My favorite time of the year is Christmas. Everyone who knows me knows this. I love buying gifts for others, hearing the Christmas songs being played non-stop on the radio, watching the same Christmas movies over and over (and over), and attending all of the ugly Christmas sweater parties. I also love decorating my house and putting up so many lights outside that it looks like the Griswold home. In fact, one year I thought we would need to take out a small loan just to pay the electricity bill. Unfortunately, the enemy, who also knows me, knows it’s my favorite time of the year. And so what has he been doing? Everything. Everything he can to kill, steal, and destroy my joy. In fact, I am starting to think he has my number on speed dial and I keep kicking myself for answering his stupid phone calls!
Typically I don’t like to be a “Debbie Downer” with my posts, but I like to be real and transparent. And so I feel like this post is a post. All week-long, and at every corner, there has been subtle reminders that another year has passed and I am still battling the same monkey on my back as the year before–it’s the… “I’m still barren”…monkey. And this week, the monkey seems to be bigger than the week before. It’s not the upcoming holidays that make me drown in the sea of self-pity, but rather it’s the thought that this time last year I told myself I would either be putting a baby crib on my Christmas wish list or carrying a car seat through the snow. Unfortunately, neither of those things are happening. Well, I guess I could still put a crib on the wish list and carry an empty car seat through the snow but it’s not the same joy.
I had been doing good since my last meltdown (“Tear Soaked Pillow”), but then came Friday. You see, I was out shopping with my Mom because she is redecorating her Christmas tree and therefore needed new ornaments. The day was going fabulous and I wasn’t phased a bit by all of the adorable pregnant bellies (there were 14 but who was counting?), the maternity sections inside of the stores, or seeing other Moms pushing their strollers while shopping. In fact, nothing seemed to phase me at all until I got to Kohl’s.
While we were looking for a specific ski ornament, I stumbled upon the “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments. I don’t particularly care for these ornaments and so they didn’t bother me at first; but as I stood there staring at the year “2013” plastered on them, I remembered how “this time last year” I stood in the same spot telling myself “next year, you can buy one of these and it will have 2013 on it.” So of course standing in the year 2013 and not being able to purchase one caused my wounded heart to ache. I immediately went into a daze as I looked down and bolted away. But as I quickly left that section, my mind began to race and I couldn’t help but silently whisper out loud “When, God…when?”
I know with 100% confidence that one day I will be able to buy one of those ornaments, but I’m just not sure what year it will say. The thought of it saying 2014 excites me, but the thought of it saying 2020? Well, let’s be honest, that just makes my stomach sick.
And so with that scary thought, I had to also silently whisper for strength and peace because the last thing I wanted was for my Mom to see me cry. We don’t talk about my situation much (if at all) and I’m sure it’s hard enough for her to read my blogs, therefore I just couldn’t bear having her see my heartache in person and especially in Kohl’s. So, I sucked it up…literally, snot and all.
The rest of the day was good. I had a few tears roll down my cheek on the way home to their house, but once I got in my car and started driving home, the tears came streaming down and it felt like it was a gully wash! All I wanted to do was jump in the shower (it’s my safe place to cry) and just talk to God. However I had forgotten we babysit two children with the Safe Families for Children program on Friday nights and they were expecting me to bounce in the door all cheery like normal. Needless to say, I had to suck it up again.
When nine o’clock finally rolled around and it was time for them to return home, I asked my husband if he could take them alone and he agreed; he knew something was wrong. As soon as I heard the garage door close, I jumped in the shower and just cried out to God; He is the only person I wanted to talk to. I told Him that I know one day I would have my own children and I didn’t doubt Him one single bit, but I wanted to know when. I wanted to know how many more times will I have to stand in front of the ornaments and change the year in my head and constantly repeat, “This time next year?” Oh how I wished I had one of those magic eight balls from when I was a kid and it actually worked.
But sweet friend, it was in that moment as I sat on my shower floor dreaming of a magic eight ball, I realized that’s not what God wanted for me. He doesn’t want me knowing all of the answers to life’s burning questions because if I did, then I wouldn’t need Him. I wouldn’t lean on Him or trust Him as much. I wouldn’t seek Him as often for strength, comfort, and hope. And if I were 100 percent honest, He would still be a distant God to me.
Every year since starting this difficult journey towards growing my family, I have instead grown closer to God. So while I don’t have a magic eight ball and all of the answers to what 2014 holds for me, there is one thing I know and that is “this time next year”, my relationship with Him will be even stronger than the year before. I don’t ever want the desire for a baby to place a wedge between me and God, but only draw me closer. And so far it has. To me, that’s better than rocking a baby to sleep or having a ” 2013 Baby’s First Christmas” ornament hanging on the tree.
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” ~Romans 5:3-4 (NLT)
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