seasons of sorrow

this is one of those posts that i've felt nagging at my soul for a long time-- even while i was in the depths of all of this, but just couldn't bring myself to write it. or when i would write it, it just came out... wrong. or like i just felt like it wasn't time yet. but maybe now is the time? i don't know. i just know i need to write. 

i've said this a billion times on (and about) my blog (you can count, if you feel like i'm lying) but writing is an outlet for me. words are constantly rolling around in my head. one of my favorite activities is just thinking. (if you ask parker it's talking... i talk a lot too...) so when i am sad or upset or happy or feeling any sort of emotion, i feel heavy with words. and the only way to get them out is to write them down. i used to journal a lot as a kid. and maybe i should go back to that, but i quite enjoy sharing my experiences on the interweb. (the comments and real connections i've made are totally worth the vulnerability & scariness. if i can help one person with my blog then it's worth it.)

anyway. i digress. back to the real point of this post. 

seasons of sorrow.

march through the beginning of may was an extremely dark time in my life. i felt hopeless. depressed. faithless. and very confused with my purpose in life. i know i talk about infertility a lot on my blog, but it has changed my life in ways that i didn't even know were possible. it has crushed me. it has strengthened my marriage. it's given me a greater hope in Christ & God's plan. it has caused me to doubt & struggle. i've wondered if God is there & felt of His peace. i've relied on the faith of others. i've gained friendships. i've made myself sick with crying. i've felt totally fine & had REALLY good days. but march through the beginning of may were extremely hard months for me. probably the hardest that i can remember. 

and honestly, nothing has changed in the terms of doctors or getting closer to being parents. we're still just trudging along. actually, if i'm being honest, we kind of stopped trying. which i think is a huge reason i had such a hard time. we're not giving up, but we needed time to accept a few facts (and apparently i needed to figure myself out because i was a dang mess) and that's okay. 

i want everyone to know the lessons i've learned over the last year. take what you need & then share this with a friend who might need to hear it. 

1. it's okay to not be okay.
it's not like i didn't know this. but i didn't know this. with all of social media, "being an adult" and not wanting to be a mess, i felt like it just wasn't okay to not be okay. and that's the fattest lie you could ever hear. one of the most important parts of the Atonement was that the Savior had to feel everything. He didn't just say, "hey they're going to struggle? k. cool. let's move on." He felt it because it was necessary. and i'm gonna venture to say that He didn't enjoy every second of His suffering, in fact, i'm sure He didn't because there were points where He too, said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt." (mark 14:36

2. you can take breaks.
when we first told our families of this struggle, one piece of advice that stuck with me was "you can take breaks from trying." although i didn't realize how difficult taking breaks from trying was going to be, i am grateful that we were told that. trying and failing month after month is quite discouraging. (what's that definition of insanity again???) so while taking a break wasn't quite what we were hoping to have to do, i'm glad someone gave us the permission to take a break. because we needed that permission-- i felt like we HAD to continue over and over and over again, but hearing that we could take breaks was so comforting & helpful. so if you need the permission to take a break, here it is. you can take breaks. this isn't just for infertility either. you can take breaks from other things too. if you're need time for self-care, TAKE IT. 

3. don't compare yourself to others.
i'm REALLY bad at this. like really, REALLY bad at this. i'm super competitive & i like to be the best at whatever i'm doing. or at least working on being the best. but that, my friends is highly unhealthy. as parker told me yesterday, "there will always be someone who is better at you in whatever you're doing. that doesn't mean you have to beat yourself up or tell yourself that you're terrible at it." soooooo true. it's always good to work on things & better yourself, but don't put yourself down for not being the best. recognize how far you've come & then keep trying.

4. idle hands are the devil's tools.
when i say this, i don't mean that i was making bad choices. but when i wasn't staying busy, that's when i felt my lowest. being alone & left to my own thoughts for long periods of time was when i struggled the most to stay happy & hopeful. but when i stayed busy & active, i felt so much better. i don't mean that i was perfectly fine when i was busy & active, but i felt better than when i was alone in my thoughts. so stay busy, find new hobbies, practice old ones. meet up with friends. just do something.

5. seasons change.
how grateful i am for this knowledge. friends, the seasons do change. one of my favorite quotes of all time is from Les Miserables, "Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise." (watch this video & listen close at 1:51 if you want to hear it) we have seasons in our lives and that is perfectly normal and good. but if you're in a hard season, remember that seasons always change. sometimes they take a little bit longer, but they always change. while i was a missionary in the MTC, someone told me that if you can make it to sunday, then you can make it. sunday always comes. spring always comes. summer always comes. relief will come too. 

sometimes we are asked to go through seasons of sorrow and that's just part of the walks of life. but i know that we aren't asked to walk alone. we are given friends, family, neighbors, sometimes complete strangers, and most importantly, we were given a Savior. we were given Someone who suffered & walked these things so we don't have to suffer alone. i am so grateful for that. i hope that if you're in a season of sorrow, that it passes soon. but if not, i hope you'll be able to find the faith & strength necessary to make it to sunday & then to the next one, & the one after that. 

if you need someone to talk to, please don't hesitate to reach out to me.