Monday, June 29, 2015

I Can't Fix This

Countless times the last few years I’ve turned to my husband, tears streaming down my face, and said, “I can’t fix this.”  Oftentimes these meltdowns have centered on our inability to have a baby.  But many times, my heartache has stretched farther.  Infertility has threatened my self-esteem, my relationships, my sanity, and my faith. I’d like to say I’ve kept the upper hand, but too often, I’ve let it defeat me.

Whenever we’re faced with a difficult situation, we can only hope we’ll handle it with grace and with dignity.  As adults, we know better than to grovel, to panic, and to self-implode.  But the pain can be blinding, the circumstances overwhelming, and those are the times when our emotions overtake our intelligence, our maturity, and even our peace with God.  I’m a perfectionist, which really just means I struggle with pride.  Once I’ve let myself slip, I find it hard to find the motivation to even try to improve.  I continually battle the feeling that it’s all or nothing, and if I can’t have it all, I may as well have nothing.     

This attitude has been costly to my quality of life these last few years.  While there have been plenty of good days (the number is ever-increasing and I’m thankful) the bad days have been dark, hopeless, and biting.  Only just recently I’ve begun to face the truth that my attitude has been damaging not only to myself but also to those around me.  It’s nobody’s fault what I’ve been through, but I am responsible for the way I’ve handled it.  I wish I had handled it differently, but the fact is I did the best I could at the time.  Forgiving myself means pushing aside my pride: both admitting I’ve made mistakes and not letting those missteps keep me from moving forward.

I can’t fix the damage I’ve done.  I can’t go back and attend baby showers with a genuine smile instead of a fake one.  I can’t erase terse, unfeeling texts and e-mails I’ve sent in response to baby news from well-meaning friends.  I can’t unsay the lies I’ve yelled at my husband as he’s persistently tried to love me through this.  I can’t just pretend it’s not awkward with people I’ve distanced myself from, sometimes on purpose and sometimes before I’d even realized what I’d done.  I can’t get back the days I’ve wasted not growing in my relationship with God because I was angry with Him.

The only thing I have a chance at fixing is the future.  I can celebrate at that next baby shower for what God has given, rather than resenting what isn’t to be.  I can be genuinely happy for others as their families grow, remembering their journey is for them and mine is for me.  I can let my husband love me through it all and be thankful for all that we have, instead of fixating on the one thing we don’t.  I can slowly but surely work to close the gaps I’ve created with my bitterness, my envy, and my regret.  I can do all this by not wasting another day stagnating in my relationship with God all because His plan for my life didn’t match mine.


I can’t fix this.  But God can.  He specializes in redeeming our mistakes for His glory.  We only have to let Him.  Yesterday morning, I noticed a quote in my Sunday School book that spoke directly to my heart: Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” -Henry Ford  

Let us live like we believe it.


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