Today is the very last day of 2014! This year has given me much to look back on and I have been particularly glad of the quiet reflection I have had these past couple of days. The only way 2014 can be summarised is by describing it as many low valleys but with many great peaks.
From beginning 2014 with so much fresh hope the pain of events rose. Firstly the woman I had been searching for,my grandmother, passed away on the 5th January. The news came by letter and it was only days before my first cycle of IVF was to begin. I didn't quite know how to feel about it. I had known of her existence only 2 years and had only a few lines describing her character. That generation had ended leaving behind many unknown mysteries...
Then began the one thing I had spent most of 2013 waiting for - the IVF. When I look back the first cycle in many ways was the easiest. Although I was at times afraid of the unknown we still strongly carried the hope and the dream within us of having our own child.
Losing that first little baby, though it was only 10 days old, was brutally painful. Seeing the strong pink line fade and disappear over the days was in many ways like seeing the hope fading. For many weeks afterwards it was incomprehensible to me. We had seen the little baby grow from such a tiny size watching it on the screen and then had them collected from my body. We waited every day to hear news on how they were doing and this little baby was the only one left.
Once that little baby was gone and we were left dazed and confused, we came blinking out of the darkness and into the light. Despite the loss I felt closer to God then ever before. He grew my strength in the month and a half we waited until the next cycle.
Another cycle began in May and I was stronger than I had ever been before. The time passed away quicker in this second cycle and just as quickly as we had started it was all suddenly over. The pain was harder to deal with this time. All 16 embryos had not made it. The cycle was called a failed cycle as it had not reached completion. That is exactly how I felt - a failure. Little did I know that I had become performance driven as that is what the IVF is all about.
The next 3 and a half months became a great peak for me. It was a time of so much growing and great blessing. In June we moved to the Kingdom Life Church. It was great big step and I felt that was where God truly wanted me to be. My whole life has been changed by moving to KLC. I have made some amazing friends, I have become part of a family, I have learnt so much more about God and connected with Him in deeper ways than I ever knew possible. This without me realising all prepared me for the final stage of the IVF.
Our third and final cycle commenced in September and with it closed that door. After 7 weeks of a long, drawn-out period we had another repeat of our second cycle. I could feel my strength fading physically and emotionally. The pain was too much and I wanted no more. I cried out to God please stop this pain now and He did! Only a week later we had a letter saying that the NHS will no longer fund anymore cycles. It was over... and I sighed relief.
My body regained strength again throughout November and December and piece by piece God lifted my up out of my despair. He redeemed my life from the pit and renewed my youth like the eagle's (Psalm 103). Each time I went through a cycle I rose and spread out a new being through what I had seen and done in the valley of the shadow of death. He was with me through all and comforted me. Every time I had walked through the valley, He brought me to a peak and on the peak O did I worship Him even more!
This year has truly been a journey and by looking back I can now look forward. 2015 will be filled with gratitude and thanks to God. I will seek out gratitude every day and write as many blog posts as I can.
What am I thankful for in 2014?
I am thankful for my Lord who never left me though I walked through many trials.
I am thankful for my marriage. Jason is a great blessing in my life and through the pain we have shared together our love has flourished deeper and deeper.
I am thankful for Jason's job and all he provides for us. He works hard every day and puts all of himself into his job.
I am thankful for friends and all who have touched my life this year.
I am thankful for my mum. She has been infinitely supportive and has given so much of herself to help Jason and I.
I am thankful for the Kingdom Life Church and the home it has become to us.
I am thankful for my good health.
And I am thankful for the New Year ahead of us. The beginning of a fresh season full of hope and gratitude!