DELAYED and DENIED!!!! That has to be how the Atlanta Falcons are feeling after Sunday’s Superbowl loss. Ever on the side of the “little guy”, (and a huge Seahawks and Eagles fan) I was rooting for Atlanta’s birds this past Superbowl Sunday. The Atlanta Falcons have never won a Superbowl….NEVER gotten the ring…the trophy….the glory…the fame. Their road to victory seemed DELAYED but yet again (after losing a 25-0 lead) they were DENIED.
I don’t know about you, I’ve never competed for a Superbowl ring, but I have had times where delay became denied. It’s heartbreaking, gut wrenching and downright painful. My heart aches for this team…not because they get paid millions to throw a ball and didn’t get a shiny ring at the end of the day, but because hope unfulfilled can crush you.
From my last post, you know I’m hoping to have another child. My seesaw between hope and despair goes up & down, but the downs are hurting so much more. This past year I have watched my sister, friends, my daughters dance teacher, seemingly EVERYONE who wants to be able get pregnant and here I sit barren. I don’t begrudge these women, I rejoice in their blessings and am truly excited for them. But my joy for them doesn’t dull my heartache. It’s been 27 months since I had my son and we still have not been able to get pregnant. It can be a daily fight to feel hopeful.
Despair is lonely. I feel alone. Who do you talk to when you’re struggling with fertility but you already have children? It feels greedy to want more children? Especially with a GIRL and a BOY – come on now. I feel even more guilty when I remember friends who are praying for a first pregnancy or aching for their children who have passed on from this world. I weep with them, pray with/for them and listen but to share my struggles feels selfish and insensitive. So I remain silent holding back tears. I fight my deepest fears and try to hope, but hope is harder to hold on to than before. And like the Falcons, I wonder if this time I’ll be denied. If my last baby was the last baby. I look at my baby clothes and wonder if I’ll ever be able to use any of them again. Wanting a child and not being able to have one hurts, whether your just staring a family or wanting more. Having the desires of your heart delayed and/or denied hurts, it aches and when you’re going through it. And in the midst of your pain you can feel like you’re all alone.
But I write today to say I see you. You are not alone and you don’t have battle between hope and despair by yourself. There is greater hope, if you know who to look to. Even in this land of infertility, I find my faith keeps me going. Longing for something can feel selfish and cause us to keep it to ourselves, to isolate ourselves from others. But I encourage you to reach out, to talk to someone a friend, a pastor, your spouse. I am no longer weeping in the shadows. I’ve spoken to my husband, my sisters, and friends about it and it helps. But most importantly I decided to talk to God. I’ve been honest with others with my struggles, but even more so with myself. For decades I felt that if I spoke out loud what I really wanted I was setting myself up to be disappointed. Better to not want for ANYTHING and be surprised with SOMETHING than to want SOMETHING and not end up with ANYTHING. But that’s just not truth. Sharing our hopes keeps hope alive. It can inspire others to follow their hopes and dreams, to shoot for their stars, no matter how insane it may seem. (Which wanting to have a 3rd child seems absolutely insane to some and even more insane to others if you calculate my age – I’ll be 40 in Dec.)
So please don’t suffer in silence. Share your heart with others and let them share your burdens, not just your joys. We were created to do life together. So until next time….keep hoping and dreaming and cry if you need to, I’m listening.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”