A Ripple Effect? Definitely!

Oh wow. Just, wow. I hope I can type as fast as my brain is working (so just accept this an apology for worse-than-normal grammar and rambling!)

So, I've been mulling a lot of things over in my head and heart these past few weeks and I've come close to writing about them, but the words wouldn't come and when they did, they weren't right.

Things with titles like this:
What if "God's perfect timing" is never?
If babies are blessings, what does it say about those of us who don't have babies? Are we not good enough for blessings? (Nice short title, huh?)
Making babies into idols.
If I hear "it's all part of God's plan" one more time I'll scream. A. Lot.

And more.

See, I told you it wasn't pretty.

I've found the phrases "God's perfect timing" and "it's all part of God's plan" to be ranking right up there with "just relax" and "just adopt" and "my sister's cousin's uncle's third cat twice removed's owner once had IF and did xyz, you should try it."

And yet, when I started to write about them, the venting that came out just wasn't right. It wasn't what I was getting at, it was something more.

And then, I read this: A ripple effect, maybe? by Ecce Fiat. (Seriously, if you haven't read it, go read it first. See my comment. Then come back. Really, go, I'll wait.)

Ok, welcome back.

I had been thinking too small. I had been only thinking of God's plan for me. And that's not it. God's plan is for all of us. I've asked myself over and over why was it that IF had to be a part of my story in order to bring me this close to God. Why did I have to be stubborn and "of the world" and be brought to my knees in such a way? And how in the world could I possibly glorify Him through it? How could I bring glory to God when I know that He can make this IF go away NOW if He wanted, and yet He doesn't. How can I not feel forsaken? Forgotten? Abandoned? I also fully believe in free will and that God is not playing puppet master with my life. He is not sitting in heaven doling out miracles and pain (as much as it may seem that way, I know it is not the case). Why yes, my hormones are relatively stable and we did take this month completely off, so while I'm post-peak, I am not 2WWing, why do you ask? (Just to remind myself that this is a "stable" time - ha!)

And then, as I was writing my comment about what I think (hope) might happen when we get to heaven it FINALLY hit me. God's plan is SO. MUCH. BIGGER. THAN. ME.

Oh my gosh. As I type it, I have chills. I'll say it again. God's plan is SO. MUCH. BIGGER. THAN. ME.

And finally, this resonates with me and lines up equally with what I believe about God and what happens when we suffer - that He, like any loving parent, suffers right along with us, His children. That the thousands of tears I have shed pale in comparison to the sorrow He feels over my pain. Over all of our pain.

That some day, after what I'm sure will be a record-breaking stint in purgatory, He will show me the ripple effect of our infertility. Of this blog. Of the times I've spoken and not know why I did. Of the times I've stayed silent and not know why I did. Of it all. He will show me that, despite my deep deep sadness and the empty barrenness of my womb, my life, my marriage did indeed bear fruit.

And friends, the best part? He will do it for each of us. This pain. This horrible, horrible pain matters. In every prayer we say for one another. Every time we give advice about this med or that med. Every. single. time. we say "you are not alone" our pain matters. Our marriages bear fruit. We breath new life into one another. I've often said "there's just something about this blogging community" and THIS is it. THIS is our glimpse, our tiny glimpse, of the ripple effect our suffering causes FOR GOOD! We may never know it in this life, but someday, we will know it.

While this doesn't answer the question "why me?" or "where will this road lead?" it gives me such hope that this pain truly is for a bigger purpose. A reminder that, shockingly - ha!, it's really not all about me.

And while I can't say knowing that my suffering is helping others in some way will make it easier or make CD1 any less painful in the coming months, I hope that by writing this it serves as a reminder to me when I forget. And I truly hope that the ripple effect continues and that one of you reading this has a glimpse of the good that is coming from all of our pain.

"God's perfect timing" just might be "never" in response to my desire for a baby, for motherhood. And that hurts worse than any other pain I've experienced in my life.

But, "God's perfect timing" for all of us, for the whole world is, well, perfect. And that is the promise I will cling to in the darkness of this valley of tears.

A ripple effect indeed.


