HOPE: A Practice of Perspective

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Andy and I lived in a too-big house for many years. We were young-ish, holding college degrees and dream jobs.

It was time for a family.
It was past time for a family.
It was wondering if our family would ever grow bigger than the two of us.
It was learning to live with the reality that no baby would ever be born with my curls and his eyes.

I almost became bitter at that point — all youngish with a too-big house, college degree and dream job. Hindsight sees these things for me. At the time, all I knew was I wanted to be a momma, my body was getting old, and Andy was anti-adoption.

I prayed for so long for a baby that it was painful. It was a June day, returning from a run, and the sky turned dark, grey clouds swirled and rain drops plopped hard against my bare shoulders and legs.

I stood there, smelling the rain roll in and letting it soak me until I was soggy. My soles squished when my feet shifted and my soul slogged behind. It was here self-pity threatened hope.

Why don’t I have a baby?
What if I never have a baby?
Doesn’t God love me enough to give me a baby?
Am I not good enough to have a baby?
If I don’t get to be a mom, what  fun will life be?

Sometimes waterlogged soles make you go inside and change your shoes. I stood on the rug inside our front door, unlaced my shoe strings, slipped my foot out, and peeled off my socks. My toes were pruney, but they’d return to normal s0on. I thought about my pruney soul slogging behind, deciding to be all sad with life.

 I didn’t know then that my next thought would alter my soul for the rest of my life. Standing there looking at my pruney toes, I wondered if I might be able to exchange my soul inside just like I did the soles on my feet.

Instead of dreading not being a momma, could I unlace my plan, peel it off, and pick a new path? Instead of wondering if I’ll miss all the fun of family life with kids, can I wonder about all the things we can do without kids?

I looked out the front door, the rain letting up and the dark clouds breaking apart. Sunbeams sneaking through the sky. It was then I stopped praying to be a momma and started praying that if God’s plan was a life without kids, that He would take away my desire to be a momma.

That day the tables turned.
It wasn’t about feeling unloved because I didn’t get what I wanted.
It wasn’t about being angry or bitter because things didn’t happen the way I planned.
It was about loosening the ties and peeling off the limited view of the way life should go.

It was then I decided God is good — all the time — and it was my job to shift my perspective to always see His goodness.

Today I’m thankful for dirty dishes and piles of laundry.
For the spilled drink at dinner and the peas scattered under the table.
For the piles of snow gear in the back hall and the forgotten math homework on the table.
I’m thankful for the stomping feet and the indignant eye roll.

I’m thankful for each melt down, each argument, each refusal because I know it puts us one step closer to healing.

Today, this practice of turning my perspective, sustains me. It is a matter of positioning myself to find the celebration so the worry doesn’t take over and the joy isn’t stolen. It is here my hope stays alive.

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