Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Still Running

I'm not a runner. Honestly, I hate to run.

When I was in college, one of my friends suggested that I start running with her. She'd been running for years. I thought I'd give it a try and told her that I would have to start pretty slowly. Let me tell you, to put it nicely, it kicked my butt. I was able to keep up with my friend, but I noticed that I had to focus nearly all my energy on breathing in and out. I found it amusing that, while we would run, my friend would chat. Finally one day I told her that I absolutely didn't mind listening, but I would be a terrible conversationalist during our runs! I found it impossible to keep up my end of the conversation while gasping for air.

If any of you are runners out there, please don't be hard on me! I did my best to try to hang with my friend who obviously had more experience than I did. She knew what she was doing! I didn't, and I never quite caught on. We eventually quit running together (probably due to our schedules more than my dislike for it), and besides the occasional game of chase with my nephews, I haven't run for the sake of running since. I admire those who do it, but it's really not my thing. Truthfully, I've never been much of an athlete by any stretch of the imagination.

Figuratively speaking, however, I'm a runner alright. I'm a veritable track star.

Many times I run to escape my problems. Right now I'm running from seeing my fertility specialist. I haven't set foot in his office in a year and a half. We're supposed to be "trying again." But after all these months have passed with no change, I have become more and more afraid. So, I'm running. Every day I think about picking up the phone to make an appointment, but every day I find a reason not to. Maybe this will be the month that it happens again -- that we get pregnant and it actually sticks. You see, up until now we haven't sought a doctor's help to get to that point. My problem is with miscarriage. But now that pregnancy won't come, for whatever reason, I feel stuck. I feel afraid. I don't know what to do, which direction to go. So I've been avoiding it. Even worse, I'm afraid of someday hearing that we may never overcome this. This is a hard thing for me to admit to you today, but it's true.

I'm also running a race of endurance. I recently read something that compared infertility to a marathon. It is long and it is challenging. It feels like it may never end. I would almost prefer a sprint, I think, which is more intense but far shorter. This is my eighth year of running, and yes, I've been lapped many, many times. Sometimes I want to quit because it seems so hard and I wonder if I'll ever reach the finish line or achieve the goal.

Sometimes I feel less like a runner and more like a spectator. Others around me are running while I'm standing still. And some days I take on the role of a cheerleader, encouraging others who are pursuing their goal and rejoicing with them when they reach it. While I'm honored to be in that position whenever possible, there's no denying that it's hard and it's painful. It hurts to be the one left behind, the one still waiting and still running.

While I think the race analogy is a pretty accurate one in many ways, I'm not entirely comfortable with using it in terms of winning and losing. I certainly don't view my life as one big race to have a baby, while competing with my peers for one ultimate prize. In fact, I don't consider it my one and only goal in life to have children. While it may be my desire, my passion, and my dream, it is not all that I live for. If I never get there, I don't consider myself a loser or my life a waste. If I never become a parent, I am still a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. Above and beyond all of that, I'm a child of God.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3


Life In Mazes said...

I can understand why you are feeling fear and want to run away. I am praying for you have the grace to do what it is that God is calling you to do right now. If you don't mind me asking, how do you monitor your days of fertility? I know that two years ago we learned a new way of monitoring my days of fertility and days of infertility that just brought us to a better understanding of what was going on with my body.
Just know that God will give you the resolve to handle what ever course of action he is calling you to!

Amy said...

Hmmm, I just read your facebook status and somehow knew there would be a new blog post. Don't know if the two are related, but it seemed you had something to say.
And say it, you did! I think the running analogy is a great one! It seems that you are contemplating your running habits and your place in life right now very well...that you can see things you are running from, and also what you are running toward. You are running to get the prize, as the Word says. And that does not necessarily mean the "prize" of a baby, but the prize of knowing Jesus better, and coming through this journey stronger and farther ahead than where you started. Keep running, girl, toward your Savior. Hugs...

gg said...

you're amazing. the way you write, the analogy, your true focus. love ya!

Connie said...

