"It's Gonna Be OK" ...right?
"Strength isn't about how much you can handle before you break. Strength is about how much you can endure after you've been broken."
One year ago this week, I was listening to a song on repeat. It's called "Into the Sea (It's Gonna Be OK)" by Tasha Layton.
It was my constant prayer.
I'd listen to it all day while I was working and I would belt it out in the car when I was alone. Sometimes crying as I was singing. Sometimes screaming on back country roads. Sometimes silent as tears streamed down my face.
The lyrics go like this:
My heart is breaking in a way I never thought it could My mind is racing with the question, "Are You still good?"
Can you make something from the wreckage? Would you take this heart and make it whole again?
Though the mountains may be moved into the sea Though the ground beneath might crumble and give way I can hear my Father singing over me
"It's gonna be okay, it's gonna be okay"
I've blamed myself, and if I'm honest, maybe I've blamed You too But You would not forsake me 'cause only good things come from You
This song spoke to me in a way no song ever has.
It was my reminder from God that no matter what happened, everything is going to be OK.
You see, just one year ago this week, we were preparing to go to Iowa City for Brian's TESE surgery (you can read all about that horrible day here).
It was our final hope in having biological children and honestly? NOT finding sperm wasn't a part of the equation in our minds.
"It's gonna be okay, it's gonna be okay," I'd repeat in my head over and over.
It's gonna be okay - they'll extract lots of sperm and we'll do IVF.
It's gonna be okay - Brian will do well during the surgery.
It's gonna be okay - this is just a small stepping stone to the family we so desire.
It's gonna be okay - surgery must be taking a bit longer because they found so much sperm.
It's gonna be okay - God is in control and He would never let this happen to us.
When I was called into the dimly lit exam room where Brian's surgeon sadly told me that they, in fact, did NOT find any sperm,
I suddenly knew that it WAS NOT going to be OK like the song promised. I was NOT going to be ok.
I realize now that at this time last year, there were so many things I didn't know.
I didn't know what it meant to be truly broken.
I didn't know how to process this type of heartache or this type of grief.
I didn't know the person I was about to become and how much this journey would change who I am.
I didn't know how much literal heart break I was about to endure over the next year.
I didn't know the types of sounds my body could make as I sobbed.
I also didn't know how good it felt to let it all out and just cry.
I had no idea how much infertility would affect every single relationship and friendship in my life.
I didn't know my heart could break over and over and over after yet another failed IUI.
I didn't know I could be such an angry person.
I didn't know how deeply my faith would be tested.
I didn't know how to be OK again.
After August 13, 2020, I never heard that song again.
I abruptly removed it from my Spotify playlist and, coincidentally, it has never played on my car radio since.
As I reflect on this past year as we approach the first anniversary of Brian's surgery, I think about how much has changed in a year. Yes, it was definitely a SHIT year and we've been tested in more ways than I can count.
But it's also been a year of strength. And endurance. And proving to ourselves how badly we want this family we are working so hard to get.