Innie or Outie–Which are You?

At 5 months I was done!  My body hurt, my emotions hurt, and life was just too hard, I. Was. Done!

Have you ever reached the place where you feel no one understands you?  No one feels your pain?  I have. And wallowed in it for far too long.

I had gotten pregnant with my second child and it was totally unplanned.  I had spent six months on birth control experiencing some random side effects and I thought there was no way I would conceive after being off it for one cycle.  I was just starting to feel normal again.  THIS was so not in my plans.  Oh, I wanted another child.  There was no doubt of that.  I love children, and babies especially.  But I was tired, tired before it even started.

The doctors all said I was barely pregnant but my body had been exhibiting signs for more than 8 weeks already.  I was so tired I couldn’t even hold a crochet hook to crochet.  I had a 16-month toddler to run after, I didn’t have time to feel this tired!

If only it had stayed there I may have counted my blessings.  But then the pain began.  Debilitating pain.  Unable to walk or move kind of pain.  And with it, emotional pain.

I think its our emotions that get us down the most.  Especially for us women.  Hormones play such a big part (I’m not going to blame them entirely) in how we think.  I read somewhere that pregnant women suffer depression more than we realize…and I can see the truth of that!

I felt that everyone was either laughing at me, or angry at me.  Laughing, because pregnancy is so wonderful, there’s no way pregnancy causes pain.  And angry, because I should be thankful that I’m able to even get pregnant.  “Just enjoy this time,” everyone said.  But I just could not see what there was to enjoy about it.  Every time the baby moved I thought that little foot was going to rip right through my stomach wall.  And I was depressed.  There were days I didn’t even want to get out of bed.  Days that I sat on the couch and cried my heart out while Little Man sat beside pointing at happy faces trying to get me to smile.  It was heart-breaking.  I know there were people who supported me, who tried to help me, but I just couldn’t see past my pain. My house suffered (ugh, I can’t tell you how long it has taken to get it clean again), my relationship with my husband suffered, and my time with Little Man suffered.  I was ready for it to be over and I was only 5 months pregnant!

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Then I stumbled onto a blog post from a girl I knew from college.  She described how she had suffered through a previous pregnancy and was scared about her current one being similar.  I suddenly realized I wasn’t the only one!  Other people had rough pregnancies (worse than what I was experiencing).  I mean, I knew people had bad pregnancies but it was usually associated with morning sickness – not what I was going through!

~ No one could understand what I was going through!~

But someone did understand!  More than one person, in fact.   And I realized I had totally lost my focus.  It’s so easy when we’re going through a trial to focus on ourselves.  The sad fact is that someone, somewhere is going through something worse than you are, experiencing a pain worse than you could ever experience.   I realized that even in my pain I could focus on someone else.  It was not an overnight change, let me tell you.  But little steps here and, yes, sometimes a shuffle there (not quite a step) helped me to bring my focus around to where it should be, on the Lord.

The reality of the verse, “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep” (Romans 12:15) was brought home to me.  Yes, there are many women (family, friends) who can’t have children.  Is their pain worse than what I’m experiencing?  (To my shame, some days the answer was no but it definitely was.)   People I knew went through the horrible pain of a  miscarriage during this time – was their pain worse? a thousand times yes!  I did have a lot to be thankful for!  Here I was moaning about the pain I was in and wanting someone to comfort me, when in reality if I had looked past myself I could have been a blessing to someone else during their trial.IMG_4505

It is so easy as a human being to get focused on ourselves (on the inward) when instead our focus should be outward.  If we look at the Lord’s example we can see how even when He was in the garden praying that the cup of death pass Him by (the only time we read that He prayed for Himself), He was still concerned about His disciples and those around Him (healing the centurion whose ear was cut off, etc.).

This month I want to encourage you to make yourself a blessing to someone else.  Especially if you are in the midst of a trial.  When it seems that no one cares for you, remember that the Lord cares.  When you’re busy being a blessing on someone else, focusing on the outward instead of the inward, you won’t be able to focus on your own pain.  Am I saying your pain isn’t real?  NO! I’m not saying that at. all.  Am I saying you won’t still have bad days?  Nope, they’re definitely going to come.  But you can lessen the impact they have on your life if you make a conscious decision to make yourself a blessing.  Find the joy in your life!

Will you join me this month in this challenge? Make Me a Blessing