Oh, Stace....this hurts my heart. Please know that we love you and that we pray for you every single day. I continue to be amazed by your strength and honesty. XOXO

Sharon said...

Stacey! What a brilliant analogy, you are completely correct, I've often felt that I was running a marathon and wishes it was rather a sprint. Sometimes I wish I could just see the finish line!
As for avoiding your RE, I get that too, I want a baby, but I'm tired of the work that women like us have to do in order to make it happen. But I try to think of seeing my RE as running in a hurdles race, once you're over that first one it will get easier.
Now close your eyes, take a deep breath and before you can over think it just pick up the phone and do it!

Jenn said...

Stace, so glad to see your post! Sometimes it is painful admitting the truth but you know that we all love you. Some of us may not understand your circumstances but we understand your heart. I can relate to being at a stand still because of fear; fear of the unknown or especially fear of the answer we may receive. I say go for it!! Muster up the courage and call your doctor and make an appointment. Look fear straight in the face and take yet another step, a step of faith. You are one of the strongest women of faith that I have ever met. You are an example and a witness. You are running; running the race God has called you to run.

Anonymous said...

Praying that you can run to the refuge of the Savior today, my friend. (Easier said than done, I know...)

Connie said...

BTW...I want to throw something at that skinny chick in the picture...

Lisa L. Leibow said...

Marathons or Roller coasters those are both great analogies for the challenges of dealing with infertility. I think you seem to have it all in perspective. One must find happiness in each step along the way -- count one's blessings, so to speak.

We must do what is in our power to meet our goals but realize that some things in life are not within our control.

Wishing you strength and success in your journey.

Lisa Lipkind Leibow

Jesus, My Best Friend said...

i love this and i love that verse. so true and so encouraging!

Parenthood For Me said...

Stacey- This is a great post and very well written. I love the last paragraph. Your life is not a waste if you do not become a parent. I'm glad you know that. I'm sorry you feel so conflicted about what to do next. IF is a tough tough road.

Amy @ Experience Imagination said...

I hope that you are soon able to stop running away and find peace, whether you call in a specialist at this point or not.

Meanwhile, we're all here, praying and cheering you on as you "run" your marathon.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I feel like I'm just running in circles. Most days I feel like that.

Thank you for the verse and the reminder of His power.

Sending hugs and good vibes your way!

Michelle said...

I am with you on that. I feel the same way after being out of the Re's office for a year I am scared to go back.

You are so right IF is like a marathon. Hopefully it is one that we can win!


Sunny said...

I was thinking of you and how I'd not seen a post in my reader in a little bit. I came over to check up on ya! Here is this post! I don't know how I missed it with the others. So, I apologize that I'm just now reading.

I so know and understand where you are coming from. I don't want you to lose hope though. I'm claiming in Jesus' name that because you have the heart's desire to be a mother - YOU WILL BE! I'm believing and trusting His word that you will have that desire fulfilled. Try not to run too much farther from the trying - let Christ show you His love, mercy, and hope to help you through. He wants to. I know you know this, but by leaning on Him you will enable yourself to move from fear to faith. Big hugs to you. I don't say these things like they are easy because for nine years, they have been the hardest things for me to do; not to mention a daily choosing. Love ya, girlie.

jami said...


You don't know me but I found your blog when you posted on SCL. I, too, have struggled with infertility for years upon years and I can wholeheartedly relate to your analogy.

I have been putting off the call to the RE's office for one year this month. I am not exactly sure what I am fearful of, other than if I don't call then I still have hope that *one day* in the future this might work.

If I call and the treatments don't work, then I don't know what I will be hopeful for anymore.

I'm not sure if that makes sense.

Thanks for putting your thoughts and feelings out there. It's comforting to know there is a kindred spirit out there.

Stacey said...

Thanks everybody, for your encouragement and prayers!

Jami, thank you for coming over from SCL. Yes, what you wrote makes perfect sense. If you ever need someone to talk to, please email me! You can find my address on my profile.

twondra said...

I couldn't have put it better sweetie. Thanks for sharing. Thinking of you and praying for you. Love you! ((HUGS))