Every message I get, every review posted, every thank you received has been tucked away into the depths of my soul.

They are the reminders of how I mother, of how I honor my babies and they are the reminders I desperately need along this journey of breaking the silence of infertility and getting people to hear the healthy messages of Ever Upward.

This past Saturday, the closing day of National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), in the exhaustion of working three jobs without an assistant, I was gifted magic.

Despite my weary heart from the hard work of my #MoreThan1in8 project, God knew my NIAW wasn’t finished when He presented me with my first big speaking engagement. With only a few days notice I was asked to tell my story at the Gateway to Parenthood conference put on by the Missouri Center for Reproductive Medicine.

After two years of the constant marketing of Ever Upward with what at times feels like no return, there was no way I could say no.

What I did not realize is that I was saying yes to me.

Waking up before the crack of dawn on a Saturday after the busiest week of my career was only saved by my curled hair, cute navy dress, heels, and of course, my Plexus and coffee.

Sitting at the table with Chad and my mom as people began to mill around I was taken aback when a tall woman with dark hair approached my table right away.

“Justine?” she said.

I stood up and reached out my hand, “Yes, I’m Justine Froelker.”

“Hi, I’m Jen Myers from Y98 (aka our keynote speaker for the day). I follow you on Twitter and had to meet you.”

My heart skips a beat as I force myself to take a deep breath but there is no calming down the excitement that she had to meet me?

“Oh, hi! It is so nice to meet you,” I reply. “Thank you so much for using your huge platform to continue to speak about your infertility journey and losses. We need voices like yours.”

She shakes her head, “Thank you, for the work you are doing.”

We go on to bitch as fellow warriors about how brutal this journey is and how difficult her PCOS diagnosis has been.

When she walks away, I sit down and look at Chad and my mom with eyes wide in star struck gratitude, “Well, that was amazing!”

The first few hours we man my table as most people walk right by us without stopping. Which I can’t blame them for, I didn’t have any sign ups, free candy or massages to give away, just bookmarks with my wise words and my beautiful breakaway monarch from the book cover and my smile. Most of the attendees of the conference hadn’t even realized they each had a copy of my book in their gift bag.

Until, they started reading.

“My husband has been reading your book all morning as I’ve been wondering around the tables, he can’t put it down. He just told me how good it is.”

Eventually, they began to trickle in for me to sign their copies.

I was supposed to speak at 11. As I was calming myself with deep breaths and rehearsing in my head, one of my now friends and volunteers asked me, “Would you try it again?”

“No, we wouldn’t,” I replied not sure of what she was really trying to get at.

“Really?”

“Well when the money is gone, it’s gone. And, when you’ve reached a place of acceptance, albeit with forever longing and sadness, it is still acceptance.”

“What if you won the free round giveaway today? Would you try again then?”

I was very much taken aback by this question but I knew my answer right away, “No, we are done.”

Just as we are not signing up for the costs and struggles of the adoption journey, we are finished with the costs and the struggles of the infertility journey.

We did not get what we wanted, hoped for, dream of and paid for but we are done, we know our enoughs and everythings. And, I am okay with that, complicated gray of longing joy and all.

At 11:30 it was finally my turn to speak.

I hadn’t prepared a ton. Frankly, I was too exhausted to prepare my talk after the grueling week of NIAW. For the first time, maybe in this whole journey I trusted.

God put this in my life, He would take care of it.

I took the microphone and I spoke. I taught. I loved.

I was myself.

I delivered one of the best talks of my life, because it was my story and my messages. And, I know both are needed and help myself and others.

And. It. Felt. Great.

He has finally revealed my dream to me in a way I can understand, an answered prayers for sure.

It wasn’t until people came to thank me, that I realized just how much people in our community need these messages.

A husband through tears, “Thank you. You made me feel for the first time in three years. This has been so hard.”

A woman with her friend, “Thank you for being the only person to get up there and say that sometimes this doesn’t work and you can still be okay. Thank you for having the courage to speak anyway, we need to hear those stories too.”

