I’ve been feeling down for the past few days, and I honestly could not figure out why. We missed church Sunday. Again. 3 was up all.night.long and we were all completely exhausted. He hasn’t transitioned to a new church well. But that’s a post for another day.
I always struggle with depression more when we miss church. But this week it has been more. Deeper. Different. I knew I needed to spend more time in the Word, but didn’t. I knew I needed to eat better, but didn’t. I knew I needed to exercise, but didn’t. Honestly, I just didn’t care. If you’ve never struggled with depression, this may sound odd to you. I understand. It used to sound odd to me too. Depression isn’t (always) about sadness. It isn’t about a lack of gratitude. It isn’t about not being happy. For me, it’s apathy. I know there are things, like diet, exercise and especially time with Jesus that make a big difference. But I can’t do any of them. I just can’t.
Then, I stumbled upon a blog post that brought my grief back to the surface again. Proverbs 30:15a-16 (NLT) says, “There are three things that are never satisfied— no, four that never say, “Enough!”: the grave, the barren womb, the thirsty desert, the blazing fire.” Wow. This is very true. My womb has been barren all 18 years of our marriage. Except for one 7 week stretch, when I was pregnant. Then miscarried. Now, I am 2 weeks away from a total hysterectomy. 14 days.
I thought I had dealt with the emotions surrounding this decision. I knew they would resurface. But, I didn’t think it would come BEFORE the surgery and in such a debilitating way. The barren womb is never satisfied. Even though I am a mom. Even though I don’t really feel like the surgery is taking away my fertility. I truly don’t feel like I ever had it. Not really. But here I am, grieving.
I think I am grieving what I think SHOULD have been. Or, at least what COULD have been. I always wanted to be a mother. ALWAYS. I always wanted a big family. My husband and I have 3 and 5 siblings respectively and my best friend has always been my sister. We are just over 2 years apart in age, and still very close. I wanted all that for my kids. But, instead, we have one son. Who is now 5. Even if/when we do another infant adoption, he will be an only child because of the age difference. I grieve that for him. I grieve that over my 20’s I was so focused on what I was MISSING that I wasn’t at all thankful for what I HAD! I grieve that I still feel physical and emotional pain every time I see a pregnant woman or a breastfeeding mom. Every.time.
So, what now? Instead of pretending like I don’t feel the way I do, or pushing it down, I’ve decided to live with my grief for the next 14 days. Live with it. Embrace it. Walk through it. Somehow, I still have to cook dinner, do the dishes, play cars (again!) with my wonderful gift from God. I will choose to feel the grief and still be thankful. Feel the pain and still move forward. Feel the disappointments and still get things ready for my 6 week recovery. I will because I must. I will because “Greater is HE that is in me than he that is in the world.”