Sunday, March 05, 2006
A Day of Ups and Downs
Bob and I went to church today. It was snowing as we drove and we were looking forward to seeing our church family again.
We got to church and I pulled out the manual wheelchair. It's the best we can do when it's wet outside. The power chair can't get wet, so we weren't able to load it in the ramp and take it to church. I pushed Bob inside and parked him at the end of a row. Praise and worship had already started, so we settled in to join in. My friend Katherine sat with us.
Towards the end of the worship singing I had to use the bathroom. Once inside I realized I had my period. I went back out to sit with Bob. I had been gone so long he wondered if I was OK. I whispered that I had my period and then I started to cry. As people were worshipping around us, I just cried as Bob held me. I felt like such a failure. In fact, I was feeling so sad and overwhelmed, I had to write it all down. This is what I wrote in my day planner:
"I got my period in church today. Two full days late. Way to make me feel like a failiure. Not only am I NOT pregnant, but I get to experience my barrenness in the midst of all the Christian fertility in the world and in the midst of a plethora of pregnant bellys, children, and families at church. Are there other women who are struggling with infertility here? Who knows. There are children and families everywhere I look. Most families have 2 or 3 kids, but there are several with 4 or 5 kids and even one family with 8. Off the top of my head I cannot think of one married couple of childbearing age that does not have kids. It seems as though fruit falls from the loins of every other couple at church but us. It concerns me that I cannot think of another woman who might be struggling with this at church. I even put a note in the offering plate asking if anyone knows of other such women. I would like to form a support or prayer group if there is even one other woman here like me. Why did this happen here today? Why must I be so empty in a place so full of pregnant bellys, fertile wombs, and families full of children? Why am I such a failure in something that seems to come so easily to every other woman here at church? What am I doing wrong?"
That's what I wrote as tears fell all through church. I ached and cried and sniffled and wished I was somewhere else the entire time. In fact, as soon as the service was almost over, I grabbed my jacket and purse and told Bob I would get the truck and meet him out front. This is where our day swings upwards.
As I was fleeing our church, I heard my name being called behind me and someone stood in my path at the door. I was crying and sniffling and not sure what was going on. They said our pastor wanted me and Bob at the front of the church. Confused, I dropped my jacket and purse in the back and walked to where Bob sat. I grabbed the handles to his wheelchair and wheeled him to the front of the church.
I was embarrased that I had obviously been crying and could not look at anyone. I just stood there rubbing Bob's back while our Pastor explained that he was surprising us. He said we didn't know he was going to do this and that much is true. We stood there wondering what this was about.
Pastor talked about how we've been learning to live with Bob's MD for the past 4 years and how Bob is one of the best men he knows. He spoke of Bob's courage and compassion. He spoke of Bob's faith and love for God. He shared how Bob is an inspiration and testimony to him of God's grace and goodness. He told our congregation of our need for the van and how we were so close. Then he asked our church to come forward and bless us. They set an offering plate in Bob's lap and invited anyone who would like to to come forward and place an offering in the plate.
It was overwhelming. The line of people was HUGE! They just kept coming. Bob and I bawled and felt so humbled and unworthy of such an outpouring. So many people came to hug us and tell us they love us and are praying for us. Even tiny little kids came forward with dollar bills to put in the plate. By the time the last person came through, the plate was overflowing with cash and checks. it was amazing and so unexpected.
We separated out the checks made out to the church and took the rest home. By the time we got it all added up, we had roughly $3600! Can you even imagine? We have almost all the money we need now to get the van thanks to the kind and generous people of our church.
So a day that started out kind of sucky certainly didn't end that way. Oh, although, when we got home Metro Mobility called and said they can't get Bob a return ride from the doctor's tomorrow so they cancelled him altogether. That means he cannot give his specimen to his reproductive specialist. Suck. I will need to call them tomorrow to reschedule. Hopefully we can get him in before my appointment on the 16th. Arggggg! Still, it's hard to be too frustrated after such a show of love and support from our church family.