Embryo news, joy, and the temptation to fear

Embryo news, joy, and the temptation to fear

The call  f i n a l l y came at 3:10pm. It was a long, torturous day of staring at the phone, constantly making sure the volume was turned up, taking my phone with me into every room of the house, and checking the battery like a mad woman. Wouldn’t you know that we both had more random phone calls that day than we’ve ever had? And of course it had to happen on that day of all days. The day we were waiting for the big news! Someone called to see if I could pick up a shift (are you kidding me people, don’t call me today!), the pharmacy called for the most unnecessary reason (are you serious?), and a wrong number from Ohio called (WHY today?).

But at last, the Embryologist called with the wonderful news that WE HAVE EMBRYOS!!

We were filled with a rush of gratitude for yet another answered prayer. Another reason to rejoice came the next day when they called to say that ONE MORE EMBRYO pulled through over night. We’re so thankful to have made it this far, that life has formed and hope is growing.

The embryos were biopsied and frozen soon after they reached the day 5 and 6 blastocyst stage. What they biopsied was sent off to Florida (bon voyage, guys) for a whole gamut of testing.

I just have to say that this whole process is mind blowing and I love learning about life from these earliest days. It’s so fascinating to see our creator at work, cells growing, the amniotic sack already present, the fetus so small it has to be seen through a microscope. It’s incredible and we both consider ourselves blessed to get to be doing this.

Fast forward to today (8 days later), and I’m full of fear and anxiety again. We’re in another long waiting game. If the embryos come back with any abnormalities, they can’t be used because they won’t implant. And so my mind spins in circles. What if they come back and say that unfortunately none of the embryos are normal, healthy, usable? What if we end up where we started, with no chance to grow our family? What if we have to bear the news (once again) that our embryos didn’t make it? I cringe and I cry.

But then I remember through this amazing song that I’m no longer a slave to fear. And Shawn reminds me that our human nature and our temptation to give into fear prove that we’re human and that God is God. He also reminds me that this isn’t our first face off with fear. We’ve looked at fear before and though we may have felt weak, we have stood strong by God’s perfectly steady grace. We stood when we wanted to kneel when we were living in rebel territory in the village, we stood when we wanted to give up when we were stuck on an airplane unsure of what was happening, when we heard the news of various failed IUI and IVF treatments. When the road was dangerous – literally and metaphorically, and when Shawn was taken from me in the middle of a dark African night, we chose to ignore fear (even though we felt it!) not because we’re super humans, or because we were naïve to the situation at hand, but because God was with us and we didn’t have to “feel strong”. That’s a real life picture of God’s grace. I know that fear is something we all fight against – sometimes on a daily basis, sometimes multiple times a day. Sometimes we win the battle and sometimes we lose. But the difference is, winning is an option when you know God. That’s what produces joy in my heart – to know that we can stand strong and win the battle over fear. I don’t have to be a slave anymore. I’ve been set free from fear, from the bondage of wondering “What if?” and living in that cyclical  place of jumping from one extreme worry to the next.

For me it’s one thing to choose to trust God when there’s real harm in my path (as silly as that sounds) because it will be over soon and I’ll be able to turn around and see how I closed my eyes, breathed through it, and God’s grace swooped in to help me when I needed it the most. But this, this feels different. This feels like a battle we’ve been in for way too long. It feels like fear comes more easily because we’ve been facing this fight, these temptations to fear, this weariness, for so long. I hope we’re growing in ways we can’t see. I hope that through this climb we reach a place where we can say that the view is worth it, no matter what that view may be. A baby? A better understanding of God through suffering? A practical understanding of how to trust when it’s the last thing we want to do? Who knows. But we have to believe that it’s not for nothing.

We don’t know how the embryo results will come back. We have no idea if they’ll even implant (which is still a few months down the road) and we don’t know what the future holds. But we know that we have cause for celebration up to this point. We prayed for embryos, and we have embryos! Even though past disappointments haunt us, we want to walk by faith and give into hope even when fear and questioning and uncertainty are more natural responses to us as humans.

What sets us apart as Christians? When we go against the flow. When we walk in a way that says to the world “this may be crazy, but my God is big and faith will be lived out”. What sets us apart? When we look at fear and choose to say, “not today” even when we feel like falling to the ground in tears, even when fear seems normal and logical.

Miracles happen. Our God is big. Fear loses.

Let’s keep praying and see what happens.

A really sweet someone (myself) bought me this bracelet "faith first" as a daily reminder. (TJ Maxx for the win.)
A really sweet someone (myself) bought me this bracelet “faith first” as a daily reminder. Because we are no longer slaves, let’s let faith win today.

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