When you're struggling with a loss or infertility, there comes a moment or a series of moments when the world takes a leap ahead and the leap takes you further into the realization of what isn't.
If you're longing for your next little one, this probably comes through someone's own announcement of expectation. When you see the leap their life will make and you're still stuck in neutral gear. Even after years of secondary infertility, this is still the hardest of moments. Because I am truly so filled with joy for the sister, friend, fellow blogger, whomever is experiencing that gift of new life. But that joy for them always renews the longing. Really, it's never far from the surface.
It brings to mind thoughts like, "when is it my turn?". But it's not about turns. It's all about our roads to heaven. Mine likely won't include a Duggar-like clan. I may never need more seats than a mini-van....or even a sedan. My longing brings me to Christ. In a way that those mothers are brought further down the road of sanctification by additional children, mine seems to be an emptier road. On the good days, I trust that I need this way; that this path has a purpose. On the bad days, I question my way and doubt that I will feel the sunshine of grace upon me again.
The knowledge resides in me, learned after many years of questioning and doubt, that these moments can be my next step on the journey too. I truly am not stuck in neutral gear idling away while I wait for life to start with a sudden increased and abundant fertility. My next step in grace may seem imperceptible to most. My next step forward is nearly invisible to the outside world. It looks as if perhaps, I'm just running in place, but my next step forward is to choose to live in those moments of joy with those around me. Today is not my day to make such an announcement. Indeed, that day may never come again. But I will not let that rob me of the joy of new life. There may be a pain in my heart or tears in my eyes that my way does not include a "quiver full", but I am no less exuberant about the beauty of new life, no less joyful over the beauty of a large family. Perhaps I am more exuberant and more joy-filled at the sight of a newborn or a large family, because I have learned at great personal price how truly remarkable they are. I have learned in years of barrenness what abundance could not have taught me.
For this, I will be glad in my heart for those who are expecting and I will wait in joyful anticipation with them, whether it be a first, a sixth, an eighth....let us not lose the spirit of rejoicing.
Truly, the only object of our liberty is the gift of life. May we live it abundantly, even when the blessings we pray for are more scarce than we would wish.
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