Written on Mother’s Day, 2015.
 

This verse mocks me:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:6,7

Be anxious for nothing?

What the **** is God thinking?

It’s Mother’s Day. Last Mother’s Day I was thinking and hoping and praying that I was pregnant. We had tried that cycle, and had tried the cycle before.

A whole year has passed. And who knows when I’ll be a mother, IF I’ll be a mother.

Be anxious for ******************* NOTHING???!!!

I have struggled with my identity and my purpose. I had finally landed on family. I wanted motherhood, pregnancy, childbirth, homesteading, urban living.

BUT WE GOT CANCER.

I am so angry.

But I think mostly I am sad.

I feel like I’ve had a disproportionate amount of trauma in my life.

I could list it all out for you.

Ok, I will.

No, I won’t. It’s too sad and too long to list.

So you’re just gonna have to trust me on this–

That I can’t help but feel like at the age of 25, I’ve had a lifetime’s worth of disappointment, pain, and ruin.

And I am pissed about.

It is so unfair that the word unfair is and unfair word to use because it doesn’t even convey how unfair it is.

Right now I can feel the Spirit prompting me to write encouraging things. It wants me to feel hopeful.

Ok, I guess I do slowly feel better as I write this all out. I’m starting to feel a little bit of that the-worst-things-have-already-happened-to-me-so-what-do-I-have-to-lose sort of feeling.

And…… that was short lived. I’m pissed again.

You know, everyone has THAT tragedy that affects them most. You know, the kind of thing that would just CRUSH them. And I feel like I’ve already had the two most painful things I can fathom – betrayal in my marriage and being denied a biological child and a pregnancy.

Because my greatest dreams in life were to have a good marriage and a biological child.

Now, all hope is not lost. I believe in the beauty of my future. I believe I will have children (adopted and biological), and that I will have a good marriage.

And I KNOW I’m being whiny—

BUT IT IS JUST TAKING SO LONG.

I WANTED TO BE A MOM THREE YEARS AGO. I WAS READY THREE YEARS AGO. MY UTERUS WILL EXPLODE IF I HAVE TO WAIT 3 MORE YEARS, HELL, I CAN HARDLY WAIT 3 MONTHS. 3 WEEKS, EVEN.

And it just feels like God is trying to crush me under his boot, like just really get me all squashed up before the GOOD things in life will come to me.

And it’s an awful, pit-in-your-stomach sort of feeling.

It’s testing my patience.

And it’s making me sad.

No cancer, babies, and a happy life, PRONTO.

PRONTO, GOD.

PUH-RON-TOE.

DO YOU HEAR ME GOD?????????????????????

DO
YOU
HEAR
MEEEEEEEEEE?????

?????

??????

???????????????

!!!!?!?!?!?!??!!

!!!!!!!!!!!
!!
!
!
!!!
!
!
!

!
!
!
!

Ugh. He probably does.

(But that was fun.)

God is so weird.

I’m having flashbacks to when I was a clay pot.

(Go read it.)

(Did you do it?)

(I did.)

And I’m feeling better already.

 

 
 
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I want to have a baby.

I want to go to Africa.

I want a job, a meaning, a purpose.

But life’s on hold.

Do you know what it feels like to not be able to make ONE SINGLE plan?

To have your life SO up-in-the-air, SO anything-could-happen-at-any-time, SO never-knowing-what-will-come-next that you cannot make ONE SINGLE plan?

I have so many unanswerable questions.

(Not even unanswered, unanswerABLE.)

When will BJ’s cancer be over? When will he go into remisson? Will he go into remisson? When will his stem cell transplant be? How long will it take? How long will he need to recover? Will he be able to work? Will we have enough money? When can we take a vacation? When can we have a break? When can we start trying to have a baby? WILL we be able to have a baby? When will this be over? When can we make plans? What? When? How? Who?

Life on hold.

Life.

On.

Hold.

Lord, have mercy on us.

And meanwhile, there’s not a SINGLE person who can relate.

