Choosing Joy

It seems like maybe it is time I finally write something about the struggle I find myself in these days. Perhaps you are one of the ones who know this already, but Zane and I have been in the process of trying to have a baby. It has been a little over a year since getting off birth control, and almost eight months since first attempting to create a child.

When we first started, it seemed like a fun secret and adventure. It was something special and I was excited for it to happen and then surprise everyone with the news. But months passed and nothing happened. It hadn’t gotten to the point where I was discouraged about everything, but it definitely wasn’t as easy to get pregnant as I thought it would be. Tracking my cycles was helpful in that we were able to time everything, and it was fun to know what my body was doing. (Because seriously, God created women’s bodies to be super awesome) Then sometime in September/October my temps were high past the point of my expected period, which means pregnancy, but then I started bleeding. And it wasn’t the same as other times. It was a miscarriage.

Depending on who you are, this might not seem like a big deal. It was only a life for only a few days, if that. I don’t know if I can properly explain the sort of pain that I experienced. It isn’t the same as knowing someone and experiencing life with them before they die. I know that. But when you are trying and trying to get pregnant while experiencing failure after failure, the small spark of hope that is carried every month seems to wane with each disappointment. So imagine the immense joy when realizing the tiny, unformed life is there, but then the soul crushing pain as it leaves your body. How do you pick up the pieces? To have what you had been praying and dreaming of, gone in the blink of an eye.

So I stopped.

I finished the year not tracking my temperatures, though obviously I still knew what was going on with my body. I needed the time to learn to be thankful again. God’s in control. I believed that, and I still believe it, but I forgot what it means to trust Him when my heart is aching and so raw. It gave me time and space to love the life I have been given. I have a wonderful husband, two weirdo pets, and a home that makes me want to nap all the time because it is so cozy. I grew in thankfulness and found contentment.

I’m back to it now. And it’s harder than ever. It seems like with the new year that everyone is getting pregnant with the ease I had once believed in. I’m jealous. I’m sad. I’m happy for them. I’m so full of emotions that I’m exhausted. The Lord’s timing is perfect. That’s what everyone keeps telling me. I hate it when people tell me that. I hate it. It seems like the most unthoughtful thing to say to someone who is fighting to control their emotions so that they can be a good friend. But it’s true. My story is not the story of those I know who are pregnant. I don’t want their story. And I have to remind myself that no one is better than me because I am not pregnant. I am not broken, but made for a specific purpose. I have been created with such care and tenderness and it isn’t for nothing.

The Lord isn’t calling me to follow Him when I get whatever my heart longs for, but all the time. And would I follow Him if He said no to those heart-wants? Yes. I choose my Saviour. Though I believe we will have a baby at some point, that isn’t now. There is much to be learned when called to wait. I have to choose to look at His face when my circumstances cause me to weep. He is steadfast. He is good. He is in control. I will believe it, even when my crazy emotions are begging me to doubt.

So I rejoice. Sometimes it may be with tears streaming down my face, but I rejoice. Because I love my friends, and I love their wee ones not yet born, I will choose joy even when I’m sad. I imagine the joy they must have experienced when first learning of their new life and my heart sings for them. I picture the excitement (and maybe slight fear?) as they prepare for a new one and I pray for them. 

There is peace in our Father. I’m finding it, slowly but surely. He draws me near, and lets me feel so deeply, and then calls me to remember Him. I hope that whatever stage you are at in life: single, married, parents or not…that you hope in Him, and not in your circumstances. He is steady and sure and won’t let you go.

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