When My Strength Runs Out

When My Strength Runs Out

I don’t want to write this post. I don’t want to let the world know that I am struggling. I’m okay, but I am struggling. I’m joyful, but I’m sad inside. I’m numb, but I’m trying.

The past few years have been a roller coaster of emotions for my husband and I. And though I feel like a broken record talking about our infertility struggles, it’s where my heart is right now. And I’ve learned that being anything other than real gets pretty draining.

So, here’s the deal: In the past few years, I’ve struggled with sadness, bitterness, numbness, and depression. And because I so desperately want to glorify God through this battle with infertility, I subsequently struggle with shame that I have let myself hit such low points instead of perfectly, at all times, trusting my unknown future to a known God.

I got tired of being let down each month when pregnancy wasn’t achieved, so I tried to convince myself I might be better off if I didn’t care so much. In my efforts to become more apathetic about being a mom, unfortunately, other good, healthy emotions hit the road as well. The “protective” wall that surrounded my heart quickly became hardened and impenetrable. Not only did relationships suffer because of my lack of effort in maintaining them, but my home suffered. I could only muster up enough motivation to do the bare minimum. What that looked like for me was basically just doing the laundry so we would have clothes to wear. I also became good at putting on a facade of a clean house by straightening up but never actually cleaning. My dishwasher ran on schedule, but my floors never got mopped. The bathroom sink might have gotten cleaned, but maybe not the shower. Whatever I could muster up enough stamina to do for fifteen minutes every few days got done. Otherwise, my couch and I shared a lot of wasted, quality time together.

At this point you’re probably wondering why I’m putting all this out there. To be honest, I’m wondering the same thing myself. The only thing I can figure out is that my heart doesn’t want to fake it anymore. I’m done with facades, shame, and secrets. I believe it because I’ve experienced it: secrets lose power over you when you bring them to the light. I know I’m not the only person trying to act like I’ve got it all together on the outside while I’m dying on the inside.

So, in the spirit of being real, I’m going to share a snippet of one of my journal entries from September of last year:

I’m too scared to say it out loud and don’t want to add another burden to a busy world’s plate. But I think I’m depressed.
I lie on the couch, warm tears softly streaming down my cheeks, thoughts cascading through my mind of my dirty bathroom, unmade bed, half-completed projects, and dust-ridden furniture. My disdain for my laziness is strong, but I’m immobilized by a numbing, dull pain.
I’m tired. Annoyances have become heavy burdens that I feel in my chest. Simple tasks have become laborious exertions.
I’m surrounded by people, but I’m all alone. I’m left behind. I’m not a mom.
Lord, I’m so tired. My soul yearns for you, but I can’t muster up a cry out to you, only a whisper of your name. I continue shoveling food into my ever-swelling face.
God, give me joy. Give me energy. Give me faith that moves mountains.
May I some day be brave enough to share these words with someone to help them.
Though I may be in a pit now, my God won’t leave me here.
Every morning, the sun rises on a new day. Every day is His. I am His.

….

So…are you guys still cool with knowing me, or did I take it too far? This is one of those awkward, I’ve-said-too-much-I’m-just-going-to-walk-backwards-out-of-the-room moments.

But in all seriousness, if you see me on the streets, I probably appear super joyful. IMG_0118That’s because I am. The joy of the Lord is truly my strength, and because he lives in me and I have a strong support system, most days are good.

I am no longer in the pits of depression; thankfully, the Lord carried me through that pretty swiftly. I do, however, still struggle to overcome the numbness. These days, I rejoice when I snot-face cry because that means I’m feeling something. I still entertain the idea of mopping my floors without ever actually getting it done, but Lord knows I’m gonna get there some day.

I have allowed hope to regain entry into my heart, even though that means disappointment could possibly follow on its heels. I’m learning that I can’t feel the good without feeling the bad, and after not feeling much of anything, I’m totally ok with strapping myself back into the roller coaster of emotions and just letting go. I know my God’s got me in the valleys just as much as he does on the peaks.

I take comfort in knowing God knew we would walk through dark days while on this earth, so he filled his word with many encouraging verses such as Romans 12:12, which says: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” That is just one verse out of many that encourage patience through trial; standing firm; relentlessly trusting; and never growing weary.

To those who have been struggling like I have, God’s grace is big enough to cover the mess we’ve been swallowed up in. And when we get to the place where our strength runs out, His is there to carry us the rest of the way.

He is sovereign and perfect. May we all find rest and healing in his massive, loving arms.

BraveGirl Martha

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6 Comments

  1. Precious Martha, my heart grieves for you, but I thank God you know where your joy and help comes from. How I long to fix this for you, but I know the Lord has “got this” and my job is to love you and to faithfully pray for you. Thank you for your transparency and being a “Brave Girl”.

    Reply
  2. You so made my eyes sweat! You are an amazing woman that shows Gods love to so many. I have been in that depression over the last 18 months and can relate so well. God is my strength and carries me through my darkest moments, through the good, bad and ugly he stands beside and with me.

    Reply
  3. Sweet Martha, I have seen you in this struggle and like Janice, wish I could fix all of this for you, truly. But we know God holds you and your future in His capable Hands….we trust Him, don’t we? Even and probably especially in the hard stuff!
    I love your transparency and courage and commitment to keeping your eyes on Him. Your writing and sharing your story are inspiring.

    Reply
  4. Still cool knowing you? It’s a blessing, an honor, an inspiration. I’m so sorry for your pain and sadness, I will redouble my prayers that God’s will and your heart’s desire are the same and meet soon. Dear Lord, wrap Martha in your love and comfort her. Amen

    Reply
  5. I admire your authenticity and transparency. Thank you for sharing both in this post! Because I have friends that are dealing with this similar situation, I thought you might find some encouragement in the ministry they are involved with, The Carry Camp. Check it out if you feel led. God is for you sister! [PS. I found your blog online via Christy Rodriguez, a friend and sorority sister from college. Love what you are doing with it!]

    Reply
    • Hi Trina! Thank you so much for reaching out! I’ve checked out The Carry Camp, and am their newest follower on Instagram and Twitter. There is so much beauty in what they are doing — not only in the message, but in the images they use and the whole look of their website. Thank you for telling me about it. I know some other ladies I can share it with as well. And PS…Christy…she’s one of God’s greatest creations EVER!!

      -Martha

      Reply

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