Monday, January 19, 2015

nursing nova: part 7 - the business of refining

{Read Part 1 here}
{Read Part 2 here}
{Read Part 3 here}
{Read Part 4 here
{Read Part 5 here}
{Read Part 6 here}

It's time to close shop on this deal.  I've done everything I needed to do with it.  I experienced and expressed all of the feelings.  I asked God questions and I asked friends/mentors questions.  I reached a point where I was okay and where I was seeing the good.  It's been about 6 months since I had to give up nursing and I'm in a very different place.  It doesn't sting like it used to.

We go through potholes in life where things don't feel the same way they used to feel.  This happens with relationships, hobbies, church, work, etc., and it can feel disillusioning.  Before all of this, I was in a beautiful spot with the Lord - trusting, hoping, recognizing his goodness.  But suddenly, I found myself questioning the very things I had been standing on.  Is God doing this to me?  Why is he choosing not to fix my situation?  Is he really a good God who keeps promises?

One of the hardest things about following God is trusting him when life sucks.  But what I've found is that not running to God when life sucks makes everything so much worse.  There is no hope, no redemption, no growing, and no new life.  Bitterness builds a home very quickly.  Letting God into our terrible times produces a much better result.  We have faith, we are redeemed, we are changed, and we are new.  He is in the business of refining us.
refinement:  the improvement or clarification of something by the making of small changes or the process of removing impurities or unwanted elements from a substance
I want to be more loving, compassionate, patient, and slow to anger, but I don't get those things by having an easy life or by getting everything I've ever prayed for exactly in the way I prayed for it.  Because of this experience with Nova, judgements have been corrected, opinions have been replaced with understanding, and humility has been taught.  There is still much work to be done in me (and there always will be!) but that refining process is happening.  I am also having to do a bit of re-learning to trust God.  Without even realizing it, I have a grip on some things that I used to be better about letting go of.  I will keep learning to trust and surrender though.

Let's talk about The Good Stuff that has come from all of this.  These 2 things stick out:

1.  I can understand people with different stories.  This certainly pertains to nursing.  I understand the logistics, the issues, and the emotions behind all sides of it in a way that I'm very grateful for.  But this lesson has leaked into other areas.  I'm not perfect at it, but I'm really working on trying to get people rather than decide about them. 

2.  There have been things I've been able to do/commit to/participate in with a lot of freedom because I'm not breastfeeding.  The pressure of maintaining feedings and pump sessions while away has not been there.  When I look at the the past several months, there is no way I could've done all of it while nursing. 

At one of my lowest points, a woman in church one Sunday morning came up to me and said that she saw a seed in me.  It was small, but it was there.  She said that I was hanging on so tightly to that seed, not giving up.  She encouraged me to keep pushing; that fruit would come from this dry season.  So if you're in the middle of a frustrating season, all I can say is hang on.  Not because it's what you're "supposed to do," but because you know that he is the life-giver.  He is good and all good things come from him.  Good will come from where you are.  He will redeem it all.  Lean in, choose God, and hang on.

1 comment:

  1. Claire,

    Thank you SO much for this series of posts. I am on the tail end of a very similar situation with my daughter. As a FTM, I was open to BF and whatever may come. She was born at 6 lbs. 2 oz, and quickly lost weight due to her inability to latch. We started supplementing with formula, and then finally around week 4 she began to take more from me. We decided to try EBF for a week, but my supply tanked due to stress and other issues. On the worst day, I realized neither of us was happy. I was emotionally and physically not doing well, she wasn't gaining weight appropriately, and there was no way we could go on like this if I had a choice. It was the most freeing decision to do exclusive bottle feeding. At first, I pumped 4-5x/day so the bottles could be mixed. But then it took longer to get the same amount, and I wasn't as motivated, and now I'm in the process of weaning.

    Your posts helped me so much in the process of deciding how to feed our Avery. I've never felt more at peace and am so thankful for your experience and skill in writing it for others. Thank you so much!



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