Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Today I sit with my dad at Northwestern Memorial hospital in Chicago as my mom has surgery. Its an interesting place for me as I know that this hospital is one of the best in the world and my mother is in really good hands, yet this is the same hospital where for a year Andrew and I came with so much hope and anticipation.

It has been about a year and half since our last attempt at IVF. I am trying to heal still and admit that the wound is possibly deeper now then when I was first told of our infertility issues. I guess its because reality has begun to settle in that Andrew and I may not have children naturally. Additionally, the reality of adoption seems so far off right now for us as well. I feel betrayed by my body, my emotions, societal expectations, anticipations, and the dream of having a family.

I will admit that since being laid off back in December of 2010 I have been emotionally stunted and have tried to cover up everything that I am feeling. I have tried to invest in other people and ignore all of the things which I should be healing in myself.

I have searched for a job to no avail, but I think a lot of that has to do with the lack of confidence that I have in myself. I didn't realize that getting laid off and not being able to have a baby would take such an extreme toll on my body and emotional well being. I specifically didn't realize that it would drain me of my confidence and strength to be a productive member of society.

On the outside I look like I have defeated the black hole, but on the inside I am stuck in its perpetual circular motion. I don't know who I am, I don't know what I want, and I lack the confidence to be proud in what I have done and the strength to be able to do more and/or move forward.

I want to be significant, not in a narcissistic way, but knowing that I have in some way changed the world around me for the better. I don't want to loose the naivety that I could truly still make a difference in this world, my community, my city, and a life.

Where is my voice...

  • Is it in my travels, I have lived around the world, and completed global projects
  • Is it in my education, I have two masters degrees, two graduate certificates, and two undergrad degree majors (yeah its a bit overkill)
  • Is it in my professional experiences, I have been the director of international relations, the manager of training and employee relations, the managing director of operations, and currently the director of operations for The Marin Foundation...

Or is my voice in something else,

  • The pain of infertility, the loss of not being able to have children (at least currently - I still believe and am faithful to God who does miracles)
  • Being a female who is fighting for reconciliation and recognition of women in the church
  • Challenging the seemingly one demension that is fed by our media and society to our young girls and boys as to what and who women are
  • A wife who is trying to learn to be a solid partner and work alongside her husband to show what it means to love authentically as we have been asked to do
  • A friend who is willing to step outside of her comfort zone in order to be uncomfortable and live in the tension
  • A person who loves her neighbor and those perceived to be the "enemy" with unconditional love and devotion. To be a living representation of what it means to love with out expectation or outcome. To truly believe in a relationship that goes the journey and dignify all stories.

I know my voice is the combination of all aspects and one day I will find how to merge it all... Until then I will continue to fight to get out of my perpetual black hole and find my voice...

A perfectly tarnished child of God :)


Joan said...

Brenda, your post moved me to tears. Please know I continue to pray for you. My prayer is that God would bring you into the destiny He has for you and that in the waiting He give you joy and a sense of purpose as you minister where you are right now. I was reminded of Eph 2:10 as I read your post: "For (you) are God's workmanship (His creation, a piece of art carefully made that He prizes and puts on display for all to see), created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for (you) to do.

Anonymous said...

Remember that you are grieving. It may take a year or 2 for major griefs & I think you are in that category. Get enough rest, light exercise, do your ministry, but remember that you are normal in your feelings. Take that time you need!

Anonymous said...

I can second, third, and fourth the idea that you should look into becoming a foster parent. You can take only infants, and Lord willing, get the chance to adopt one. You do have to put your heart out there, but it will be worth it.
There are so many kids out there that need a stable home and I know that you have so much love to give.
I encourage you to seek God about what you have to GIVE and ask him to help you let go of what you need. He will meet your needs.

Lots of love

Bob said...

Brenda, I came across your blog while looking at information on the Marin Foundation and this reflection is so incredibly open and honest that I just wanted to respond briefly to it. It's over three months since you posted it and I hope your dark time has improved if only a little. I can relate (somewhat)directly to your comments about loss of a job and how that affected you. That happened a number of times to my father because of health issues he had (very bad eyesight for an accountant is not a good thing) and I saw first hand how loss of jobs robbed him of his dignity. As a grown man now, I also see how work grounds me. But I'd say to you that what you wrote shows an incredible diversity of interests that you have and I'd encourage you (as I'm sure you have) to emphasize your strengths (and there are a lot of them) in seeking work that you like. You write very well. Maybe you could do more posting on issues that interest you. I'd think there would be an audience for your thoughts, which were clear and perceptive. That won't earn you money but it hopefully would give you an opportunity to express yourself on topics that interest you, which I believe would interest others. As the other responses to your reflection have already said too, you are not alone. It looks like you've got a really supportive husband and hopefully a community (a close one where you live and a broader one from your website) that can support you with prayers and affirmation. Again, I hope things are brighter than when you last posted, and I wish you well.