This morning was beautiful.
I ran around the mountains with the bright sun, greeting the new week. And I came home, quickly got ready, and burst out the door with all that oxytocin flooding through me. I love that feeling. Then I called my mom, and she informed me that my sister is beginning her process of IVF this week. (As I told my best friend Steff, who was unsure what that was - it's a process of needles, hormones, and forcing your body to conceive when it's otherwise impossible). This has been something my family has been hoping for for years and years. But the emotional distress and the cost. Oh, and the cost. And the cost again. Infertility is such a merciless thing for any woman to go through. So we all pooled our finest pennies, and we knew this summer was going to be The Summer. And boom, Monday morning, it's here. And we have three weeks - THREE WEEKS - until this process is complete and we greet or say goodbye to little Angie & Matt Earth babies forever.
Jolts my system.
I can't speak to the level of how much I want this IVF to be successful for my sister. I have wanted things in my life before - pleadings from the deepest parts of myself up to Heavenly Father. And this is one of those times, with an extra special emphasis and connection with my body, because it's no longer wanting something that only rearranges and heals mental and emotional grievances. But it's something that is asked to rearrange and cause miracles among physical units that are inoperable when left to their natural state. And doctors can do their best to step in and force our mortal pieces to awaken and connect as they should, but humans, even those with PhD's, are so so so limited. And this is my family's - my sister's - ONE CHANCE to bring angel babies into this world. And if my soul yearns for this SO badly for her, I know the depth of desire in Angie's own heart is millennial times greater. Because I know how that space inside of her has soaked up oceans of grief over the years and held it with such grace, as friends and family around her conceived children with no problem and continued the natural stages of their lives, while my sister just kept swallowing and swallowing in their presence to keep that ocean of absence calmed inside of her. But I've sat with her and stayed on the phone with her in times when the ocean could no longer be calmed. When it raged and thrashed against her, until she couldn't resist it any longer and had to submerge inside of it for a time and allow herself to drown in the horrible thought - "what if I will never birth children in this life?" "Will I be able to have a family through other means, or nothing... ever?"
The brokenness of human spirit is a place I know so SO intimately. And truly, I am grateful that I do. SO grateful, actually. Because when another's human spirit breaks, and the ocean is ferocious within them, I no longer stand in a cruise ship and yell off the side "hope things work out for ya! Be happy through your trials!" .... but I can immediately dive right into the dark and enormous tumultuous waves of emotion and grip them tightly, planting myself firmly as their anchor. And the next 3 weeks is our time to anchor with her. Doing everything we can to send consistent pleading pulses upward to our Heavenly Father, to supplicate for His miracles in helping her body receive her child's spirit. Please please please, Father.
And after I got off the phone with my mom, I decided it was time to circle the wagons. To reach out to the closest people in my life and ask them to activate their faith for my sister the next 3 weeks in fasting and prayer. And my best friends who are not members of the Church have always agreed to participate in my spiritual practices when I've invited them to, and it's SO beautiful to me. And after asking many of my friends, former co-workers, roommates, and even my RS President, I was so overcome with the responses that I had to leave my desk and go to the bathroom and say a gratitude prayer to Heavenly Father. People fully willing to jump in and help, some of my friends relating to their own experiences of infertility, and people's joy over the invitation to assist.
It reminded me of my time in the Philippines, when I was deliberating whether I should climb on the boat and go serve in the wreckage of Typhoon Yolanda or take my flight home and be present for Leslie's wedding as her maid of honor. And I abandoned my flight and climbed aboard the ship. Then my system jolted just like this morning, and all my focus immediately went to the service ahead of me. And similarly again, I began circling the wagons of my closest friends, requesting their prayers and any monetary funds they would like to contribute to the Filipino people. And then I lost service as the boat rocked towards the destroyed island, and I heard nothing else. But days later, when we returned to the main island to reload on medical and food supplies, our donated funds were nearly gone, and then I remembered my circle of friends that I asked for help. I opened my PayPal account and there was $1000 from all of them. Wow! The hearts of people wanting to circle their wagons and sacrifice their money was so incredible to me!
And though this situation with my sister is only the request for prayers, I REALLY believe that a prayer is the passing of positive energy. And there is SO much power in passing such energy between each other, for each other, and ultimately upward to the heavens. We receive it to our souls when others pray for us, even when our mental conscious isn't aware, but I know that energy shifts things in our subconscious. And inviting people to concentrate their faithful forces up to God for a specific purpose is so unifying. It forms tribes. People circling their band wagons around you. And I believe God is happy when we build our petitions and reach for Him with deep desire. I know that offers power for miracles.
So I close my eyes and picture all of these specific people circling around Angie and Matt. I feel safe in all that faith, whatever happens.
So, here we go. :)
Upward and onward,