“They don’t understand!” I cried in the car. “They don’t understand anything about IVF or the heartache of infertility, or what we’re going through!” It’s a conversation/Jenn-cries-and-Shawn-listens we’ve had before, with past treatments and this current treatment.
It’s such a fragile place to be because your hopes are so high, but yet you don’t know the end result. And the wait makes you feel weary. People have questions, and you share with excitement news up to this point, but yet you’re not pregnant yet. You’re still childless after so many years of praying.
You’re in your own awkward social circle. Not a mom, not pregnant, but in line with hope, waiting. Always waiting.
As I continued to cry Shawn encouraged me with a few simple words, “But this is our story.”
This is our story. And the scary but awesome thing about that is that we’re not writing it. If we were, things would probably look very different. This story is being written by God. His stories don’t always end with roses and violins, in the perfect “The End” conclusion that we think we should see. But they always, always end with redemption. His stories always end with a greater good.
Trusting his writing process as we live out the story at the same time is hard. I told Shawn in the car that this chapter feels long. Sometimes I’m ready for another chapter. It won’t be an easy one, life has already shown me that. But it will be a new chapter, a start into something we’ve both wanted for a very long time. Or a new chapter of healing.
I love stories of all kinds: love stories, stories of survival, stories of second chances.
We don’t know how long this chapter will be or how many pages it will have in it, or what the next title will be. But I know we can trust the author. This trust doesn’t come easily with my own story, to be honest. I’ve seen earlier chapters end with devastation and tears.
But reading other people’s stories refreshes my hope in God’s unstoppable power and the way he works in the most miraculous ways. Right now I’m reading the story of the Israelites in Exodus (2nd book of the Bible). They were delivered, and saved, but they still went their own way. God always came after them, the story was not over even when they probably thought it was. I love these stories in the Bible because they happened, first of all, but also because we can see real human emotion and struggle through these stories. Because they were recorded for us we can read the beginning, and we can read again how in the end, and in the middle of it all, God’s redemption and salvation saved the day. When Moses’ mom put him in a basket and placed him in the river so he wouldn’t be murdered (due to a law that was passed that all baby boys must be killed), she most likely assumed she’d never see him again. She probably never saw it coming that just a little while later Pharoh’s daughter (the daughter of the one killing these babies) would actually pay her to nurse him! Her own child, the one she thought she’d never see again! God was writing her story even when in fear she placed her child in that basket, bidding him farewell with a kiss on his chubby baby cheek.
This is just a small story in a big book, but we see God at work. In every story, in every chapter, in the good and in the bad, he works redemption and purpose into the story. We just don’t always see it. At least not right away.
And that gives me hope in our own story, the one God is writing for us. The one where we’re fighting hard for a baby.