I have a lot of trouble being transparent. I guess you could also say that I have trouble trusting people. No... you could definitely say that.
I've spent so much time comparing this experience of waiting to bring home our next precious baby to the time 3 years ago when we were waiting to bring home Hannah. There are so many similarities but it's the differences that amaze me.
When we were waiting for Hannah, we kept most everything that we were going through to ourselves. It seemed so much easier to go through the infertility treatments, home study, stress, and tears on our own... together. In a way, I guess we avoided lots of questions and inquisitive people...but we also missed out on a lot of support. No, we missed out on TONS of support... all because we were afraid to let people in. We didn't know how to be transparent without it looking like we were seeking sympathy or attention.
This seemed like a good idea for a while. On the outside everything was normal. On the inside we were slowly falling apart, grasping for answers, and hanging on to our faith when we really wanted to question God and ask "WHY?!". What ended up happening is that the flood-gates burst one night while we were meeting in our living room with our incredible small group from church. I mean... they BURST! We're lucky that it happened when we were with these people. Let's flash-back to February 7, 2009...
Secrecy can eat you alive!
Until now, only a handful of people know of our struggle trying to conceive. I feel guilty about our secrecy from even our close family and friends but the truth is, I'm just not ready to divulge the intimate details yet; not that we have all that much to tell as all tests point to "normal"l whatever the heck that means.
Though the last 14 months have been the most difficult of our lives, it has been somewhat more difficult to keep our struggle from our small group; the people who open up to us on a weekly basis, and who rely on us for prayer and encouragement. I want so badly to pray for them, support them, and know when they are struggling so I can offer to help but when it comes to me being transparent with them, I just can't. Will they blame me like I've so often blamed myself? Will they tell us we're over-reacting? So many fears!
Vulnerability has never been my strong-suit. Have you ever been burned? You know the kind I'm talking about. I've been burned so many times by people whom I confided in. In the end, transparency has never come out on my side. Because of this, I am the most independent and private person, in every sense of the word, however I have learned that even I can only stand to be this way for so long. This time, I endured 14 months and was ready to bust!
Though we did not plan it, we told our small group tonight about our struggle and asked them to pray for and with us. As soon as Joey started talking, I lost it. This was a million times worse than 'the ugly cry' people! I was hit with a mix of relief and dread at the same time. Relief to finally be open and honest with our best friends and dread because we were now risking the spread of our intimate struggle. I knew I couldn't handle that yet.
I should have given these precious friends more credit. I was overwhelmed by their response. They, both men and women, cried with us, prayed with us, and were sensitive to our feelings. God is faithful and it helps to know that our second family is praying for and with us and can celebrate with us when God blesses us with a baby! I cannot wait to see what God has in store for us.... and I am SO thankful for friends and their unconditional love for us!
Every one of those friends were among the very first to celebrate with us when we brought our sweet baby girl home. They respected our privacy but we knew that they were praying us through the darkness that we were in... and I know now that being vulnerable with them was one of many steps we had to walk up before we could bring home our baby. Less than 7 months later, that's exactly what we did!
I'm still learning how to be vulnerable. I've been burned many more times since February 2009 but I have to keep trusting. I have to keep making myself trust the people who care about me. How can I expect them to do the same with me if I don't trust them myself? This blog is one more step for me in trusting the people that God has placed in our lives... all of you. I've always envied people who blog. I never thought that I could put my most private thoughts and feelings out on a public forum like this. But I have. And I know that when we bring home our next Baby Smith, you will all be rejoicing with us because you will know the path we've walked and every struggle we faced along the way.
Have you experienced heartache? Infertility? A miscarriage? Infidelity? A failed adoption? Have you lost your job?
Have you told someone? Try it... trust those whom God has placed in your life. Give them the gift of being able to celebrate with you when you do get pregnant, find the person you're meant to be with forever, get the job you've been waiting for, or bring home your baby. I can't promise that you won't regret it, because there are times that I have... but you will learn from it and you will be taking one more step toward your dream.