Not your average National Infertility Week read.

I don't want to talk about infertility anymore.

There, I said it.

Guys, can I be super real right now? I am so beyond sick of dealing with infertility on a monthly basis. Frustrated that it consumes my days and thoughts. Bored of myself because I put everything else on the back burner "just in case" it causes me trouble conceiving.

WHAT. I've had trouble conceiving when trying to do all the things right - what makes me think having FUN is going to stop me from conceiving? It's pretty obvious at this point, four years later, that if and when God wants it to happen, it's going to happen. So I'm focusing on releasing bits and pieces of shame that I didn't realize I was holding onto. Instead of picking up the sadness of infertility, I am going to find purposeful happiness - because friends? It's seriously everywhere.

Something happens when you hold onto something that hurts you, wounds you, brings you frustration and discontentment - you're hurt, wounded, frustrated, and sad. Shocker, right? Laying aside all sarcasm for a second, I truly believe I got to the point where I was too close to infertility. So close, in fact, that it clouded judgment for many things around me - relationships, opportunities, life in general, and my identity. I would see a pregnant person and either isolate or over-compensate, either end of the spectrum feeling heartbroken. Was I happy for all the pregnant people? Absolutely! Could I get past my selfishness to not allow it to feel like their pregnancy was a personal attack on my soul? Eh. Sometimes.

I clung to my hurt too hard - not only did it pierce my emotions but it affected me in much deeper ways. A couple months ago, I went to the Freedom Project Tour with Jennie Allen, and they had an altar call for the Church. We were invited to come down and be prayed over, for anything we asked, in order to heal, be set free, break the bondage of sin - you name it. I made a beeline for the front (looking back I can't believe I felt bold enough, but I was hungry for healing), and asked this woman I did not know to pray for me. I felt shame over sin that happened years and years ago, and felt like I couldn't "be" anything [a good enough friend, wife, community member, mother] because of my poor choices. Without giving this stranger any details, she latched onto me while God latched onto my heart, and began the beautiful prayer that I believe God used to set me free from that shame. I've said multiple times that I just don't feel the shame anymore, praise.the.LORD!

But now I'm realizing that maybe I was healed and set free from so much more than just the shame of mistakes, but the shame of infertility. Since February, I have made a conscious effort to passionately focus on the abundance in my life rather than the lack. It's as though God flushed out all of that ache for motherhood I was feeling in such a sneaky way, that I didn't even realize it didn't hurt the same anymore. There's still a dull ache for that emptiness I have, but honestly? I feel like I'm finally ready and available to truly pursue God's purpose for my life. I feel a stability in my emotions and a maturity in my Spirit that I didn't recognize or understand before. I've quit clinging so tightly to what I can't have right now, and instead I'm running toward the big things God has for me.

There are some fun and scary and challenging and beautiful opportunities out there for me that speak right to my passion and desires, and I finally have the actual guts to say yes! I'm not shrinking back in fear and shame because I feel I have nothing to bring to the table because I'm not a mom. Ridiculous. I'm a daughter of the King and I am LOVED by Him, and that alone qualifies me to do the things He's called me to do for His Kingdom. Women, our reproductive capabilities are not the qualifier. Nope. Don't you dare believe that lie.

We all have different journeys and I understand and appreciate that God moves in each one of us differently. I just can't be sad anymore. I can't use infertility as a trump card and refuse to live this beautiful life I've been given. Can I challenge you to lay your sadness down, too? The selfishness that creeps in and actually kind of feels good, because then we don't have to actually feel responsible for our outbursts and crankiness? Lay. That. Down. It serves no purpose for you. It does not taste good, it does not treat you well. Quit clinging to things that do not serve purpose to you. Learn from the challenges God is allowing in your life. Our sweet Jesus will reveal what He wants you to learn - just ask. Spend time in your Bible, get in His presence. The last 8 months of my life my prayer life has changed - I hear Him differently, I know Him more, and transformation has begun. Other people see this in me and speak it out to me, too, so I know that Jesus really is working here.

So if you're sharing your infertility story, please know I am proud of you. So proud of your transparency and vulnerability - know that God will use your story to stir the hearts of those who hear it. But don't let it kill your purpose. Don't let it kill your dreams, your emotions, your heart. This is a circumstance where we must be stubborn and cling to God and tell Him "I won't let go until You bless me". [Genesis 32:26].

Just be ready for all those blessings that aren't a baby. Stand with your palms up, friends. God wants to give you so much more than the sadness you're grabbing hold of. Your purpose is not wrapped around your womb. Your purpose is not centered about motherhood. You will not be happier if you "just had a baby". True joy comes with Jesus and it's deep down - it's something so sweet. Make it a priority to chase down Jesus' joy, friends. Oh, it's so beautiful. So, so beautiful.


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