Wondering if I will get to have children. Wanting to know God’s plan for my life. Hoping that children are part of the plan. The desire for children is strange. Intense. Innate. Having no idea what it really means to have children and yet aching with want. But I am prepared, so I would like to think, to give that up if God has other plans. I'd also like to think that if He has other plans, that they will require my full attention and will fully satisfy me, but I don't want to go there yet. I may not need to go there at all. I need to stay here for now, where it is still saturated with the hope for children.
For some unknown reason, I have been ready to get pregnant again relatively quickly after losing Trinity. It makes no sense, and I’ve heard of a lot of people who are terrified to try again after experiencing the loss of a child. I don’t know why I’m not afraid, but I’m thankful. Fear is no way to live. It has taken Richard longer to be ready to try again, but I don’t think it’s ever been a question for him either. Our only discussions have been about when, not if.
So we’ve been trying for months now, and the disappointment is getting old. I keep trying to talk myself into believing that I’m pregnant, so my new improved faith will make it so. But wanting to believe, no matter how desperately I want it, is falling short of true belief. So without knowing what else to do, I keep praying and trying to believe, and every time I take a pregnancy test, I have heaps of hope but not enough faith.
I’ve always been an optimist, and I keep trying to stay positive and hopeful, but one day, when I’m all alone at home, I break down and allow myself to admit my true feelings, even though I do not agree with them. My heart and my head have long been enemies, and my heart wrestles me to the ground this time. I collapse face down on the carpet feeling sorry for myself. Sobbing like toddler, I whine and complain that everybody’s pregnant except me, and when will it be my turn? My head jeers at me from the sidelines, telling me how stupid my pity party is. When I collect myself, I have to admit that I do feel a little better, like after throwing up. All those toxic emotions didn’t agree with me, so I had to let them out. It wasn’t pretty, but it was necessary. Emotional puking. A funny way to think about it.
Everyday life continues, and I have dinner with Joanne at a nice restaurant in San Francisco near my work. We haven’t seen each other in a while, so it’s really nice to catch up. She’s busy as usual, but doing well. She’s terrible at achieving balance, but amazing at achieving excellence, wherever she points a camera. Near the end of our dinner date, I tell her how I am excited to take a pregnancy test in the morning. I see the concern in her face as she tells me not to get my hopes up too far and too soon. But I am very nearly convinced of the outcome. This time, something is different. There is a little something more than just hope. I am curious about this since I do not feel pregnant at all. I have no symptoms whatsoever. I have no reason to believe I’m pregnant now more than any of the other times, except for the presence of the peace that comes from knowing. It’s unexplainable.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrew 11:1
I go to bed with excitement and anticipation, not anxious hope, like before. The sooner I get to sleep, the sooner I can get up and take the test. Sleep is sweet, and the morning arrives quickly. I speed to the bathroom, and take the test. The directions say to read the test in three minutes, so I leave the room to prevent myself from staring at it. That might make it feel like three hours. I pace and pray during those minutes, and they zip by. Walking expectantly back into the bathroom, I see that it is indeed true. I am pregnant! I wish I had a bullhorn so I could tell the whole neighborhood. I grab the test and gently wake up Richard. He gives me a big sleepy hug, and maybe even a few tears. It is a Friday, and I cannot revel in the excitement too long because I need to get to work.
The excitement lasts all weekend, and I puzzle with wonder, “How did I know?” And then something in Scripture jumps out at me that I’ve skimmed right over before. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…” Hebrews 12:2. So Jesus is the author of my faith. Faith does not come from me. No matter how hard I try, I cannot create my own faith. I cannot even increase it or improve it myself because He is also the perfecter of my faith. I am totally off the hook! I feel freer and lighter as my responsibilities seem to lessen. So much anxiety and exhaustion results from trying to wrangle things in our lives that can’t be captured or tamed. One such thing is the mystery of faith. We can plant a seed, but God makes it grow. With faith, I think God plants the seed AND makes it grow. I believe the simple desire for belief is that seed. We cannot make it grow, but we can water it with prayer and fertilize it with Scripture, and watch the Master Gardener make it bloom.