(Well, there probably is, but I haven’t talked to them.)

Everyone else can make plans.

They can make babies and schedule trips.

They can make plans.

They can have dreams.

But I can’t even dream.

Cancer is a death to your dreams– because you can’t dream, you don’t DARE dream. Because you have know idea what the future holds.

So I’m grieving the plan-making.

It’s just too painful to

make a plan
set a date
have a dream

Because the MOMENT I do, plans will change.

This is life, no?

But it feels particularly paralyzing for us.

Our situation, our life, our circumstances, this cancer–

Makes life feel particularly on hold.

So why even dream?
 

Life on hold.

 
 
 

 

 
 
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Happy Birthday, Mom

My Wedding Day, Photography by Bryan Rupp

 
 
Happy Birthday, Mom.

I wanted to thank you because on a day we should be giving YOU gifts, you for gave US an incredible gift.
 
______
 
 
When the cancer just keeps going, the treatments just keep going. When you are nearing a full year of cancer and there is no end in sight–

You need prayer.

You need ALL THE PRAYER YOU CAN GET. Because it works. And it is working. We feel stable and solid. We have energy and hope. But we ONLY have those things because people have prayed. And we DEFINITELY need more.

So today was a gift–

You asked your friends to pray for us.
You gave name to our hurting.
You petitioned for prayers and support…. you asked for “healing, comfort, blessing and hope.”

You didn’t forget us.

And it felt like a gift.

Like you gave your birthday to us.
 
______
 
 
I feel like a birthday-daughter-failure. I couldn’t even muster the energy to send you a card. The time just slipped and then the cards cost $5 and they were just PAPER and then it would arrive late anyways. And then I looked at sending flowers but the budget just seemed too tight and BJ was napping and the time slipped away and I got flustered.

So I was surprised to wake up today and see you had given ME something.

You gave ME a birthday gift.

It was a backwards birthday.

Because you gave us a gift.

And it was like poetry.

This daughter’s guilt crumbled as she received a gift.

And it was a big gift-

the gift of remembrance, of vigil.

The gift of prayer.

And I felt so mothered.
 
______
 
 
Now it seems obvious that a mother (noun) would mother (verb). But that’s not always the case. Life and time and age and marriage and 3,000 miles can make it hard for mothers to mother.

But you know a mother is mother-ing when she gives YOU a gift on her birthday.

And it’s just what I needed.
 
______
 
 
Mom, I know we’ve had hard talks lately, about family, about balance and busy-ness and priorities and the future. I don’t know all the answers. But I know today was something beautiful, and I am so grateful. I didn’t expect such a gift.

So Happy Birthday, Mom.

Not sure what to else to say.

OH, OF COURSE—

I love you.

 

There we go.

 

Happy Birthday.
 

 

 

 
 
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Finding Your Life

 
I’m stealing information from the book Scary Close by Donald Miller, but HEY, HE stole it from Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning.

So let me break it down a bit. Originally, the thought was that man’s deepest desire was pleasure. That idea was touted around by Freud. But Frankl came a long and put it out there that man’s deepest desire is for MEANING.

And man, don’t you agree with that? I mean deep down, doesn’t that ring true to you? We don’t want pleasure, I mean we WANT pleasure but what we WANT want is meaning.

It just makes sense to me. We want MEANING. That’s ALL WE WANT.

I mean, hell, that’s all that I want.

Well anyways, Frankl is a genius and I LOVE how Donald Miller his ideas up:
 

Frankl theorized a sense of meaning was existential, that it was something that passed through us not unlike the recognition of beauty or a feeling of gratitude. And he believed life could be structured in such a way people would experience meaning. His prescription to experience a deep sense of meaning, then, was remarkably pragmatic. He had three recommendations:

1. Have a project to work on, some reason to get out of bed in the morning and preferably something that serves other people.

2. Have a redemptive perspective on life’s challenges. That is, when something difficult happens, recognize the ways that difficulty also serves you.

