Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Oh, the places you'll go...

I can't believe its been 6 months since I last blogged. So many things have happened in that time, and we've been so many places--both physically and emotionally! :) 

In May, I had my 30th birthday and we celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary here at home in Nairobi! Then, at the end of May, Ruco and I traveled to Cape Town so that I could have my second laparoscopy surgery. The doctor that I had found in Cape Town was amazing (Dr. Dawie Slabbert). I can't say enough good about him. He is a strong believer, and I really felt that God had led me to find this doctor. He was able to successfully remove most of the endometriosis (stage 4) and  "restore natural anatomy." 

Right after surgery in Cape Town
 We were so happy! The surgery was successful, and it all worked out with our insurance to have it all covered. Our family (Ruco's mom, dad and brother) had traveled to Cape Town and we all got to be together for a few days. We stayed with Ruco's grandparents who live in Cape Town and I was really spoiled with my mother-in-law and grandmother (in-law??) there to help take care of me after the surgery. It was a sweet time. 

A winery we visited with my VDM family 

Afterwards, when our VDM family went back to Namibia (and we remained in Cape Town), Ruco and I got a little cabin in Hout Bay. It was freezing cold, but it was magical. We had a rental car and would drive up and down those mountains, through state parks, to Ruco's favorite restaurant when he was a kid, and to eclectic coffee shops that reminded us of living in the Bay Area. I absolutely fell in love with Cape Town and loved the time Ruco and I got to spend there together.

our cabin in Hout Bay 

Cage diving with great whites...ahh! 
Stunning CT

Hiking up to Cape Point
After our South Africa trip, we headed to Juba, South Sudan where I accepted a short-term work assignment for the summer. We had a blast! We met so many amazing people and loved getting to know more of South Sudan. All summer, I thought incessantly of all things baby. I was just so hopeful after the surgery! We had tried to conceive for the prior 2 years, but now we knew what the problem was, and it was all fixed! Surely, it would happen soon! So, each month when my period would come (post surgery), it was absolutely devastating. I questioned God's purpose in all of this. It was crushing when someone would mention that children are a "blessing from the Lord." I know that this is true, but this fact makes it apparent that God is withholding this blessing from us. Additionally, because I can wrongly be so works oriented, I would conclude that God is punishing me or that we aren't doing enough for Him. If we were, God would desire to bless us with a baby! Friends quoted this verse from Psalm 84:11: "For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly." So, automatically my mind would think, "well, then, we need to walk more uprightly!" My understanding of God and his infinite love and grace was so muddled through my pain and hurt. 

When we went back to Nairobi, I was extremely sad. What we had envisioned for our life just wasn't panning out. I felt crushed and defeated. Infertility, or longing for something to this degree, is extremely painful. As Proverbs 13:12 says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick..." My heart was extremely sick, and I was so easily swayed emotionally by our circumstances.

Then, in September, Ruco and I received our "home leave" vacation, as we had celebrated one year in Kenya. Instead of going to the US though, we knew we needed time together (just the two of us). My trip planner extraordinaire created a trip itinerary that took us through South East Asia again (Malaysia and Cambodia this time), and then the Maldives and Turkey. This trip was exactly what I needed. I can't even put into words how good it was for my soul. I cried out to God daily, expressing my hurt and pain. And while we didn't fall pregnant on our trip, what I did receive was a new and deeper understanding of the love of Christ. The more I would cry out to God, the more I understood that He is the one that provides true and everlasting joy to my heart, and He is GOOD and loves me so much. And I understood this verse so differently: "For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly." Because God is good and gives good things to his children, this withholding is good. He is infinitely wise, and if he is withholding a pregnancy from us, it is the best thing for us right now. Because He says, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11. 

Angkor Wat  sunrise

We rode tuk-tuks everywhere in Cambodia!
Malaysia-snorkeling with reef sharks and sea turtles...so cool! 
Visiting the Angkor temples in Cambodia!

The BEST travel buddy!!

a bosphorus cruise in Turkey 
In this season of sorrow, I am resting in the knowledge that His grace is sufficient for me, and His power is made perfect in my weakness! I will boast all the more GLADLY of my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon me! (2 Cor. 12:9). I am broken. But through my brokenness, he is restoring my relationship with Him. And through that restoration, He is making me whole again (with or without a baby). 

I am so excited to see His GOOD plans for us unfold, whatever they might bring. But in the mean time, I am attempting to be content in any and every situation (Phillipians 4:12). :) 

rainbow in Cape Town


grandmama said...

o my darling girl, your words from your heart are beautiful...God will not leave you broken..He sees your heart and hears your cry and the plans He has for you and ruco are amazing..i love you dearly and pray for you daily..grandmama

Mrs. J Manny said...

beautiful. beautiful words. beautiful moments. beautiful soul. I cant wait to hug you! I LOVE YOU!

Emily Ley said...

Oh Tori. I'm on an airplane flying to Atlanta where I have to share our infertility with 150 women. I am SO inspired by your words and feel a renewed sense of calm in my heart. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I know our journeys are different, but I want you to know that having gone through this once... having experienced God's INCREDIBLE goodness with Brady's birth... and now facing infertility and our 24th month unsuccesful again... God's plan is so much better than our own. Even when He allows our hearts to break and bleed from the pain. You are going to be a remarkable mother and I am praying for you and Ruco and your future babies every single day. Thank you for blessing me with these words today, Tori. I feel like I got to hug your neck this morning. I love you xoxo Em

The Reeds said...

Crying as I read this. I'm so sorry... :( I'm thankful that He is a comfort. But I'm also sorry for your pain... :(

Sarah Cook said...

while you and I are on vastly different journeys, beliefs and walks, I admire you so much. I know how hard it is to put your pain out for others to see. But, as someone who has learned to open up to others (even strangers) about my struggles, I have found that it's made a vast difference in their lives and it's come back to me seven fold! Keep your chin up. You are always in my thoughts and I am very hopeful for the day that you can call a baby your very own.