In fact, much of the time I feel pretty lonely. Three years later, many of my friends have gotten married, had babies, and some are on their second child in that time. This is not easy for me. It's hard living with this strange reality, where I want something good, and there's nothing I can do about it. It's hard to live with the questions that come up inevitably - did God forget? DOES He have a purpose in all of this? Waiting has gotten easier in a sense because it's normal, but the hurting doesn't stop.
I remember June 11, 2012 vividly. The morning, waking up to bid my teammates farewell as I stayed behind for four more weeks in Ukraine. I remember the nap on the bus on the way home, and the way my heart stopped when we stopped for a bathroom break and I saw blood. It was red. It was not right. I knew that immediately. "Nonononono" I repeated to myself for the remainder of our drive, recalling things I'd read about bleeding, very few of them with hopeful outcomes. It didn't feel like something I was going through. I was numb, staring out the window with my mind racing through so many things. I was in another country, on a bus, and I was in this place for four more weeks. What and why and how and what should I do?
I prayed, and tried to at least look calm. I was afraid, and I'd never been afraid like that before.
I wish this memory were distant. I wish that there had been a happy outcome and that I barely remembered that day. The truth is that I remember it all. The blood, the pain, the sobbing alone in the bathroom and the backyard. If my memory were a movie, it would be shot with that shaky camera technique, because that's how it feels - vivid but also a complete blur.
And it was three years ago. Three.
Were I to have had a baby in the time since, I don't know how I might feel about this day, but right now, I look at June 11 as the very beginning of a chapter. A much longer season than ever anticipated. A black hole, perhaps. And while I do have hope, I wonder if this was the beginning of the rest of my life or if it really is just a small season. Will I feel that baby kick? Will I hear the first gasps for breath from a newborn?
I feel like today I am still only picking up the pieces. I am still understanding what it means to hope in God while not getting what I want. I'm still not sure what He will have me do if not be a mother, and still not sure if I'll like the answer when it arrives. I still have a lump in my throat when I think very much about this, and still don't know how to talk about it without it sounding like a personal pity party.
I still don't have answers, and that makes it all the more difficult to process. I hope and pray that at least the season of miscarriage has ended, or at least I think I hope that, as this is the only pain of infertility I really know.
I think more than anything, I hope to really see a reason one day. I don't expect a shining beacon in the clouds, but I see small glimmers and I do hope to one day look back and say, "oh, because of that horrible thing (those horrible things), this other blessing has come!" It doesn't take the pain away, but it somehow makes it beautiful, to know there's a reason. And I do know there is, and I am hopeful that I will see it and that I will use it and that I will praise Him.
He brings beauty from ashes. Beauty from pain.