3. Share your life with a person or people who love you unconditionally.


From Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy by Donald Miller

 
SO GUYS.

That was 3 Simple Steps to find your life’s purpose. Like, really.

So just to prove to you that it works, I wanted to share with you MY answers to the 3 steps. (And boy do I feel energized.)

So here is my life’s purpose, whittled down to 3 simple things:

1. Writing and Singing
2. Jesus, who brings a redemptive quality to everything I do
3. My husband and my future babies.
 

I wanted to elaborate a little on each thing:
 

1. Have a project to work on, some reason to get out of bed in the morning and preferably something that serves other people.

Writing and Singing

I’m owning my blogging now.  That is what I wake up to do (even if I don’t ACTUALLY do it regularly). And releasing my self from doing it professionaly has SET me free. I am truly blessed to be able to pursue my passions without having to consider generating income. My husband’s photography business covers our expenses and we’ve found a balance and a peace to the simpler life we have because I can stay home. Anyways, I blog just to blog, just to write and encourage others. THIS helps me wake up. It’s like an outreach, or ministry, even. This little blog is those lingering cups of coffee I wish I could take with every single person.

Singing is also my passion. It took me a LONG time to figure this out. I thought acting was my passion but NOPE it’s singing. I like singing because I get to be ME. And I like singing worship because I get to be me AND I get to commune with the God I believe in. I have the crazy, incredible, IMMENSE privilege of getting to sing in my church’s worship band and I absolutely LIVE for this. It bring meaning to my life. Purpose. Again, lucky me for having passions that don’t generate income… but I don’t care! These passions give me a deep sense of purpose and for that I am grateful.
 
 
2. Have a redemptive perspective on life’s challenges. That is, when something difficult happens, recognize the ways that difficulty also serves you.

Jesus, who brings a redemptive quality to everything I do

Jesus redeems all the darkness I face. I’ve wanted to die so many times. I’ve had my pits. But when I look at my life, my WHOLE life, I see redemption. It all just makes so much SENSE to me. Read Hebrews 11 from the Message translation of the Bible. That’s it for me. It makes sense in my bones. I am grateful for the glue of God that pieces meaning into my fragmented life.
 
 
3.  Share your life with a person or people who love you unconditionally.

My husband and my future babies.

And finally, family gives me meaning. Not that family is a cakewalk. Honestly, my extended family is full of crazies and I myself am one of the weirdest people I know. And did I mention my marriage is F@$*%! HARDEST thing in my life? It’s hard and messy, but my family gives me meaning, DEEP meaning. And we are looking for MEANING not pleasure, remember? SO yeah, marriage. It’s F&#@*$ HARD (sorry to repeat myself but FUCK marriage is hard.) But it keeps on getting redeemed over and over again (thank you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It’s a big job.)

As for my babies, I’m crazy but I pray for my six little babies every day. They are IN me. I know them. I know their names. (I don’t know whether I’m getting too hippie-dippy for you or too Crazy Christian-y for you but I can’t deny it. I am a Mother and it is my Deepest Truth. I will have my babies and they are a huge part of my life, even now. And NOPE I’m not pregnant. We have no sperm, remember?)

 

SO guys, what’s YOUR entire life’s purpose in 3 simple steps? LIFE IS SO EASY, AMIRITE?????

But seriously, did the 3 steps make sense? You feeling this? I feel like a new woman– like these things TOTALLY clarified and simplified the core of my life. How do YOU feel?

 

 
 
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Ranking the Worst Moments of My Life | andreaenright.net

This photo was taken one, maybe two, days after the worst day of my life. I feel like I’m faking it either REALLY well or REALLY horribly in this photo. And I honestly can’t tell. Can you see the sadness in my face? Or am I a fairly good “life-actor” who convincingly faked that smile?  I’m biased. I can of course see the sadness because I lived it.  Oh and MY how this photo takes me right back to that day.

Would you believe me if I said the last month and a half has been the darkest I’ve faced? And I’ve had some dark times.

