Mothers Day has always been one of those holidays I tried my best not to forget. Generally, I feel pretty good if I remember to give my Mom a jingle to let her know how much I love and appreciate her. However, this year Mothers Day brought on an strange array of emotions for me. While I started out really excited to celebrate all the wonderful mothers in my life, I got a bit of a rude awakening when I realized there were some stowed away feelings I needed to deal with. To give ya'll some inside information that will make everything a little more clear, it has been almost two years since Jorma and I decided we were ready to have children, but--for those of you who don't know us or haven't read the other blog postings--that just hasn't been God's plan. So, Mothers Day is just another reminder of my unfulfilled dream of motherhood. It's easy to remind myself that God's timing and plan is better than my own, and it's easy to remind myself of all the good things that have happened to me after waiting on the Lord; however, truly convincing the deepest parts of myself to rejoice in the waiting and suffering is a completely different task. My heart doesn't respond to logic.
At church yesterday, I was bombarded with an overflow of emotion. As Pastor Timmy prayed for all the Mommas, he also prayed for those who were yet to become mothers, as well as those who never would be. The tears flooded as I thought the words, "it may never happen." This is my biggest fear; the one uncertainty I've been praying to be prepared for. The church I go to is very small--everyone knows everyone, and many people have known me since I was a child. As Timmy neared the end of his prayer, I started scrambling for tissues; in a few minutes I would be walking back up to the stage to lead the congregation in our closing songs. "Ok, God, snap me out of this... please... just help me hold it in." The first song we sang was,"Take my hand," a song I wrote about a year ago about finding comfort in our Father amidst the raging world around us:
Take my hand. I don't wanna walk alone.
The world may be screaming, but You're drawing close.
I can't believe I'm the one You chose.
And all the matters now is You and me--
in this moment, You're all I can see.
While I fought my hardest to not feel anything during this song, to try and hold in the tears that remained just behind my eyes, I couldn't help but cry out to God to give me the kind of peace in which He would be all I could see, to truly feel as though all I need is Him. The small cracks in my mask of normalcy shattered by the end of the two closing songs, and Tim prayed again at the end of the service, this time including a plea that God would bless a certain married couple in the church with children. I'm sure most people knew he was talking about Jorma and I. What a blessing to be loved and prayed for so much, but my heart just wasn't prepared for the emotion. Tim prayed for us again after church, and once with me before I left; we are so blessed to have him in our lives. I am so thankful for the pastor's family and all the support they have given me throughout my life. By the end of the prayers, I could no longer respond appropriately--the emotions had washed out everything. I'd seen my mother crying, but I couldn't even talk to her about it. Hugs only. It breaks my heart that she also has to grieve for me.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
I pray for comfort, patience, and peace in the midst of my disappointment. Comfort comes in many ways, the wonderful pieces of my life: my husband, work at a job I love, a bustling household, and the amazing relationships I have with my friends and family. Patience seems like the easiest, so long as I can convince myself that I will be a mom someday. This thought brings the most challenging part: my battle for peace. It's easy to wait when you know you'll eventually get what you want, but the heartache comes when I pray for peace regardless of whether or not I'm blessed with my own children. It's odd; sometimes I can convince myself that I would be fine, and I can rest in the comfort of being a part of the lives of the many children around me. That's the peace I pray for on days like today.
On days like today, it's difficult to fight off the seductive comfort of slipping into the numbness depression offers. While that darkness isn't something I enjoy, the alternative can be much worse: surges of emotion I'm not ready for, which almost always result in crying, mood swings, and general wallowing in self-pity. I despise all of those things. While I understand the therapeutic importance of a "good cry," it's not high on my list of favorite things to do. It also seems futile to waste time grieving something I haven't even lost. So then, what is there left to do with the sudden rush of feelings which sporadically invade my peace? Most of the time I feel as though there is truly no resolution for this pain, except to just wait for it to pass. It's a hurt that gets a band-aid, but never heals, and I never know when the band-aid is going to get ripped off again. There's nothing anyone, including myself, can say. How many times can we say "wait for God's timing," or that "God's plan is perfect"? I've heard all of the right responses, repeated them over and over to myself, but that doesn't fix anything. What it does do, however, is remind me to turn my hopes, thoughts, and uncertainties over to God. There is comfort in His promise.
Right now I am very thankful for some important people in my life, who have, in particular, helped me with the daily battle. My amazing husband, Jorma, who just wants to give me everything I could want, has been an incredible support through all this. We both desire children, and we both battle with the emotions related to not being able to conceive, but he maintains his role as our spiritual leader in a way that points our marriage back towards God and His plan. My family and friends are so supportive and loving. I spent about an hour texting with my friend, Stacy, this morning, debriefing what happened yesterday at church. I know all my besties--you know who you are--would drop everything to talk to me if I was having a hard day. And I am also very thankful for a new blessing in my life: the Hillmans. While it might seem like having children around me all the time would be a constant reminder of my sadness, the effect is just the opposite. Having the privilege of being such a big part of Brayden, Maddy, and Bethany's lives has given me an outlet for my pent-up maternal energies, and while I am not their Mom, I get the experience of doing some of the "mom things" I've missed out on up until this point. I also know that I will be able to be an important part of their lives as they grow up, which is such a wonderful feeling.
Whatever it is God decides to do in my life, my constant prayer is that I would be ready and joyful to take the next steps. My hope is not only that I will find encouragement, but that you might also find encouragement in my story. We never know what God has in store for us; I can't control whether or not I will have children. What I can control is my attitude. The mantra I've been working into my life is that "happiness is a choice we make beforehand." So, by God's grace, I choose to be happy regardless of my situation.