Monday, August 4, 2014

You Never Know

I’ve often heard it said that grief has no expiration date.  This summer I’ve found myself realizing that rule also applies to the mourning of people that may never be, not just those who have passed away.  

Five years. That’s how long it’s been since my husband and I decided we were ready to have a baby.  Little did we know it would be so much more complicated than just “deciding.” 

If you’d asked me five years ago where we’d be on this journey today, I’d have quickly given you a couple of different answers, neither of which looks anything like where we are.  My most confident answer would’ve have been that we would have had two children by now and would be living happily ever after.  And I would’ve followed that up with the disclaimer if things didn’t work out that way, of course we would adopt. 

You never know how you’ll handle a situation until you’re in it.  You never know what will feel right until you’ve experienced what wrong feels like.  You never know what God will call you to do (or not call you to do) until you’re faced with asking Him questions you thought you’d never find yourself asking.   Perhaps the biggest lesson in this for me has been those three words: You never know. 

So, if it’s impossible to even know what will be right for you, how could you begin to know what’s right for someone else?  That’s been the next most important lesson for me: Don’t judge. 

Nothing about this journey has been predictable.  Perhaps most unpredictable have been my emotions.  This journey has taken me places I thought I’d never go – bitterness, despair, rage, jealousy, uncertainty, inadequacy…I’ve felt it all.  But throughout it all, there has also been hope.  Unrelenting hope.

I used to think that if I checked off a certain number of months, medications, treatments, Bible studies, home remedies, prayers, conversations, doctors, declarations, birthdays, methods, promises, etc. eventually I would be done with this.  Either it would end up the way I had planned or it wouldn’t, but either way, it would be done.  I never figured out the magic number, but I always felt like it was just over the horizon.  It had to be…if it wasn’t, I’d lose my mind.

I’m finally realizing that's not what this, or life for that matter, is about.  It may never be done, but that’s okay.  It’s not necessary for me to know, or for me to summon the strength for the entire journey on any given day.  It’s only necessary that I do the best I can today.  Some days that’s prettier than others, but that’s okay.  I am human. 

As deeply personal as it’s been, the journey I’ve been on isn’t unique.  We’ve all suffered hardships…situations that didn’t turn out like we expected, pain that we didn’t {want to} know existed, trials that require us to press on when the weight feels like more than we can bear.  It’s part of the human experience.  But so is this hope.  Because even though we’re only human, we’re held by the One who is so much more.  Because of that, we hope. 

You never know… But He does.  And one day we will too.  For now, all we can do is hope…  But somehow, that’s enough.

As for me, I will always have hope.  I will praise You more and more.”  ~Psalm 71:14

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