One of the infertility clinic’s patient coordinators, “I’d like to buy your book. I’ve had several patients tell me how great your talk was and that I have to read your book.”

A couple, “Thank you so much for all the resources, we’ve already downloaded some of the things you talked about. We’re going to do the gratitude journals too!”

Another couple, “Thank you for getting it and for still speaking.”

Another woman, “Thank you for honoring and speaking about the struggle.”

As the emails trickle in as these hundreds of people finish my book, I am allowing myself to receive this amazing gift while also keeping the grief, shame and scarcity at bay.

Because, I am oh so grateful.

Grateful I was chosen to be their mother. Grateful for this life He has written for me.

Grateful I am defining my ever upward within it.

~~~

A few snippets from the talk:

14 thoughts on “Receiving the Revealed Dream

  1. BnB says:

    What a cool platform to speak your truth from! Sometimes when you jump head first into the unknown your bravery is rewarded in ways that you never could have imagined. Such is the case with this, it seems. Thank you for your message. Thank you for being awesome. Thank you for being brave. Thank you for being you.

    Like

    1. Thank you friend! You are awesome! ❤

      Like

  2. Ginger says:

    Thanks to Justine and anyone else speaking their truth and owning their story. It take courage to own it and speak of something so personal and emotionally charged as infertility. It also takes tolerance, as I found most of the reactions I got from friends and family was hurtful and isolating. For example, they said things like “I can’t believe you just gave up, because I wouldn’t have been satisfied with where you are.” There was no acknowledgement of my struggle, bravery, or heartbreak and absolutely no respect for my individual choices and boundaries. I understand such reactions come from an “unenlightened” perspective or just plainly that humans are flawed. I am most grateful Justine has this platform to communicate a message near and dear to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ginger, Thank you for reading and writing! It is brutal when we realize our loved ones wont get it. Accepting their limitations is our only saving grace, even if it means the relationship has to change because of it. Someone’s perception of my story does not change my truth. I must always ask for what I want and need. I prayer you speak yours and your loved ones do their work to learn how to be better support to you! Justine

      Like

  3. Beautiful post and great videos. I watched all three. Your words and wisdom reach beyond the infertility platform and touch parts of my life, too. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you Michelle! I think so too, this brutal journey of infertility boils down to grief, which I think everyone can relate to! Thank you for reading and commenting!! Justine

      Like

  4. thank you Justine… this honesty is what I needed today. I have felt so alone in my personal pursuits. In took some time to write and market my own book with a small amount of turn around. the positive vibes at the beginning where in celebration of writing… which is fine, but now it seems that all is forgotten and I’m finding my way. As painful as it was to have family and friends say the things that hurt us in their misunderstanding, there is a pain too when they all stop asking. It is like it no longer matters when you are older, like it somehow just goes away. I just love how you can share that different kind of parenting that is part of my healing also. I discovered that God has a two -fold meaning to the word ‘mother hood’ one is the one we are all familiar with…in the conventional way and the other is the meaning that says “in the place of another mother.” I “mother” little ones as a Nanny and have been a Nursery School Teacher for over 25 years. So I am in the place of another mother. Thank you, thank you for acknowledging this truth through your videos, and this post. I wish you all the best.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to send this comment in! We are mothers for sure!!! Sending you love and prayers this weekend!!! Justine

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Justine! I’ll hold that love and prayer close.

        Like

  5. Reblogged this on emptyhands2openarms and commented:
    Read it and watch it all!

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    1. Thank you for reblogging!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. In Due Time book says:

    Congrats on speaking your truth in front of a large audience. I can relate writing a book and feeling like there’s not a lot of return. Now look how it’s paid off! The dedication that you’ve put forth not only in the book, but on all platforms is admirable. You’ve held your head high and continued to do the work you were meant to do. Well done. Keep on writing and speaking! As I’ve always said, the community needs your messages!

    Like

    1. Thank you Jen! I love writing, I love helping so I will keep fighting this very uphill battle. But man, it’s exhausting! But also my true calling I think!

      Like

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