I loved the seesaw as a kid! The up and down, back and forth, I could do it all day. Lately though, I feel like I’ve been on a seesaw, and I’m ready to get off.
At 17 (due to health issues), I was told it would be difficult for me to get pregnant. At the time I didn’t think much of it. As I watched sister after sister having their first child (I’m the oldest of my mom’s 4 girls), single and unattached, I began to think, “Maybe I don’t want kids. I love traveling and living in NYC, and I LOVE being an aunt.” Then 2008 happened. I met Kelsey and we married in June of 2009. Suddenly, I wanted to have kids. Kelsey was starting med school that May; kids were going to have to wait.
Haunted by the doctor’s prognosis, I pushed to start trying for kids that July. Kelsey was (is) more comfortable waiting and trusting God’s timing and wanted to “see what happens.” I am type A and I struggle/d trusting God and “seeing what happens.” Month after month, I was UP with anticipation and spiraled DOWN when I saw one line and not two. Each month was more tiring and draining than the last, and I began to lose hope. Even a “glass half full” person like me tried to prepare for the reality that I may never birth a child. I was 33 years old, which in my family was ancient. Every (younger) sister in my family had their first before 30 and in less than 6 months of trying. Had God forgotten me, had I been denied?
Then in July, after more ups and downs than I thought I could handle, I was PREGNANT! It happened – we were having a baby! The following March, our daughter entered the world. Delayed but not denied. It was something Kelsey addressed in our wedding vows almost 3 years before, and here we were, living it out again. Our hearts desires had been delayed, but not denied.
Given how long it took to conceive and my age, Kelsey and I chose to not start birth control after having our daughter. I hoped to avoid the seesaw of hope and despair, to trust in God’s timing. But as each barren month passed, my hope dwindled. Each negative pregnancy test brought more heartache. I began to question my body, why I wasn’t fertile, what was wrong with me? The January before my daughter’s 2nd birthday, I decided one child was enough. She filled my life with joy and we were so lucky to have her. The next month, when I still hadn’t gotten my period, I took a test thinking it would be a waste, but there were TWO lines! We were pregnant again. And after a very interesting pregnancy (which included one Tough Mudder, a wedding, a move and placenta previa), my son was born that October. Delayed, not denied once more.
Life can be DELAYED, but it’s never DENIED, right? Our entire relationship was delayed in some way shape or form – dating (we lived 3 hours apart,) marriage (I was 31 he was 29), medical school (Kelsey didn’t start until he was 31), children (I didn’t have my first until I was 34), but we were not denied. God was faithful.
But what if you haven’t had your happy ending? I was denied the opportunity to tell my dad I named my son after him, because he died of cancer just a little over a year after my daughter was born. Friends have been denied having their own children because of medical issues. My nephew is denied having his dad watch him grow up, because he lost his battle with cancer when my nephew was 4. The list of denials goes on and on; not one of us has escaped the pain of being denied.
Where are you supposed to find comfort if you are still waiting on a dream differed? How are we to still hope when time ticks by and life is still delayed? This is where I am right now. We want a third child, and it’s been 27 months since I had my son. And I can’t help but wonder if this time I’ll be denied?
But somehow I still hope. We have been given an unbelievable capacity to hope in the midst of uncertainty. Many of you are waiting on dreams for families, for spouses, for jobs, for breakthrough. At times like these in my own life I try to remember where I put my hope and faith. Faith [for me] is the assurance of things I hope for and the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1 ). I am reminded my children are exactly who they are because of who I was with and when I was with them; it was all in perfect timing.
So as I close tonight, I encourage you to hold on to your dreams, to still HOPE, to believe that although you might be delayed right now, you are not denied.