe clearly has a purpose, I do too...and it's not just giving birth....which by the way, I'm seriously considering using drugs this time. After so many natural births, it's starting to get over rated! I digress.....
I generally go into 100 mile (or longy long) runs with some kind of mental mantra and while this is not a 100 mile run, mentally it feels like it (exponentially so). My mantra is: I look forward with anticipation to knowing this little cutie pot that I have not yet held in my arms. One last time I get to experience the feeling of a cutie growing in my belly. One more time I will go through the agony of giving birth...I choose faith and gratitude.