I have always sought for control in my life. I am one of the Type-A crazy people who like to have every duck in a row. The running joke is that I completely give up on anything that I cannot perfect. It’s more true than I would like to admit.
Doctors can fix many problems. In the last hundred years, we’ve eradicated diseases, increased our ability to treat symptoms, and developed many new surgical techniques. But there is still so much medicine cannot explain.
I have spent much of my free time in the last year researching the possible cause of the pain I experience because the doctors simply can’t understand and, much like I do, shy away from searching too hard. I have had a handful of wonderful doctors but I have had many doctors who are reluctant to even consider testing me for anything because it is too rare and untreatable to test. So we stop.
When I first went to the doctor and started the process of fertility testing, I had a deeply rooted understanding that likely, the results would be bad. Many people tried to dissuade my fears and told me that it was unnecessary to worry, but I knew deep in my gut that the life I so desperately sought was being withheld completely. The fear of not being able to control the outcome made me want to stop altogether and find a new plan, one with a predictable outcome. Because it hurts to admit brokenness and uncertainty, you don’t know when it will go away. It’s easy to avoid the pain.
It broke my heart to admit that I needed to give my pain over to God, and walk through this season, trusting Him with the outcome. Praying for big things stings deeply. When I cry out to God and ask for miracles, babies, healing, it stings deeply because I am reminded month after month that He remains silent.
During this season of pain, my prayer is that the pain will be redeemed. I don’t know if it will be redeemed through the miracle of healing or through the miracle of the Holy Spirit working powerfully in my heart or another’s, but I trust that somehow, even this mess will be redeemed and that glory will triumph.
I cannot control whether or not I am broken. I have tried desperately to build my life in such a way that I can avoid pain. But like the older brother, I sit and watch the prodigal son return and receive from the Father things I thought I deserved. No matter what steps you take or how careful you are, breaking is out of your hands. I can’t control that. I could sit outside, angry that the Father gives His grace freely to all, or I could offer up the broken pieces of my heart to Him, trusting in His goodness.
So last night, I went out and imprinted my body with a lotus, a symbol of what I hope this season will become. The swamp of life is leaving me marked and dirty. I cannot see how beauty could possibly grow in such a place but amazing grace can do amazing things. So I sit here, hoping and praying, that glory will rise and bring a place to focus in the midst of this murk.
Resilience. That’s what my friend and I told the tattoo artist when he asked why we were getting tattoos. We were reminding ourselves that we were resilient, that grace was sufficient. That in these moments of confusion and weakness, there is a shinning beacon of hope. We don’t need to have control because our God is in control. These hiccups and heartaches were not a surprise to Him, even if we are alarmed and despairing, for He has already seen the end.
Our fears, they will be stripped away and our tears will be dried. On that day, we will smile and say, “Look at the great thing He has done. It is better than I ever planned.”