Hello, blog friends! Today I realized that it’s been a whole month since I last posted on here. Aaaaand, let’s be real: it’s summer. the weather’s great. the sunshine is currently slaughtering months’ worth of Seasonal Affective Disorder’s influence on my brain. I’m outside doing things every day. Bemoaning Blogging about fertility stuff just isn’t on my radar. I’ve completely dropped off posting (although not stalking… never stop stalking) my other social media feeds. So it’s fitting that I take a break from the blogosphere as well.
Besides, I really have nothing new going on in Fertility Land. Jake and I just had our 7-year TTC anniversary—or whatever you want to term it—last month. We’re currently in negotiations about doing another stim cycle. “Negotiations” essentially involve me convincing Jake to agree to another IVF. Buuuut, we’re also in the process of preparing to buy a new house, so I kind of have to decide if I want a house or a baby more at the moment. It’s a tough call because both would be stellar, but neither are free. Well, baby making should be free…
Anyway, unless something radically awesome (or awful) related to fertility/infertility happens in the next eight-ish weeks, I’ve decided to step away from this space til after Labor Day.
Cheers to sunshine, flip-flops, and (vegetarian) BBQs!
With the “-ber” months marking the start of so many holidays, the end of September always ushers in a particularly special time of year for me. I married Jake on the very last day of summer 14 years ago, September 21. So this part of September is kind of like our personal celebration kickoff to the seasons of autumn and winter.
This year, our anniversary also happened to fall on the Jewish new year. This was especially meaningful to Jake and I because we look toward our own new beginning as a family, what with Jake’s transition into a new career and planning our next house move. We’re not Jewish, but it made our anniversary feel extra celebratory this year.
Two years ago, our first embryo transfer fell on the very first day of autumn and the day following our wedding anniversary, September 22.
This year on September 22 I wasn’t thinking about the 2-year milestone/anniversary/commemoration of our embryo transfer. Instead, Jake and I were outdoors riding our bikes. I was lost in thought reflecting over our wedding anniversary the night before and its correlation to the Jewish new year.
Suddenly I remembered back to two years ago today. On September 22, 2015 I certainly wasn’t out riding my bike on a gorgeous sunny day! Instead, I was nervously anticipating my embryo transfer, brimming with excitement to bring home a baby in nine months’ time.
In November 2015 I had miscarried naturally at home at 11 weeks gestation, although the embryo had stopped living inside of me at the 5 and a half week mark. I didn’t know what to do with the product that I eventually miscarried. To flush it down the toilet was appalling. To save it was horrific. So I placed the remains in a small jewelry box and waited.
A few days later when the physical pain had subsided, Jake and I drove the box to a secluded sandy spot near the river. We found two identical “parent” trees with a tinier “baby” tree growing between them. There by the baby tree we buried the box deep in the sand. We held a small memorial service—just the two of us—then we left town for three days. I’ve rarely visited the site since. Being there tends to make me cry.
This year, it happened that Jake and I were riding our bikes very close to where our embryo is buried, on the exact two-year anniversary of its transfer. What kind of monster would I be not to visit the site on such a day?
Jake and I each stopped to pull handfuls of white and yellow wildflowers. Then we biked to the spot by the three trees. In two years, the baby tree had grown some, although it was still dwarfed by its “parents.” We placed our flowers on the ground before the baby tree and weighted them down with a small rock. We said a prayer to God. I cried a bit. We walked back to our bikes in quiet solemnity.
Our burial site visit was unplanned. I’m thankful that the Lord had us near that spot on the exact day. Being there doesn’t hurt quite like it used to hurt. The sadness is etched less deeply with the passage of time. It’s now a scar, no longer a fresh wound.
I’m thankful that we marked the anniversary, impromptu or not. Because as Jake and I look onward to our new beginning—our “new year” so to speak—I don’t ever want to forget the old, our baby’s life (and babies’ lives).
The mindset in postmodernism is that objective truth does not exist. But in post-truth, the person believes that objective truth exists, but they subordinate truth to their preferences, or their comfort. In other words, one doesn’t care that truth exists or what the truth is if it doesn’t line up with one’s preferences. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" - George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. Faith in Jesus Christ is our response to God's elective purpose in our life. These two truths--God's initiative and man's response--co-exist throughout the Bible. The gospel is "the message of truth" because truth is its predominant characteristic. Salvation was conceived by the God of truth (Ps. 31:5); purchased by the Son, who is the truth (John 14:6); and is applied by the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). To know it is to know the truth that sets men free (John 8:32). Believers are people of the truth (John 18:37), who worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), and who obey the Word of truth (John 17:17). People have rejected, neglected, redefined, and opposed God’s truth for centuries. Some cynically deny that truth even exists or that it can be known by men (John 18:38). Others foolishly think that denying truth will somehow make it go away. Truth determines the validity of one's belief. Believing a lie doesn't make it true. Conversely, failing to believe the truth doesn't make it a lie. The gospel is true because Jesus is true, not simply because Christians believe in Him. His resurrection proved the truth of His claims and constitutes the objective basis of our faith (Rom. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:3). Truth is our protection and strength (Eph. 6:14). Throughout history, people have tried everything imaginable to gain favor with God. Most turn to religion, but religion apart from Christ is merely a satanic counterfeit of the truth. At the heart of every false religion is the notion that man can come to God by any means he chooses--by meditating, doing good deeds, and so on. But Scripture says, "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is Jesus Christ, and we come to Him by confessing and repenting of our sin, trusting in His atoning death on the cross, and affirming His bodily resurrection from the grave (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). There is no other way to God. False religious leaders and teachers talk much about God’s love, but not His wrath and holiness; much about how deprived of good things people are, but not about their depravity; much about God’s universal fatherhood toward everyone, but not much about his unique fatherhood toward all who believe in His Son; much about what God wants to give to us, but nothing about the necessity of obedience to Him; much about health and happiness, but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is full of gaps, the greatest of which leaves out a biblical worldview of the saving gospel and replaces it with the worldview of postmodernism with its dominant ethical system of relativism. The Bible describes mankind in the end times: “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Cor. 2:14). It’s not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but that human wisdom is defective, because it’s tainted by man’s sinfulness, and unable to perceive the things of God. That is why the Bible is so important. It gives us the answers we can’t find on our own. It is God’s Word to mankind. Scripture is divinely revealed truth that fills the vacuum of spiritual ignorance in all of us. Post-truth is the word of the year for 2016 and also the philosophy of the day, According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. In a “post-truth” world, people make choices based on emotion and experience rather than objective fact. So in a post-truth world, truth is irrelevant. What exactly is a post-truth culture? It’s a culture where truth is no longer an objective reality. It has become subjective. It’s what’s true for me—my beliefs, my opinions, determine my truth. So in our post-truth culture, man determines truth. Man makes himself the ultimate authority. This starting point, which rejects God’s Word and the idea of moral absolutes, makes truth subjective. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Christianity is grounded in objective truth. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Objective truth exists because we have God’s Word. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and Paul and James describe the Bible as “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). The Psalmist says, “The entirety of your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus Himself said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6), He wasn’t expressing His personal belief or opinion. He was speaking the truth, a fundamental reality that doesn’t change from person to person. It doesn’t matter if our culture thinks all roads lead to God. The truth of the matter is “no one comes to the Father but by [Jesus].” This blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell