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I Passed!!

Many people know that I have driving anxiety. For years, just the thought of driving would make me completely freeze up. My entire body would stiffen up, and I wouldn’t be able to move. I just couldn’t do it. If I did get behind the wheel, I would have a panic attack. And so I hadn’t gotten my license as a teenager.

And so when we learned that I was pregnant, I knew I needed to get my license. There was no longer any choice in the matter. I had to fight the anxiety and fight the fear. But I knew that my hubby didn’t have the time to try to teach me, and he wouldn’t push me as much as I needed to be pushed to get my license.

So I called a driving school around our area. They would come to the house, pick me up, we would drive around, and they would drop me off at the house once we were done. The very first time, I had a panic attack right before my instructor arrived. I told myself that I can have this attack right before, and that I wouldn’t be allowed to have another one while I was driving. Somehow, I didn’t have one. That very first lesson, my instructor scheduled my road test. I hadn’t expected to actually have him set it up right away–or at least not for less than two months away. I had thought I would have a couple of months, until the end of summer at the earliest. But, he scheduled my test for today.

After about ten hours of practice with my instructor, and a few hours with hubby, I took the test. I was terrified. I didn’t know if I could do it. I started the test, and tried my best. I didn’t think I had passed as I was taking the test. I could have sworn I had failed.

But by the grace of God, and thanks to tons of prayer from my instructor, myself, and my friends, the instructor said I passed. I couldn’t believe it. I was shaking. How could I have passed? I didn’t think I had done well enough to pass. Through God, I was able to. And my instructor told me afterwards that I had the toughest tester in Monroe County. So, if I passed with her, there was no way I didn’t deserve my license.

This doesn’t mean that my driving anxiety is gone, or that I won’t have another panic attack when driving. Or that I’m not going to screw up and do something wrong. But the fact that I actually took, and passed, my road test showed how much I have grown in the last couple of months since starting the lessons.

Now, to continue to be confident in driving and to learn from my road test and lessons.

Journey

Three years ago, Hubby and I got married. Before we got married, I hadn’t really been around that many children. And so I didn’t want children until we had been married a few years–I had even put this in my vows that we would have children after a few years.

And then I got to see my nephew start to grow, and got closer to him. And that changed everything. I began to think about having children earlier, and wanting to feel the baby inside of me, and wanting to see our children grow up.

And so, after a little discussion and thoughts, we decided to begin to try to have children, and I got off of my birth control, which I had been on for approximately nine years.

At the time that we started, I had just started my new job. Hubby had only been at his job a year. We were both living in a small, one and a half bedroom apartment.

We had thought that we wouldn’t have any issues getting pregnant. We were both young, and in good health. It hadn’t really occurred to either one of us that it may take longer than a couple of months.

A couple of months passed. No period. Every pregnancy test was negative. It didn’t feel like I was going to get my period, and it didn’t feel like I was pregnant. I didn’t understand what was going on. So, I went to my doctor’s. She gave me reassurance that after being on birth control for so long, it could take six months to a year for my period to regulate, and so it was normal that I hadn’t gotten it yet.

Six months to a year go by. I occasionally got my period, but it was far from regular. And every time it didn’t come that month, I would get my hopes up. I would pray that we would be pregnant–that there were be two lines, instead of just one. I didn’t understand why it hadn’t happened yet.

Finally, after another year or so, I decided to go to the doctor again about our infertility. And, I got answers. I was diagnosed with anovulation, meaning that I wasn’t ovulating every month. They ran blood work and did ultrasounds to make sure that it was simply from being on the birth control for so long, rather than from polycystic ovaries or anything similar to that. The doctor gave me some medication to take once I got my cycle next. She said that it may not work the first month I tried it–it could take a couple of months, and if it didn’t work after three months, we would regroup and try to figure out what to do.

And so I set my sights on the second or third month for it to work. I never expected for it to work the first month.

I felt the same as I did any other month when it was nearing my estimated date to start. I was just waiting–waiting for that day where I would want to crawl in a hole and wallow in self-pity for not being pregnant.

But it didn’t come. And after a week, and some strange dreams, I finally decided to face my fear and take a pregnancy test.

And it was positive. I could not believe it–seriously could not believe that it was true, and that we were finally pregnant after trying for a couple of years. It just…it couldn’t be true in my mind. It just couldn’t be.

But it was. Three tests later confirmed that it was true. My anxiety skyrocketed because I couldn’t believe that it was true. I just kept saying that this had to be a lie–that the tests all had to be wrong. That I wasn’t really pregnant. That this was just some kind of sick joke, just another way for my hopes to get up and just to have them pulled from right underneath my feet, like so many things that had happened lately.

There was one day I literally could not function because my anxiety was so high. I was bawling. I couldn’t even get ready for work. I was just so scared that something was wrong, and that it was a lie. And so I went to the doctor. She said it was normal to be anxious, but that they would get my blood work done and schedule an ultrasound to confirm that we were pregnant.

My blood work came back with only a Vitamin D deficiency, and now have to take a vitamin once a week for the next few weeks, and then have to take a supplement every day because it was so low. And I anxiously waited for the ultrasound to see our baby, and confirm that this really was happening, and that it wasn’t going to be taken away from me.

Imagine my surprise then, when we learned that we were supposed to have twins. Twins, which we didn’t think ran in either of our families. Twins. But it appeared that we had lost one, approximately the same time I had the day where I couldn’t function because of my anxiety. But there was still one healthy baby there, who was growing right on time and had a heartbeat of 147 beats per minute.

There really was a baby in there. There was absolutely no denying that fact. There was no way that this was being pulled from underneath me right now.

And now, I’m 11 1/2 weeks pregnant. And I am finally happy. I am finally excited. I am finally joyful.

I am finally celebrating my own Mother’s Day, which for the past couple of years I have not wanted to face, where I have wanted to just stay in bed and ignore that it was happening.

Looking back on all of it, I have realized just how perfect God’s timing is, and how terrible my own would have been. It makes me so very thankful that God’s plan is always better than my own.

Had things gone the way that I wanted them to, we would have had this child while we were in a small apartment, and we wouldn’t have been able to save enough money for a down payment for a house. There’s no telling how terrible, or good, things would have been if things happened in my timing.

But things happen in God’s timing and His way. And now, we have a huge house to grow in and an even bigger backyard to play in and to make our own. We both have learned more in our jobs and been given opportunities we never thought possible. We have both grown in our faith in God and in our love for each other.

God’s timing is always perfect. No matter how we want things to happen, God always has a better plan and better timing. It was something that I struggled with the last couple of years while we were trying and I didn’t understand why He hadn’t allowed us to get pregnant yet. But now, it all makes perfect sense. It all fits perfectly in my mind, and I see the picture that God always had intended us to have.

And it brings me to tears–this time, finally, of happiness. This is really finally happening. I don’t have to be anxious–He will not take this baby away from me. This baby will grow up, and will see His love and see His perfect plans. And I cannot wait to see this all happen.

baby reveal

Blessed

When I was younger, my mom and I were barely making it. My mom had left my dad when I was three, and we moved a few states away, and stayed with family for a few years. My mom is considered disabled by the government due to her depression and anxiety. And so she can only work part time. And so as a child, I wasn’t able to do a lot. I wasn’t able to take dance classes, or do anything that required a lot of money. My clothes didn’t come from the big name brand companies–they usually just came from stores like Wal-Mart or K-Mart. I didn’t get hand-me-downs because I was an only child, although I did get some things from my cousins.

When I was sixteen and wanted some nicer things, my mom told me that I had to get a job in order to get them. Money was too tight. I couldn’t have a cell phone. I had to make sure that I raised a lot of money in fundraisers to be able to go on trips. And so I got a job, and worked throughout my junior and senior years of high school, not really being able to hang out with friends and enjoy being a teenager.

I had to work throughout college in order to pay for books. I had to take credit cards out in order to help supplement paying for the books when I didn’t make enough. I planned our wedding on a budget, and took advantage of any deal that we could manage to get.

But today, I have been reminded just how blessed I am.

Recently, I was offered a promotion at my job. I’ve been with my company about two years now. I was shocked when they offered me the promotion. When I interviewed for my current position, my boss said that there wasn’t much room to move up in the company. And I said that that was fine–I didn’t care about being high up or anything, as long as I enjoyed my coworkers and my work. And it’s true.

That’s why I turned down the position. It was to become the receptionist at our company. I would be sitting at desk, by myself, sometimes with the president of the company across from me. At first, I thought I would be okay with it. I thought that I would enjoy the quiet of the position, and being able to get a lot of work done. But, I missed my coworkers too much, even though I could easily hear them from above me, and had lunch with them still. I missed being able to talk to someone who was right beside me.

I was also terrified of the depression coming back. I could already feel the loneliness creeping back, the questioning of if I was doing a good enough job, the not feeling included in everything. I could feel every part of the depression starting to creep back into my head. And I knew then that I couldn’t do that position. There was no way I was going back to that time of my life, when I was scared and alone. I wasn’t going to make the battle any worse than it already was.

And so I am blessed because I was at least offered the position–offered the chance to do even better than I already was, and I was blessed to have the top three people in the company say that I would do great and that they wanted me to do that position.

But I’m blessed for so many more reasons. I have a loving family (although they drive me crazy sometimes) and I was blessed with my husband being my best friend as well, great coworkers, great friends, and a great church family.

We have two small groups that we lead–a Young Adult small group, and a Young Married Couples small group. In both of these small groups, we have made relationships with people that we probably wouldn’t have met before, and who we now have life-long friendships with. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for every person in each of the groups, and how He plans to have us all continue to grow together.

And I’m getting a book published. When I was younger, I never expected to be able to get a book published. I never thought that my writing would ever be good enough to get published. I dreamed of it–hoped that maybe one day I would be able to. And then God blessed me with the ability to get a book published. It’s still in the process, and I’m still waiting to hear back about a final copy of it, but it is nearly complete. I cannot wait to see it in person and to actually hold it in my hands.

I’m not meaning to brag here (okay, maybe a little) but also to show you that life does get better. When my husband and I first got married, we were barely able to make it because I was only working part-time while in college. And now, we both have good paying jobs, and we both love what we do and our coworkers. Neither one of us plan on leaving our companies any time soon.

The things that you are going through right now is not your final destination. It is not where you are going to be forever. Your difficult situations will get better. Your good situations will get even better. Every day is a new day, and every day can be better than the last. Some days they will be harder, but each day is new and is worth fighting.

It is always worth fighting. Never give up. Things will always get better. There are always going to be difficult times, but you can so easily overcome them. And then, you will look back and say “Wow. That wasn’t too bad.” Or you will say “Wow. I can’t believe I survived that. But I did.” And that’s what matters. Life is such an amazing thing, and I cannot wait to see what God has planned for me.

 

Love,

Beth

It hurts

It hurts. Every month. It hurts. It feels like I’ve been punched in the gut. It feels like I’m a failure. It feels like something’s not right. It feels like I’m doing something wrong.

Every comment, intentional or not, hurts. Takes my breath away. Makes me want to break down in tears. Makes me want to scream.

It’s the fact that I’m not pregnant yet. Hubby and I have been trying for over a year now, and we haven’t had any luck. And I don’t know why. And that bothers me. It bothers me to give it all to God and to trust that He has plans.

I know that God has this all under control, and that He knows why I haven’t gotten pregnant yet. But I want to know why. I want to know why I haven’t had any luck. I want to know why I feel like such a failure. I want to know what I’m doing wrong.

And I want the pain to end. I don’t want to be hurting anymore. I don’t want the unintentional comments of my mother-in-law to hurt anymore. The simple “Oh, that looks so natural!” as I hold a baby doll in my arms. The simple “Oh, it’s so nice to have everyone around this table. Just wait until it’s filled with 5 grandchildren!”

I don’t want to feel pain as I look at my nephew, or at a pregnant woman walking down the street. I want to know what it’s like. I want to know what a baby kicking you feels like. I want to know what is going on.

But I also know that when God does allow me to get pregnant, it’s all going to make sense. The fact that I haven’t gotten pregnant yet, the reason why I’ve hurt so much emotionally. It’s going to all make sense.

 

I just wish that it would make sense now.

Changing

It’s amazing to me how much can change in six years. Six years ago, I was about to enter my senior year in high school.

I come from a small town. A place where, at the time when I was growing up and living in ignorance, you felt safe walking around as a teenaged girl by yourself. You didn’t feel like you would be robbed or attacked. You felt…safe.

And then I moved to college, where my world was opened up. I realized that my friends whom I had had in high school weren’t really my friends, and I realized that the world isn’t a safe place. I learned that I had lived in ignorance my entire life. And I was grateful for having been that ignorant when I was young. It made me more open to the world, and more optimistic about things. There are some times I wish I was still that ignorant.

Facebook has their memory app, and I saw a post I had made six years ago. And seeing it actually made me chuckle at myself, and wonder what I was thinking.

