I didn't know at the time that I would continue carrying that cross another 6 years.
I didn't know at the time that the cross I was attempting to embrace in Catholic Infertility would define my public persona, on and off the blog, for years to come.
I didn't know at the time what it meant to fully embrace the cross of infertility.
I didn't know at the time that by learning to embrace the cross in a very public way, I would create for myself a life raft that would help me stay afloat when the bigger, heavier crosses made themselves known.
What I knew was very little. About anything. And by creating a space to "vent through the process" and write freely about that aspect of my life, I was humbled and educated by each and every encounter made through the blog - continuing to this day.
I also didn't realize at the time that my very first post would be published in the midst of National Infertility Awareness Week.
Today, This Cross I Embrace looks a lot different in many ways, while at the core, very much the same.
You see, I have tried through the years to write honestly and openly, writing completely hormonal posts, angry posts, wallowing in self pity posts, rejoicing with an ounce of jealousy for others posts, with a (hopefully) healthy amount of encouraging posts, inspiring posts, self-revelation posts, and metaphorical posts. I wrote about Catholic infertility. I focused on Catholic infertility. And, I was able to work through my own cathartic process in a way that may have resonated with others doing the same. I made friends. They became best friends, to this day.
But I kept so much hidden. Because, I didn't think it was pertinent to what I was going through here, and what I was writing about. It bothered me, nonetheless. Because to be *mostly* honest while hiding a major piece of my story isn't my style. And yet, it is what defined this space. I was able to compartmentalize the other cross going on in my life, and leave it off TCIE completely, while talking about everything else under the sun that was affected by, or affected, my infertility.
Today, I find myself in an interesting place. This space, once so familiar and warm, welcoming and inspiring for me, is now approached with hesitation and dare I say fear. Though one thing remains similar - my ability to write *mostly* honestly, while withholding key pieces of my story...
The difference today is that I no longer *wish* to hide anything. And that is my current dilemma, as I must.
The Cross I Currently Embrace (or, am trying to learn to) has so little, and so much to do with Catholic Infertility. It is a quest for identity, that I feel I have always been on. The cross is way different, and the subject matter of any new posts will likewise be much different. But at the end of the day, the journey to accept (and know) what my identity is mirrors my journey through infertility as a childless mother.
I was discussing with a friend the other day about how I have not blogged in a long time because I simply cannot define 'This Cross I Embrace," anymore. How could I, when I can't even define myself, Amy? And if I do try to define my current cross, is it stuck in the past as a wife in an invalid marriage, does it include all of the hidden horror stories that I am choosing, nay hoping, to move on from, and where does it mean that I stand with my readers and followers? Who *really* wants to follow a blog about... a divorced Catholic woman trying to figure out how to fill a vocation to being a wife and mother following a decree of Nullity? I was a childless mother. Now I'm a husbandless wife. Ain't nobody got time for that!
Then I'm reminded. I'm not the author of this cross I embrace. God is. I may pen some trivial, thought-provoking, or maybe mildly amusing anecdotes or messages from time to time, but it is only in response to what is being written in my life, the course God has lead me to. In my own free will, I make daily choices about which road to follow, but He is there guiding me every step of the way, showing me that there are many possible next Chapters in my book.
To all visitors through this past decade - THANK YOU. Even if you hated or vehemently disagreed with what I wrote, I am glad you were here and that you took the time to read. I'm not sure if my story is immediately recognized as one of hope, especially after what has transpired these past 2 years - but I can tell you, it is. God continues to amaze and surprise me, daily. And I look forward to discovering what He has in store for me, next... and sharing it here, with you, as it all unfolds.
We've come a long way, baby... (First Post 4/25/08)