We attended Derek’s neurology graduation banquet last night and it was a surreal moment remembering the last time we came to this was 3 years ago. I remember it so vividly because I passed on the wine served that night because I was hoping I was pregnant and one of the very pregnant residents there asked if I was. I remember chatting her up about her pregnancy and gushing about the fact that I was hoping I was too. The excitement of talking about it and imagining our kids together was so fresh. Even though we had already been trying for years it still felt so imminent and certain.
If you would have told me 3 years ago at this banquet that maybe having children wasn’t in God’s plan for us, I would have laughed at you. And then probably cried a little…or more accurately, a lot. And if you would have then told me that though there would be MANY ups and downs (many many downs), that I would eventually feel an unsurpassed peace and confidence in that plan, and even feel contently joyful in my life without children I would 100% not have believed you, not even a little bit. However, that statement is now true in my life and I do accept it with more peace and actual joy than I ever dreamed possible. And that is a true miracle.
I know that you are probably thinking….don’t give up!...there’s always a way!...or some other form of this. Well, yes I know that and I do truly thank you for the support and encouragement. We have thought that for years as well, but we are now coming to terms with the knowledge that not having children may be in fact exactly what God HAS planned for us rather than the opposite. It has taken us years to get to this place of peace in actually accepting that this might be our identity rather than the identity of being parents. This identity issue has been one of the most difficult, revolutionizing, and most freeing realizations for me. Thankfully I can honestly say that lately I have truly come to terms with my identity as a woman without children of my own. Now, whether God changes that in the future or not is up to Him, but for today we are not parents and are relishing in the peace He has given us regarding our identity as not-parents and the awesome things He has blessed us with as well as the other responsibilities in life He has given us.
I understand that this is a difficult thing for you to be reading and to come to peace about because I know how much you also want the desire of our hearts for children for us as well. And as odd as this may sound, I’m praying for you to have peace with us. We have gone through this journey on a daily basis and I know we’ve had more time to process and come to peace about it and I pray the same for you. I understand it’s difficult letting go of something you want so badly for someone else, but in this case it’s not actually letting go of our dreams, but realizing new and different dreams God is giving us. He is opening us up to desires of our hearts we never even knew existed. We have only begun to realize these by accepting our situation and identity in the present as not being parents, and we would have never gotten to where we are in life without going through this difficult journey and all the experiences God has allowed us to have through this.
The most amazing part about the graduation banquet last night was hanging out and chatting with some very pregnant residents and some very pregnant resident’s wives about their pregnancies and children, and being completely interested and not upset by it at all. I felt the similar excitement, interest, and joy I felt 3 years ago with the pregnant resident then, but with what feels like a lifetime of growth in between. I have grieved through years of waiting and wanting. I have mourned the loss of the identity I thought was mine as though it were death. I have learned to live, love, and trust in the God I know and the amazing life and identity He has blessed me with. I am so thankful for that and ultimately for my identity in Him.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature;
the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
2 Corinthians 5:17