  1. This is beautiful. I have clung to this very same idea these past few months. Grieving my dead son is another state in which it's easy to say, "Why me?" and question what has happened. I've been nowhere near as profound as you are here in my own thoughts on this, but in the end, I simply cling to the hope that there's so much more than just my pain in all the grief.

    And for you, my friend -- you have given me so much by sharing your journey. You give me someone to pray for. YOu give me someone to cry for. You give me the chance to understand that which I could never fathom without your presence.

    Yes, you have an ever-extending ripple....

  2. Crying right now. That's all I have is tears. We can trust Him.

  3. Love! I get so stuck in the "me" of it all. And I will say that I have seen some of the fruits of this ripple effect in my own journey. It doesn't make it a walk in the park, but it certainly opens my eyes to the rest of the world and the way I/my experience may have an impact. I really needed to read this! Thanks!

  4. Hi Rebecca, I think this is my second time commenting but last time I may or may not have said hi, so Hi!! I can see some of the fruits of this journey, your journey and a lot of others, on me, like praying for all of you and not only for babies but for peace and joy, also knowing that you are praying for my intentions and offering up all this suffering. Also reading about the struggles of others and realizing that other people are going through so much makes me step out of my whining box and pray for others because when I say to someone "praying for you" I feel like I really have to do it and praying can only bring us closer to God.

  5. That is so beautiful! I, for one, know God is using you!...and am grateful to have "met" you! :-) My husband asked me a year ago if I could see any good from our IF, and I could not...thankfully now, 3.5 years ttc, I am seeing little glimpses of God using us to bless others. It's still sooooo tough, but those glimpses mean the world.

  6. Beautiful, Rebecca! I take a LOT of comfort in what you say here. There is always so much more going on than what meets the eye, and IF or not, my task is to cooperate with every little chance I have to love God and others, for "results" I may not even see this side of heaven. Thank you!!!!

  7. Wow, Rebecca this post is beautiful! I feel like you just gave me some spiritual direction, so thank you! I have chills from this.

  8. I held my breath reading this, it is such incredible insight and wisdom. It's so easy to get up in the here and now not knowing God's ultimate plan for us. The ripples spread far and wide, much more than we will ever know. Yours made it to NE Ohio! Thanks for sharing!

  9. So. Much. Truth. I think that the only reason that I was ever able to pray "whatever" is because God was finally showing me that it's not all about me. It's not. I wish I could make a coherent comment about everything I'm thinking as I read this, but I can't, so let me just say that I love this post, and I love what God is doing in you (not the pain part- I hate that, but how He's working in the midst of that; also I don't think God's causing the pain) and through you for us.

    Oh, yeah, and I definitely agree that the "God's plan" and "God's timing" comments can be really difficult as well.

  10. Rebecca, you're just amazing. I love reading your posts! p.s. Will I get to see you in St. Louis at the NACFLM?

  11. "And friends, the best part? He will do it for each of us. This pain. This horrible, horrible pain matters." You brought me to tears and met me at my weakness with that line. Thank you. You are amazing. I admire your faith.

  12. Wow. I love this post, and I love "seeing" the light bulb go off for you because it just happened for me too! So. Much. Bigger. Than. Us. Humbling and reassuring at the same time. The pain is SO awful but it's comforting knowing He is using it for some other good we may never get to see. Thank you for sharing this!!

  13. Amazing post. And I too am not a fan of the platitude "In God's time" or "God's plan"... except in THIS context. :)

  14. I was thinking of you several days ago (not knowing about this post) and about the retreat you are offering. And of all the posts you've written. And I thought, Why God ... does Rebecca have to suffer? And He gave me the same answer. It is bigger than you. It is bigger than me.
    It may not comforting to say (or read), but of the many women who will attend the retreat as a result of you and your efforts, I know they (and I) thank you for what you do for others. Bigger than you.
    Love & Prayers!

  15. This is beautiful. When we miscarried, I did not know anyone who had, and I was so very alone. I wondered why me all the time. Within two years of that, I had 4 friends go through experiences very similar (miscarrying their first baby) and I was able to be there for them. To be for them what I wished there could have been someone to be for me. It finally made some sense. A ripple. I never thought of it like that, but yes, that has to be part of why God allowed it. You are a wise woman.