It is what it is.


I’ve been doing some speaking lately, about our story.  I’m preparing tonight for a talk I’m giving to a MOPS group on Friday.  I’m looking forward to the intimacy.  The last speaking event I did was on a larger scale, and I gave my talk multiple times in one weekend.  Therefore, I had the details of our story in a video that one of my girlfriends shot for me.  Playing the video was not an option for Friday’s event, so tonight I am writing out the description of what happened.

The timeline is killing me.

I don’t think about it as much anymore…you know?  I can get through my days now without constantly thinking about what has happened to us.  Not like a year ago.  We found out we’d never be able to get pregnant just over a year ago- last March…so long ago, and just yesterday all at the same time.

Here is an excerpt of the talk I’ll be giving on Friday:

“I’ll never forget that day…  We had an appointment with our ob gyn earlier in the day.  We made a plan.  We ran some tests.  Joel and I had a conversation driving from the doctor’s office in to work.  “We could be pregnant as early as next month,” I said.

A few hours later, my cell phone rang.  I stepped out in the hallway to take the call.   When your caller ID says it’s your doctor’s office, your heart skips a beat.  Best case scenario- it’s a nurse or receptionist letting you know they need to reschedule an appointment.  When I heard our doctor’s voice on the other end of the line, I knew- something was terribly wrong.  He had just received the results of Joel’s sperm sample- a routine test for any couple facing infertility.  “I’m so sorry I have to tell you this,” he said “but there was no sperm in the sample.”  A specialist later confirmed that- for an unknown reason Joel was now sterile.

I’ll never forget getting that phone call from our doctor.  The one that forever changed our lives in the worst way.  I was shocked.  Heartbroken.  For many weeks after I simply could not get control of my emotions.  I would start crying at any given time.  I would have a breakdown in any location.  At home, at the grocery store, in my car, at work.  There were times that I was so very desperate that the only prayer I could pray was the word “Jesus.”  Over and over again.

At the worst of it, I would have to will my feet to move throughout my day…one foot in front of the other.  One foot in front of the other.  It became like a mantra, the only way I could move forward.  I learned that I couldn’t trust my mind- it was filled with discouragement.  Despair.  There were times I was desperate for scripture, any bible verse.  Times where I knew that if I didn’t get a Bible verse in my mind NOW, I would go to the place of despair and very likely not return.

One day, during a breakdown at work, I knew I needed a break, I needed air, I needed something.  I grabbed my cell phone and ran out of the building.  I’m not kidding.  I ran.  I ran across campus, right out on the campus green.  I’m sure I looked like a madwoman, running that way.  Luckily, it was the summer, so there were very few people on campus.  I knew of a trail through the woods on the west side of campus, a place where my husband does biology research with his students.

I had an urgent need to get into the wilderness…There is a trail head, but I just couldn’t take time to walk to it.  I had to get there NOW.  So I kept running across campus, and down through the thick of the woods.  It was ridiculous, I knew.  But I was functioning out of an irrational place.  I walked on the trail, praying, sobbing, yelling at God and desperate for freedom from my circumstances.  When I reached the end of the trail my soul had an urgent need for scripture- any scripture, to hold onto- I pulled out my cell phone- as it was all I had.  As I opened my Bible ap, I said to the Lord- whatever the verse of the day is, I’m clinging to.  No matter what it says- I need an anchor for my soul right this minute.

This is what came up and it changed everything:  “Go ahead and be angry.  You do well to be angry-but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge.  And don’t stay angry.  Don’t give the devil that kind of foothold in your life.”  Ephesians 4:26,27

God said to me that day, “Yes, you’re angry.  You have a right to be angry.  I’m angry about this too.  But do not stay angry.  You will get stuck there.  And that is not the life I had planned for you.”  

 I don’t even know what else to say tonight.  Yes, outlining the details of our situation is painful.  Of course it is, it is a PAIN FILLED situation.  So now I’m just sitting in my living room, typing away and working on that balance between leaning into the pain and putting the pain in its proper place on the shelf of my heart (because it could very likely take over my entire heart if left to run rampant).  And again I’m offering up this story to the Lord, hoping and trusting that He’s going to use our ashes to create something beautiful.  All I know to do is to be honest about it.  So- here we go…


2 thoughts on “It is what it is.

  1. Beth

    Anna, here is one of my favorite quotes, I try to live by it. “Ring and jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts. The only gift is a portion of thyself.” Ralph Waldo Emerson. You are such a gift to others because you give a potion of yourself ever time you tell you story. I am so proud of you because you are leaning into the storm and relying on God to bring you to your shelter. Even if it is a choice you have to make minute by minute, hour by hour, or day by day I am glad you choose not to stay in the anger. You are going to be great.

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