I started picking out the names I would give my children when I first started reading. When I found a character that I really liked, I added their name to my list of baby names. I was in elementary school, and I never doubted for a second that I wouldn’t be a mother. I played with my baby dolls and imagined the day when they would be real babies. I babysat and played with any baby I could and listened to parents say, “She’s going to be a great mom.”
Two years ago, in January, my husband and I had a discussion. This discussion ended with the decision to stop birth control and start our family. We were so excited and thrilled at the prospect. We both wanted a big family. Miguel always wanted enough kids for a soccer team. I just wanted a lot. We always said that we want at least four, but probably more. We were off to seminary in August, and we’d heard from many other families that seminary is a great place to raise kids. We were one semester from graduation, and it felt that we had the world at our feet. We were so ready for this new adventure of parenthood.
Turns out, God wasn’t ready. He still isn’t ready. And I’m slowly having to face the fact that he might never be ready.
After two years, my arms are still empty. Our second bedroom is still an office/junk yard. My list of baby names gets shorter because it’s too painful to think of names. All the baby stuff we’ve managed to collect has been shoved in a dark corner of a closet we don’t use so that I don’t have to see it.
Maybe you’re thinking that two years isn’t any time at all. And maybe you’re right. I’m only 23, after all. I’ll be 24 this year. I’ll be having another birthday with empty arms and an aching heart.
In the grand scheme of life, two years is nothing, I know. But to me, it feels like a lifetime.
In those two years, I’ve lost two babies. I’ll forever grieve those lives lost, and I’ll always feel their absence.
Every month in between and after those pregnancies has been a grieving process all on its own, because every month I get hopeful and excited and start to plan, and every month that little negative sign pops up, and I fall apart.
Every month, I hear more and more people announcing their pregnancies and celebrating the gifts and blessings that have been held from me.
Every month, every week, every day, I get a more bitter.
Then I have days like today. Days where I find some semblance of peace. God’s calling me to something right now. And it’s not parenthood. Whatever his plan for me is, it’s better than anything I’m capable of imagining. On these days, I can trust him. I can trust him to carry me through these painful and difficult times. I can trust him to bring me through to the other side. I can trust that someday, I’ll know what he wants for me. I can trust.
This doesn’t mean I’m not crying as I write this. It doesn’t mean I’m happy. It doesn’t mean that I’m not hurting more than I can express. It doesn’t mean that trying to trust when God’s plan might not include children at all doesn’t leave me feeling completely empty and wasted.
It just means that I’m trying to lean on God through these tears.
Today, I will “seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:1-2).
That’s all I can do for the day.
Picture taken from Huffpost. “Two People Never See the Same Rainbow…”