This post was written by contributor Adanna, who reflects on the difficulty of starting over in a new chapter of life and on the importance of remembering our true identity.
“… every flower created by Him is beautiful, that the brilliance of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not lessen the perfume of the violet or the sweet simplicity of the daisy. I understood that if all the lowly flowers wished to be roses, nature would no longer be enameled with lovely hues.” – St. Thérèse of Lisieux
My husband and I are in the middle of the first voluntary big life change that we’ve encountered in our almost five years of marriage. He’s taken on a new job, we’ve moved to a new state, and we are joining a very tight-knit and faithful Catholic community. Everything should be great – except it doesn’t feel so great all the time.
You see, this is the first new group of people to come into our life since I received a diagnosis that meant we would never be able to have children. The girlfriends I’ve had since middle school and the friends we’ve made so far were, for the most part, with me through it all. They were at my wedding and were with me when my sister told us she was pregnant; they were also among the first to hear when I found out something was wrong with me. There was no need to really explain anything, and as they all went on to become mothers, they knew that infertility was hard for me.
But now, transitioning into a traditional community where young wives seem to get pregnant right away (praise God), I’m experiencing a lot of “infertility things” for the first time. My husband and I had agreed to be open about our situation if anyone asked “the question,” but what if they didn’t ask? I’ve found myself almost wishing I could wear a sign that said “I have an excuse” in case people were wondering why we didn’t have kids. I’ve found myself comparing myself to the other women, digging myself into a hole of insecurity, feeling like I have nothing to offer on my own, with my complicated life, several part-time jobs, and uncooperative bangs. One of the things I’m discovering is that infertility, in a way, forces you to stand on your own merits. I imagine that bonding with other mothers is easier when you can talk about your children and mom things, but not being a mother means you must bond with them as women, casting about for other things you have in common. It’s a difficult thing to do when you are plagued by those insecurities and doubts like I am – like so many of us are.
This is why we must root our identities in God, in being daughters of the One True King. Our jobs, clothes, states in life, bad haircuts – all these things come and go, but our Father in Heaven never changes. I’m still learning what it means to root my identity in Him and how to practically live that out, but even now – in my poverty – I’m still God’s little daughter. I’m enough for Him.
The inspiration for this contribution came after listening to this episode of the Forward Healing Project Podcast.