Faith and Honesty: My Current Balancing Act
Hi, I’m Brooke and I’m an enneagram type 3, the Achiever. I love to encourage, to plan, to crush goals… But one of the harder parts of being an Achiever is that they have a tendency to put on a front. Achievers want everyone to see all the polished sides of themselves and never the rough edges. In my flesh, it is so hard to put all I’m walking through out there. I never want to share things until I’ve come out victorious on the other side so I can cheer others on saying, “I’ve been there. I made it through and so can you!'“ But God has been so gracious to me in my waiting. He’s worked so much in me in these last few years. He’s helped me be okay with not being perfect and He’s helped me learn how to be open about what I’m going through. He’s encouraged me in my mess and in my pain to write because people need someone who is real and raw to relate to them. I want to be the person you look at as I write about my struggles and say, “You know what I’m struggling with that too. I’m feeling that way too. I want to walk with her because she gets me.”
So I say all this to show you where I’m coming from. I’m a girl with a bend to sugar coat the messy in my life. God has worked so hard to help me be real and raw because it helps others… But if I’m honest lately I’ve been wrestling with the balance between being real about where I and my body am at, but also choosing to speak life.
In the last few months I’ve had at least five people tell me I need to be speaking life over my womb, over my future baby, and not say things like I’m dealing with infertility or barrenness.
My initial reaction to these statements was pain, defense, and frustration.
These well meaning people don’t see me sitting on my bed with a heating pad over my abdomen, as tears stream down my face and I say barely above a whisper, “Thank you Jesus that my body is working. Thank you for this restart.” all while my heart is crushed knowing this means somewhere my body isn’t truly lining up. They don’t see all the times I drive to work, put my hand over where my uterus lies and proclaim that my body is working the way it should and thanking God for that. They don’t see Nathan laying with me at night his hand on my stomach praying for our baby by name and speaking destiny over her/him all while my womb is void of a child. They don’t see the hours I spend wondering if I should post anything online about our walk through infertility because I don’t want to hear someone say, “Your words have power. Don’t say that. Speak life.” as I lay my wounded heart out for everyone to see.
This caused me to start asking the hard questions.
Am I delaying my healing because I am talking about my reality?
In the last month I’ve asked God this. If I talk about being infertile am I delaying my healing because I’m not necessarily speaking life? If I say I’m dealing with infertility am I prolonging my infertility? The answer I’ve heard over and over again from God is that my words have power, yes, but Jesus’ blood is more powerful. Jesus died for my healing. My words can’t take that away. Yes, speaking life is good and beneficial, but it is not the only way I will see my healing. My healing is done. It’s complete even though I may not see it right now. In heaven it is done, so now I just need heaven to come meet me here on Earth.
”But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripe we are healed.” -Isaiah 53:5
Am I speaking enough life over my body and my future child?
Yes, I’m speaking life, but am I doing it often enough? Should I do it more? I feel like God is so proud of how often I do speak life over my future baby and my body, but He has been encouraging me to do it more. This doesn’t mean that I can’t be honest about how I’m feeling about not being pregnant. He sees the pain that comes every 28 days. He sees the hope with every positive ovulation test and the heart ache of every period. He sees. He knows. He cares. I think for so long I thought if I spoke life, I couldn’t speak honestly about how I feel in the here in now, but I can. I can do both. I can say, “Lord my heart hurts at the fact that I’m dealing with infertility, but thank you that Your blood made a way for this not to be a period at the end of a sentence, but a semi colon. A continuation in the story.”
Should I never say what I’ve been diagnosed with? If I do am I moving in unbelief?
Being in ministry I feel like for the most part people expect you to believe and be healed and if you aren’t you are lacking in faith. But as I asked God if me speaking that I’m dealing with infertility or that I’m barren is me moving in unbelief, I was reminded of the verse “I believe but help my unbelief.” God sees our mustard seed and says, “There. That’s enough. I see your faith, others might not, but I do and I love it!” You see speaking life has power, yes, but so does my honesty. Saying what I’m walking through isn’t me claiming it, it’s me giving my struggle a name and saying, “This right here thinks it has power over me, but no. I know I’m healed, but until I see my healing here on earth I’m going to talk about how Jesus is using this thing to draw me to Him. He is still good despite my diagnosis.”
Why is it hard for me to always speak life?
This question has been the hardest one for me to grapple with. But here is what I’ve come to realize… it makes me feel like the pressure is now on me and my performance. “If I speak enough life I’ll get pregnant”. If I never say I’m barren God will finally let me not be. But I many times saw Jesus in His ministry speak the life for people who couldn’t. When he asked, “What do you need to be healed of?” and the person responded with what was ailing them He never said, “Don’t say you have that. Speak life!” No, he instead spoke life over them, for them, and they were healed.
Speaking life is hard for me because for a whole year while I saw everyone around me getting pregnant I never once said I was dealing with infertility. I only spoke life, for an entire year. I turned my eyes away from the signs of infertility and spoke of only my fertility. I only confessed good things over my body. But I realized that when I, an achiever, only spoke life and chose not to open up about what I was walking through it actually made me begin to be bitter. The most freeing thing I ever did was say I was struggling with infertility, out loud. Once I allowed this struggle to be out in the open I saw others come to me for hope. I got to show women how good Jesus is, even though we are not seeing our promises yet. I got to pray for them. I got to empathize with them. I got to believe for them. I got to speak life over them. I got to cry with them. I got see in me freely talking about my infertility they encountered freedom.
All the above questions led me to this last question…
What good really comes from speaking of my struggles?
1) It has allowed other brothers and sisters to come along side me and pray with me. I know that once I get pregnant, everyone who prayed with me will get to see God’s goodness and I mean what’s better than that?!
2) It gives others dealing with infertility a chance to say, “Me too. My heart knows your hearts’s pain. I didn’t know how to articulate my pain and my struggle to surrender, but you’ve helped me do that. Let’s walk through this together!”
3) It takes away the shame of believing in a God who is Healer but not seeing your healing yet.. Do you know how hard it is to be a woman and your body not do the one thing it was created for? Do you know how hard it is to be in ministry and talk about how God is the Healer but prayer after prayer you see no change in your body? Shame can creep in so easily (and it has in my life), but in me writing about how I’ve handled the waiting, God has set this achiever so free!
I say all this to say, if you are needing healing in your body don’t feel like you can’t speak about it. There is no need to sugar coat it. Do not allow fear of what others will say to shut your mouth. If you have cancer let someone know! If you are dealing with infertility, let someone know! If you are dealing with anxiety, let someone know! And then ask them to join you in praying and help you believe for your healing to be seen here on Earth.
You see, I’m so glad these people told me to speak life because it has reminded me the power of my words, and I honestly needed that. But it also has shown me the freedom in my honesty. Both are powerful. Both are good. Both can be spoken about and you can still have faith. I now see there is a beautiful, graceful balance to be had in both.