Change doesn’t always come easy. This week has already been a bit of a struggle for me; I attended a religious retreat this weekend and I am finding it difficult to re-orient myself to the fervent push/pull that is my everyday life. The weekend was a mix of intense spiritual connection with God and deep emotional reflection, both internally and shared with some of the other women at the retreat. For a long time now I have tried desperately to either change or reconcile my status as an infertile woman. You could say that acceptance is not one of my “spiritual gifts” and I feel like a prize-fighter that has been to battle one too many times, always coming out on the losing end, at least in this particular fight. However, as time has passed I have realized that acceptance may be the only thing that can heal my broken heart from the loss of my dream to be a mom. I can’t change any of it no matter how hard I try (trust me, I tried everything I could). No amount of praying or begging God to give in ever did anything but leave me in disappointment and doubt. Surrender, followed by acceptance, is the only way forward it seems and this weekend I felt like I finally took my first cautious steps down this path, the only path that has presented itself to me.
Still, despite all the pain I have experienced and my willingness to finally surrender my dreams to a future I didn’t choose, I remain stuck. I thought that my surrender to God would open up a door in my heart and that He would miraculously begin healing me and delivering me from the stubborn hope that I still harbor for a child (as you can see, patience is also not one of my “gifts”). I’m not quite sure how long miracles generally take but I can assure you, I still feel the same longing today that I did last week before I left for the retreat. I am still struggling through moments of anger and fear of my future and although I know that I must let God lead the way I’m not sure if I an actually do that. Can I really trust that He won’t leave me here in the proverbial “waiting line” for a life that I can be excited about and that has meaning? How can I trust Him when he would not answer my prayers for so many years, and then when the final answer was handed down it came as a resounding “NO”? I don’t know the answer to these questions. Even though I felt God’s presence so strongly on retreat and felt His love for me for the first time in many years, I find it hard to forget all of the painful parts of this journey that I have experienced; I can’t just drop that disappointment like it never happened. I know I should, that is what forgiveness is and I am called to it, but knowing that doesn’t make it easier. I can only keep trying.
For now, my life continues as it did before retreat. I work in a job I don’t feel connected to but I am trying to do my best. I have a hard time making friends with other women because I am “that woman”; You know the one…the one that causes people to say “there but for the grace of God go I”. I am the barren woman from the bible, the one that scares the crap out of other women. I can’t say that I blame them, I was scared of her too before I became her. So I shyly retreat from friendships and find myself even more disconnected. This is something that I know all of us who are childless “not by choice” deal with everyday; In this I am not alone. So, I look to my blessings (of which there are many) and try to focus on each one of them to help get me through the day. I continue to pray for positive, life-giving change within heart and in my life. I keep taking each tiny step I can down the road to acceptance and surrender to God’s plan. I really have no other options, no other doors that are open to me. I can only wait: Wait for God, wait for change… wait for a new life to begin