I have an A-type personality. I love lists, organizing things (and people), keeping fit, waking up before the world. I over-think everything. I strive off routine. I rarely procrastinate and in the words of a recent student in my 1st year Psychology class, “She makes me anxious just by looking at her. She’s like too busy”.
For years, I struggled with this ‘busy’ person. Me. I struggled to be okay with the fact that I’m a deep thinker. That I’m sensitive and strong at the same time. I struggled to reconcile these two extremes, by which it appeared the world saw me by. And then at the ripe age of 17, my little world fell apart and I got to wrestle with this reality of ‘me being me’. I learned to settle in my soul that it may be okay to be hectic and on-the-go all the time. I found a space in my heart that gave me permission to live out this crazily complex personality that God had given me, to stop being a hater and to actually, well, learn to love this person. At least in part.
But there was one element of ‘me’ that I was yet to conquer, or ‘be okay with’. While God had taken me along a beautiful path of soaking in His love and acceptance over the years, my need to control (everything) never seemed to dwindle.
Okay, I’m lying. I was convinced that I had mastered this ‘control’ thing too. That I did trust God for things and that I was okay with plans not going as I thought they should. I guess I had convinced myself that as long as I wasn’t over-thinking ‘being in control’ that that meant it had been dealt with. Klaar.
That was until the day when H and I were walking hand-in-hand along a path in the bitter cold Korean winter, and I announced that I felt a strong peace to start trying for kids. H and I had this feeling (backed by my medical history) that I may take some time to fall preggers, but I had little-to-no insight into what this (the months ahead) could and would look like.
I’m not going to bore you with details because I know that each of us has a story and many pregnancy stories look a whole lot more severe than ours.
But in short, after 6 months of no sign of menstruation, let alone a growing-bub, we visited our first doctor. And then another. Later came 8 months of blood tests, monthly scans, oral fertility treatment and over 15 pregnancy tests, but I was still yet to ovulate. And then to add to our already hopeless reality, H had a fertility test done early this year and was found to have a 2% chance of making me fall pregnant.
Over that year & a half period, I swung from months of frustration to days of tears and growing self-awareness. But looking back now, those months were marked by one fixed fact:
The realization that I had never actually HAD to trust God FULLY for anything in my life before.
There had of-course been situations where I placed my hope & trust in Jesus, but never before had I actually been faced with something so utterly out of my control. I was broken. A mess. I wanted to fix it. And I tried. We spent so much money on medical bills and yet nothing took. Until the day that I stopped. I can’t say I surrendered all, as I feel now that it was more a mixture of utter frustration and faith all mixed together in confusing tears and desperation.
I went off all treatment in April 2015. That same month I ran my best time yet for a half marathon, claiming a top 25 placing in the 2 Oceans half marathon. My husband was in the middle of Comrades training, so his stress levels were pretty high too. We didn’t take a holiday, and if anything had a rather hectic month, but somewhere amidst it all, God made a way.
When I say I had taken over 15 pregnancy tests by then, that is probably an under-exaggeration. Any girl who misses their period month-after-month will know that drill well. But this time was different. I hadn’t missed a period. I never got them anyway.
I got my blood test results back for the month on the Monday saying that I had once again not ovulated (now being off treatment). Hendrik was due for an op (a fertility related operation) that Thursday. And then on the Tuesday, something said ‘take a test’. And so I did. And then another.
It just so happened that that very day we (friends from Canada and I) were due to fly on a light-aircraft up the coast to fetch Hendrik from meetings in the Transkei. My excitement bubbled the whole way there & then en-route home, H and I sat in the back row of this tiny plane – and as we flew over the sea, I pulled out the 2 tests that I had taken and handed them to my gob-smacked husband. We both had tears streaming down our cheeks (as do I now) but we didn’t say a word to anyone else as we were yet to have an official blood test done.
When I called my gynae to let him know the news, he said that we should come in to see him ASAP as it was very unlikely that this pregnancy result was accurate, due to my bloods showing that I had not ovulated and H having not-yet had his operation.
The rest of the story you know. As here I sit, 6 and a half months in, with our gorgeous little girl moving within me, it’s hard to put into words what all this has taught me. I doubt I ever will be able to. But my over-riding learning lies in the reality that control was never mine to cling to. As much as this life is mine to make of it what I choose, we serve a God who is so much bigger than this little place we call earth. I’ve learnt hard lessons before, but this one (mixed with pregnancy mommy hormones) has struck a chord and I doubt will ever leave me.
I’m still as much an A-type as before, I’m just learning to be okay with sitting in my gown all morning, missing a week of exercise, listening instead of speaking and trusting that He has this all worked out.