Honest Community and Real Relationships

It is nearly 2 am and I am wide awake. Hours ago I was drifting off to sleep on the couch, but somewhere between then and now I must have found a second wind or breathed in some kind of magical, caffeinated air or something.

Today was a hard day for me that eventually got better.

One of the benefits of living within community (not A community as in location, but community itself as a practice) is finding comfort in the support of those around you who clearly love you and pray for you and want the best for you.

Today was the day that I found out that my first cycle of fertility treatments did not result in the much desired pregnancy.
Starting over.

I was terribly disappointed, for obvious reasons.
We’ve now been officially trying to get pregnant for one year.
I used to be the girl that was trying for 3 months, 9 months, 11 months…. Now, it has been 1 year.
I cried a lot this morning.
It was hard not to feel overwhelmingly depressed and struggling to find a glimpse of hope once again.

I sent a few texts to a few people letting them know the disappointing news and that I wasn’t doing so great.
I began to receive words of support, encouragement, prayer, and hope.
I spent some time praying and the tears began to abate and the lump in my throat began to go down.
I heard God whisper tenderly and softly to me, “Do you trust Me?” and that was enough.
Of course I do.
He has never disappointed me before.
Hear me… I am disappointed that I am not pregnant already, but God has never disappointed me.
Every month is a month to struggle with disappointment.
Some people just really don’t understand just how overwhelming and difficult a struggle with fertility can be unless they’ve been there themselves or know someone close who has.
But each month you make the choice to keep hoping and, in my case, keep trusting God and waiting on Him.

In the past, I’ve received a few messages here and there about my willingness to be so open and vulnerable and honest about what is going on in my life.
Whether it is my struggle with infertility, my struggle with losing weight, my rantings about certain types of people, or just the various lessons I have had to learn the hard way – I don’t really feel the need to paste on a plastic, digital-smile through my words.
This blog isn’t supposed to look like me preaching to you all the things I have learned or accomplished or felt like God revealed to me as if they happened to me spontaneously without trial and pain.

This blog was always intended to do two things:

1. To act as an outlet for self-expression for my writing, my feelings, etc.
2. To portray the real me – 100%, warts and all, what-you-see-is-what-you-get me.

I don’t do it this way so that people think I am “so awesome” for being so honest.

That couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact, to be honest about being honest – I don’t share everything with you.
I said it.

But here is where I am coming from in regards to the purpose of my blog:

What is the point of community if you’re not going to be real?
Is it beneficial to anyone to walk around acting like you have all of your crap together all of the time so people feel a certain way about you and around you?
Where does iron begin to sharpen iron?
How can you support me, comfort me, and pray for me if you think I am completely put together all the time?
How can you even get to know the real me if I’m not real in my writings and the words I speak?
How can we come together as a community if we’re not honest?

Sure, we can throw a lot of BBQs.
We can celebrate all the holidays together, make each other laugh with funny stories, and even talk about God together all day long.
All of these things are good, but what is the point if we’re not moving forward together?
What is the point if I don’t KNOW you and you don’t KNOW me?
Not just what music I like to listen to and how I take my coffee, but the true me complete with hopes, dreams, fears, and failings.

Controversial question: Does it even align with Scripture to portray yourself as invincible? Full of all the answers to life’s questions/difficulties? In need of no one but yourself and maybe God?

Community reaches so much further than the 50 mile radius around where you live.

Thanks to technology…. community can reach all the way around the world.

Writing is an outreach.
This blog is me reaching out to you and giving myself to you openly and honestly and exactly as I am.
Comments and messages in response are you reaching back to me saying you are praying for me, laughing alongside me, crying with me, indignant for me, supporting me, and (for some of you, sometimes) understanding exactly what I am going through when I need to know that the most.
It is up to you to respond.
You could just read my blog and that is fine, but it doesn’t become community and relationship until you respond and unless your response is honest and 100% truly YOU.

Writing brings people together.
This is exactly why I named my blog “Words are Avenues”

because words have a way of bringing people together in community to connect us all in this broken, fragmented world where we could otherwise so easily feel absolutely alone.


7 comments on “Honest Community and Real Relationships

  1. What an awesome blog to read as I sit here and drink my coffee. Tasha you should write in the middle of the night more often. I enjoyed reading this. It encouraged me, made me love you more if that is possible, made me think, wow this is my daughter, Im so proud of her! I loved how you showed me that community can even be online. I needed that right now, since I dont have the physical around me and lately have felt kind of isolated. So instead of me just saying whatever I cant drive anywhere and see people I will just stick to myself. I can reach out online to people more. thank you that helps. I love that you are open and honest. Im sorry you had a hard day yesterday. I wanted so badly to be there and hug you. And now I am not even sure if your phone is giving you your texts as soon as I send them? So just know I do usually answer my texts right away especially to you. And I was praying for you. Thank you for your words you sharpen me! I love you.

  2. Christel says:

    I know we don’t know each other personally, but I have met you a few times. I went on a missions trip to NYC with your brother in 2002.
    Anyway, I know what you are going through with your struggle to have a baby. My husband tried for 2.5 years before going to adopt, that fell through and our case was closed last year. All in all, we tried for 4.5 years before getting pregnant. Even though I am pregnant, the pain of infertility still haunts me. I cried reading your post. There were many nights when I just laid in bed and cried thinking God didn’t desire for me to be a mother. But I kept my faith in God and he finally blessed us. Keep holding on to Him and loving Him even though it can be tough. Your journey may not be easy or the way you thought it would be, but when God comes through, all the pain and tears and heart-ache will be worth it. Stay strong and if you ever need somebody to talk to who understands, please don’t hesitate!

    • Christel – Thanks so much for your comment. 🙂
      I just read your blog and I am so touched by your story! I definitely understand the heartache you were so obviously feeling… I am SO glad God has blessed you with a little one and that you are able to rejoice in this time!
      Question: did you ever have an answer on why you couldn’t get pregnant? Did you have some kind of condition, like how I discovered I had PCOS? Or was it simply “unexplained infertility?”

      Thanks again for commenting and sharing. It is nice to know someone else understands and sympathizes. Most of my friends got pregnant very easily (as well as all the women in my family), so it can be so isolating to go through something like this. Your words meant a lot to me….

      • Christel says:

        We never really saught medical help to figure out why we couldn’t conceive. We wanted to trust God with it but part of it was a fear of hearing the dreaded words “you can’t have children.” I had wacky cycles so that didn’t help with timing things. I did get a complete blood work up once and the doctor didn’t find anything wrong and all systems were fine. So basically it was unexplained infertility. Again, if you ever need somebody to talk to who knows what your going through, please don’t hesistate to ask to talk.

  3. Courtney says:

    We tried for 7 months, so I know that feeling of disappointment that comes every month. It is tough. And hard to describe to those who haven’t felt it before. Praying for you, as no words I could say (type) would begin to heal the hurt.

    • So true… I think unless you’ve lived in that cycle of hope – then 100% best effort – then two week wait – and then disappointment – then struggle to find hope to do it all again, it can be hard to really understand the process of “struggling to get pregnant”

      Thanks for your comment, Court. You are such a blessing for an online friend I have yet to meet. 🙂

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