“So I went for a walk today. It made me realize that in just one year…I’m no longer going to be in this small town. It depresses me- this place is the town I’ve grown up in my whole life. This is where my life is- my friends, my family….I don’t want to leave, but I know I have to in order to learn and to grow. I just hope I can come back to this town one day….”

Twenty-three year old me is shaking my head, and saying how I wished I had known more back then. I didn’t realize just how much I would change in college. I hadn’t realized just how much I had changed while I was in college, until seeing this post.

At seventeen, I was naive. I was simply dating my husband at the time, and we had plans for our future. I was going to go to college (at that time, certain I would go to one college, but ended up at another) to be an English teacher. He was going to go to trade school for carpentry for two years. And when I was done with my schooling we were going to get married, and build on his parents’ land, which we would buy from them. We had the lot picked out and everything. We were going to have children after five years of being married, and they would have some of the same teachers we had. We thought we knew everything.

And then I went to college 100 miles away, and fell in love with the town. I still had the small town feel I wanted with it, and yet had the excitement of a city. And so our plans changed. I changed my major.We got married. We bought a house in the college town. And now, we’re trying for kids after two years.

I knew early on that I no longer wanted to come back to my small hometown. He took a little convincing, but I knew that I didn’t want to return. At least, not for good. My mother still lives in my hometown, and so we go for weekend visits, but it’s not the same. I can’t wait to go back to my own home. That town is no longer my home. My college town is my home, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I write this because it shocked me how much I had changed in six years. And so, if you’re not happy with where you are in life right now, don’t worry about it. Things will change. You will change. And you may not realize it happening, but it will happen. And so don’t feel like you’re stuck. You can change, and you may not realize how much you are changing for a few years. Hopefully, you change for the better.

Love you all!

Welcome

Hi everyone! Welcome to my page!

This is all new to me, so forgive me if it’s a little all over the place. Since this is my first blog post, I’ll use it mainly just to give you a little bit of information on myself.

My name is Elizabeth, although most people just call me Beth. Two years ago, I married my best friend and my high school sweetheart. Right now, we only have our little furbaby, who keeps us on our toes all the time. We currently lead a small group for Young Adults at our church, and we are loving it. Most of my free time is spent writing fictional novels, and baking.

I am a writer and an accountant (strange, I know). I am in the process of getting one of my books published. And let me tell you, its much easier than I first anticipated. And it happens so quickly, too! I never expected it to happen as quickly as it did.

I decided to name this blog “Creating Your Happily Ever After” because I want people to realize that you can create a happily ever after for yourself. It doesn’t mean that it’s with someone, and it doesn’t mean that it’s alone. You have to be happy with yourself, before you can be happy with anything that you have around you. I know this because it’s something I’ve fought with nearly every day. I’ve fought with trying to stay happy every day, no matter what the world throws at me. And sometimes, I fail. And sometimes, I succeed. I have dealt with depression throughout most of my life, and I feel that its a never-ending battle. Even if you’re no longer on medication, or going to a therapist, you’re still fighting. I believe that it carries with you all the time. You worry when it will spike again, when you’re no longer going to have the stamina to fight.

And that’s when you wonder how you can deal with whatever life is thrown at you. You wonder how you can manage to get the money to do this. You wonder how you can manage to get the grade to pass the class. You wonder how you can smile through the pain.

And yet…you do. God gives you the strength. God helps you to be able to get through it all. Maybe this strength is taken simply from yourself. Maybe its derived from the people around you. But no matter what, you manage to get through it all. You manage to fight the battle with depression, and win. Even if its just for that day.

My favorite bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This is what has gotten me through the difficult times. Any time I wonder how we’re going to survive the latest hurtle, I remember this: God doesn’t plan on you failing. He wants you to succeed, and to be happy.

I tend to be very impatient, and so when things don’t happen as quickly as I want them to, I begin to get anxious, and worry if I did something wrong. And then I read that verse, and I try to remember: God’s timing is perfect. My timing is not. And so even if I think that right now is the perfect time for something to happen, I realize that its not. God has a better time in mind, and His time is perfect. So I have to learn to let go of control and let God take over. This is something I struggle with every day.

So that’s it for this first post. This blog will be about my adventures in becoming a published author, my adventures in a new house, and my adventures in the kitchen. Hopefully I will be able to post any really good recipes that I find, and you can enjoy them as much as we do!

Love you all, and remember…you are never alone. Someone else in the world has gone through the same thing. Someone else knows exactly how you feel. You just have to be willing to ask for that help.

 

With love,

Beth