Brokenness Behind the “Perfect” Life

March 18, 2013 § 7 Comments

Growing up, I was often told what a great “perfect” life I had. I had parents who were married and loved each other. My brother and I got along. I was told I was pretty and I did well in school. I completed my “dream” of being a nurse and married a great guy. We adopted a wonderful son who we adore. I am literally living my dream of working in Africa.

You may have concluded some of these thoughts by reading this blog for any amount of time. As with any outside view, you are only seeing one perspective. You don’t know the private pains or the hidden secrets of the heart. My life is far from perfect. You don’t know the argument I had with my husband or the way I was impatient with my son. You were not around when I was unkind to my friend and was selfish about something else.

The truth is that even as you’re reading about our “perfect” life there is pain, hurt, sin, and grief that only God knows.

Our journey of infertility has shaped me more than anything else in my adult life. It’s far reaching grasp touches every area. It has included over 3 years of surgeries, failed fertility treatments, as well as multiple failed adoptions. I can truly say it’s been the most difficult experience of my life. And honestly, I don’t think anybody can truly understand unless you’ve been there yourself.

To clarify, I don’t at all mourn the adoption of Nathaniel or the fact that he has some disabilities. That was a conscious choice that we made fully aware of the state of his health. I wouldn’t trade him for a million healthy newborn babies. I know for many families with biological children with disabilities that that is an area to mourn. Because of our choice in adoption that is not the case.

What I do grieve is the infertility and continued pain in my body. It still stings a bit when I receive a pregnancy announcement from somebody. Ironically, it hurts in my own heart even though I am genuinely happy for them.

I was talking to a friend that has also experienced infertility and she said that God gives what God gives to each person. You don’t know what the course of life may be.

I’m getting to an (slightly) older age where I’m seeing different health challenges happen in friends and acquaintances. Nobody thinks it will happen to them. Nobody thinks they will have a stroke before the age of 40. Or colon cancer. Nobody plans on their daughter dropping out of school and getting pregnant. Or aborting their child. Nobody plans on their spouse leaving them to care for their children alone.

The point being, you may think someone has a “perfect” life with “perfect” children but we don’t always know the burdens people are bearing.

God hasn’t given us biological children up to this point. It’s been a burden that God has asked us to carry for now. He might give us biological children in the future. He may never. What we do know is that He is the one who gives life and takes it away. Blessed be His name.

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§ 7 Responses to Brokenness Behind the “Perfect” Life

  • Mike Piehler says:

    What a wonderfully transparent testimony you have here Laura. Thank you so much for sharing you heart! A friend of mine always says when we play the “comparison game” (oooooh, they have the perfect life!) we are always comparing our worst against their best. So insightful.

    The beauty of what you’ve shared so publically here is that you are free from having to keep of a front. We get to travel light when we aren’t forced to make an impression. So cool.

    Have a great day and give that man of yours a big hug from me. šŸ™‚

  • Nicole says:

    Favorite part: there is pain, hurt, sin, and grief that only Gos knows… Thank you for writing those words and sharing your true soul, which is beautifully flawed. Sometimes I miss so greatly openness and transparency. I feel like I don’t really know anyone anymore. I am not sure why that is. But myself have gone through the darkest valley and only God knows that. We are all on our own beautiful battlefield, and God is making something beautiful out of each of our lives (as in: yours and mine.). Thank you for sharing.

  • Blogs can often be a place to showcase all the “good” stuff of our lives. Thanks for using yours to be genuine and honest about the “other” stuff.

  • Lauralee Nieves-Hughes says:

    Laura, I understand your pain. My roller coaster ride lasted 8 years of “Why’s” to God. The grief of an unborn child is difficult. And does require a morning process. I am blessed to hear someone share about their struggle with infertility as it is not a common topic people share. It is hard, difficult, and I still struggle with Mothers Day. I would welcome a 1:1 coffee time with you when you return to Seattle.

  • Holly Nelson says:

    Laura, I, too, had quite a perfect life, when looked at from the outside. No one knows what God puts us through on purpose to refine us, and I often think of that Scripture where the phrase( Matt 7:9 or Luke 11:11), “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? is said. You wouldn’t give Nathaniel a stone if he was hungry, and I wouldn’t, either, but yet, God, in His good wisdom, gives us what we NEED and not what we WANT. These are words we all need to hear, because we want ease, comfort, joy, plenty, health, and we won’t get that if we strive to be faithful. I, too, am thankful that your blog is real, and not fake. I don’t read them, because too often people’s lives do, unlike yours. I am praying for you, Laura, that God will continue to grow you and that you will receive what He gives you with the knowledge that it is what you need. Love you!

  • My darling girl:

    I haven’t replied a whole bunch to your posts, but I want you to know that almost every one of them pierces my heart – this one in particular. I love you more than you can know.

    Mama ā¤

  • Nancy Lenihan says:

    Laura, honesty is hard, not only to others, but especially to yourself. You display wisdom beyond your young years. God doesn’t always answer our prayers as wanted, but he too has wisdom beyond our years, and as we grow, we learn why. You understand this I know. I hurt for you and your desires for a child of your own creation. You are so loved by us.

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