Well maybe this was not the DARKEST dark, but it was dark.

First, let me walk you through the 3 darkest points of my life, in chronological order. They’ve all come in the past 4 years. LUCKY ME.


1. Depression, Summer and Fall of 2011
, i.e. right before my wedding and in the months right after. This is why some of you never got thank you notes from our wedding. A million SORRY’s for that. Maybe I should write a full blog post to explain that one. ALSO– this bout of depression was due to endless complications with my birth control meds. It spiraled down quickly and I was switching meds. And gosh. THAT needs to be a blog post too. Note to self– one blog post about my wedding thank you notes and one about my crazy experience with birth control pills.

2. Depression and sadness following a betrayal in my marriage, Fall of 2012. Now I don’t mean to keep this veiled in secrecy. I want to share the full story with you someday, and I know I will. It’s just a delicate topic and will need lots and lots of detail and writing and prep and work. I’ll get around to it, but cancer takes up most of that mental energy. ALSO– side note– my marriage is fully healed from this betrayal. God did a miraculous redemptive work and I can say I am 100% grateful we went through this fiery trial.

3. The Terrible Sperm News, February 2015. I’m too exhausted to give you the full FULL details (someday, I tell you!) but we found out BJ has no live sperm. This topic deserves about 50 thousand blog posts and I plan to write every single one of them, but for now, I give you this information, along with the information that pregnancy and having a natural childbirth is my GREATEST dream. (Now I’m a feminist and I believe women can be WHATEVER the HELL they want to be. Pastors, CEOs, Soldiers. But I have to come to terms with the fact that pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood is MY greatest dream.) And the sperm was dead and so were my dreams. It’s as if my heart and soul died with them. My world ended. And I wrote this. (Now since that post we’ve come to realize we have several options when it comes to conceiving a biological child, but that didn’t change how the news hit me. I wasn’t thinking rationally when the news hit me. I was thinking EVERYONE ELSE GETS TO HAVE BABIES. EVERYONE ELSE GETS TO NOT HAVE CANCER. We have cancer. We have no babies. THIS IS MY BREAKING POINT. I AM DEAD. TAKE ME JESUS.) (Have I mentioned I’m Dramatic?) (But I did mean every word.) (ALSO- I know adoption in an option. BJ and I plan to adopt 2 children. But we have the desire to have 4 biological children. And all of that is my dream. I want biological AND adopted children) But to wrap it up neatly– I have much more peace about our options and the timing of it all NOW. But I still want my pregnancy and my child birth experience. And I will never stop wanting that.
 
ANYWAYS.

If I were to rank my darkest moments, #2 was definitely the worst. And it was amplified by the fact that no one knew what the HELL to do with us. (Believe me, cancer is a MUCH easier crisis for people to handle. Cancer is tidy. But a betrayal in your marriage? People RUN for the hills. It’s too messy for them.) (Also notice how cancer does NOT rank in the Top 3 Darkest Moments. If I were to really “title” my dark moments they would be Depression, Betrayal, and Infertility. All of those were much darker than cancer. But that’s me, that’s from my perspective. I hope to expand more on that thought later. Stay tuned.)

So yeah, betrayal was the worst. Betrayal was Number 1 Darkest Moment Ever. Because it’s betrayal,it’s heart ache, it’s the breaking of a covenant. And it was pretty much entirely preventable. Now your greatest dream dying before your eyes (not being able to have a family) was a close second, and feeling depressed during what is supposed to be the happiest time in your life was a solid third.

Anyways, there it is. A ranking of the darkest moments in my life. I have no idea why I wrote this. I’m feeling great these days, by the way.

I guess I just want to be honest. Get it off my chest. I wanted to get it out there how I was feeling these past 2 months. And it feels safe to process it now. And I want to share myself with my dear little tribe.

 
 
So friends. Are you nut jobs like me who do things like rank their saddest moments? And tell me, what was YOUR saddest moment? Lay it on me, I can handle it. Seriously.

 

 

 

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