This post was originally written on August 28, 2012, and appeared on my old website, kintzfactor.com.
I was twenty-three years old. I loved my job. I was traveling the country, meeting awesome people and gaining incredible experience. The one dark cloud was the pain that would come every month in the form of my endometriosis. It wasn’t something Midol, or Vicoden could touch with a ten-foot pole. I was sick of having birth control pills shoved at me. (Side note to the GYN community: birth control isn’t always the answer.) My second laparoscopic surgery was in my past for two years, and I didn’t want to go through that again. So I asked my doctor for options.
“We do have a medicine we could try. It’s new in the stages of research, but it could really help. It’s called Lupron.”
“And it does what, exactly?” I asked. Phrases like “new research” and “I’ve never seen a case like this before” always made me wary considering the number of times they’d been said to me the last decade.
“We will give you a shot, once a month for six months. This will put your body into medically induced menopause for those six months. Studies have shown that it dramatically reduces endometriosis in women.”
Hold up. No pain for six months? He could have stopped at menopause. Hot flashes and night sweats seemed like a day of rainbows and sunshine compared to my current debacle. I was in.
Menopause was both terrible and beautiful. Terrible because any room became the seventh circle of hell in 2 seconds. Going from a completely normal temperature to feeling like I was trapped inside of Mount Vesuvius while it was erupting was an adjustment. Sleeping was a new adventure as well. I’m not a sweaty person by nature, but I wanted to sleep in ice. Anything to stop the night sweats. But I told myself it was wonderful because I wasn’t in pain.
Until month seven rolled around. My shots had ended, but my body wasn’t returning to normal activities. I mentioned this to my doctor.
“Huh. That’s weird.”
(Fabulous. Is that your professional opinion?)
“Well there’s nothing much we can do, but wait and see how your body responds the next few months. If it hasn’t changed by your next appointment, we’ll do surgery.”
I was furious. Surgery was what I had been trying to avoid. Frustrated, I went home. The house was empty. I grabbed my Bible and sat down on the couch. Tears rolled down my face as I cried out to Jesus, “Why is this happening? What is wrong with my body? Why won’t anyone listen to me and help me?” I poured out my heart and opened my Bible. I flipped around and finally settled on Luke, chapter 23, and I read these words:
29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ (Luke 23:29 ESV)
What did that have to do with anything? I was talking about my body and all its problems. Then understanding started to settle around me slowly as if the Lord were giving me time to get used to the idea. I wish I could put what I felt into words. But I can’t. All I can say is I knew, with an assurance that could never be shaken, I would not be able to bear my own children.
Part of me wants to tell you I was devastated. But I can’t. It’s not that there was a dance of joy either. But there was an acceptance that only grew stronger as I walked out my story.
Through months and years, I’ve thought about what the Lord revealed to me. I’ve realized that while I love kids, I have never had an overwhelming desire to have my own. When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, it always had something to do with bossing people around and talking. (Shocking, I know.) Perhaps I assumed I would be a mom. Or maybe Jesus, in His wisdom, had been preparing me for that moment of revelation my whole life.
I mentioned this to my mom in a conversation a few weeks ago. She came back to me recently, and we talked through the moment I’ve just shared with you. And I love what she told me.
“I was thinking about what you said, and you’re right. When you were growing up, you never played house. Your Barbie games were never the mom, dad, and family. It was always something like “Barbie soda shop” or they worked in an office where you were their boss. Or they went on adventures. But you weren’t really hooked into the whole ‘house’ game.”
This released a burden I didn’t know I still had. There are times I still lug the affliction of wanting a “normal” life around. It may be a natural emotion, but it’s annoying. My life has never been typical. Traditional is not a word in my vocabulary. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I embrace that. But there’s still the occasional whisper. The longing for normal. However, through many times of wrestling and tears I have come to this conclusion:
I am not ashamed for lacking the desire to bear my own children. I don’t shrink from embracing what God has revealed to be the best for me. My feet are planted, and my forehead is set. For if my Lord is sovereign (and He is), and He desires good things for me, (oh how He does), and I continually submit to His will, (trying harder every day), then this saying is faithful and true:
21 But this I call to mind, therefore I have hope. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. (Lamentations 3:21-22, ESV)
Read #3 in the series: The One With a Little Levity