No, the toilet pic here isn’t supposed to be a hangover reference, though I admit there are some aspects of this process that make me so nauseated I feel like hugging a toilet bowl. Bear with me. (If you must know…I chose this pic for this post because the lovely painted wallpaper in the botanical baño just celebrated her first birthday, and she’s still so excited about her debut on Design Sponge this past Monday…sorry, her words, not mine.)
Thursday’s post about our infertility journey was a big one for me. SO, naturally, I’ve been thinking about it and dwelling on it and mulling it over and going crazy with the “yikes, you said that?”s and the “maybe you went a little too deep”s and, my personal favorite, “what on EARTH do they think of you now??”
But being a longtime fan of Brené Brown, I recognize these thoughts for what they are – classic symptoms of a “vulnerability hangover”, which is just what it sounds like – that feeling you get after baring your soul and being vulnerable that pretty much makes you want to stay in bed with a pillow over your head and medicate with strong coffee and several McDonald’s Sausage Egg McMuffins. The unfortunate news is, VULNERABILITY HANGOVERS ARE A REAL THING, GUYS. But the good news is, I’ve discovered a solution to the maddening thoughts that doesn’t require me to stay bedridden (and BONUS, isn’t 3,000 calories!!).
My cure? It’s YOU. If you’re reading this, you’re already helping me. And chances are, you’ve had something to do with me sharing that post, whether you know it or not. And I’m not talking about a plural “ahhh I couldn’t do this without all you general nameless wonderful people” – I’m talking about specific instances, specific names and interactions that come to mind. And I’m SERIOUSLY considering how I can list each instance here on this post so you guys know how crucial your pieces are in my story – and so many others’ stories. I know that’s not possible, so I’m going to give just a FEW examples here.
- a beautiful stranger, Tamara, who saw our home on the Jungalow and was brave enough to write an email a few weeks ago to tell me she was praying for us and for our fertility and then specifically prayed for a “double portion” for us, and sent along two verses that also specifically referenced asking God for a double blessing (she had no idea that those verses meant so much to me, nor did she have even the slightest clue we’d been praying for twins)…and her email arrived mere days before I was planning to start writing – I had no plans of including the “crazy person asking God specifically for twins” part, but her email was essentially a megaphone announcement from Jesus informing me that this was a crucial part of our story and couldn’t be left out, no matter how crazy.
- a best-selling author (best-selling authors are amazing, individual, wonderful people too!!), Shauna, whose work has always inspired me in so many ways, but specifically: I read her book Bread & Wine while on vacation a few months after our miscarriage, and she writes so beautifully about her journey, which included secondary infertility finally ending in pregnancy. And this may sound weird, but it was actually the frustration at hearing that of course her prayers were eventually answered, but mine hadn’t been yet, and why can’t we read the stories of others who are still struggling…which gave me the thought that maybe I should share my story while I’m still wandering in the unknown and the wanting, waiting, hoping, and praying.
- a dear and close friend, Sara, who endlessly inspires me as she lives in a steady season of waiting, grieving, praying, and yet still offers up her whole heart and her uncertainty and her need, still pushes forward into the unknown, walks with courage, surrenders to the process, and is one of the most raw and beautiful and honest women I know.
- and I love that I can trace things back through so many individual threads to see what an amazing tapestry is being woven all around us…this entire blog would still be a faint idea if Jen weren’t so insistent on me getting my site up, and the content of the blog would be who-knows-what if I hadn’t gotten a repost from Grace on Instagram so long ago which was my first indicator that maybe home decor is my art/creative process, and my home wouldn’t be half of what it is if it weren’t for the paintings of dear friends like Rachel and Lauren, and I wouldn’t even know Jen if it weren’t for Melody, and who knows what our relationship would be if it weren’t for Jenn and the freedom ministry at Journey Church, and if it weren’t for Journey I wouldn’t have met my dear Celena who keeps me chasing after truth and who introduced me to the amazing and inspiring Lindsay and said we should start a business together without which I’d never have met Steph at the Cleveland Flea where we connected with so many amazing Clevelanders who have encouraged me/us at every turn, like Sam (who I incidentally also met at Journey) who inspires me to no end and brought me back to Harness where I connected with Dani and Anne who facilitated some extremely crucial soul searching and self-expansion in our recent instructors training, which built perfectly upon recent teachings I’d been impacted by at King’s Church and…and YOU GET THE IDEA.
The list goes on and on and on and on…and while I wish I could list every single person who’s so crucial to my process, this is actually about way more than just thanking those who make me who I am. It’s a reminder to all of us that we have no idea who we might be touching when we live wholeheartedly, walk in obedience, and trust God with our stories.
Thank you for being who you are…and whatever you’re up to today, remember that you touch so many more lives than you think. Thank you so much for impacting mine.