Five o’clock was quickly approaching on a Thursday evening. It was the first Thursday of the month which meant it was time for the HOPE Infertility Support Group at Lakewood Church. These meetings are always a highlight of my month. I finished up my to-do list at work and promptly left at 5pm. Since I was only a few miles away from the church I had asked my dear friend, Lesli, if she wanted to meet me for dinner before the group started.
We decided to meet at 5:30. I rushed out the door at five and called Lesli to tell her I was on my way. A mile after my phone call, I approached a train track as the arms were coming down and bells were dinging wildly, warning me of an on-coming train.
Nothing tips the richter scale of my anxiety higher than when I’ve worked hard to get somewhere on time, only to be met with the obstacle of a creeping train, or traffic, or whatever else could impede my progress. Anxiousness overwhelms me and I have to talk myself off of a ledge. “It’s okay. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get there in time. Lesli won’t be mad at you if you’re late. She’ll understand. You can’t do anything about this train.” Realizing I had no control over the situation made me put my car in park and wait for the train to pass.
As I sat there listening to the train horn and the rhythm of the train cars on the track, I calmed down. I exercised my patience. Peace came over me as I thought about how God might be protecting me from getting in a wreck up ahead. I started thanking him. I started thanking him for the wait.
When we were ready to start having a family, there was already waiting that came with that decision. We planned and planned and then when the time came to start, we felt like we had worked so hard to get out of the starting gate on time. Then, as we were traveling down the road of trying to make our children, we were stopped by a giant obstacle – the monster that is infertility.
We were on pace to achieving our goal of having a family but then suddenly everything came to a hault as we saw the arms starting to lower and the bells starting to ding, warning us that a giant obstacle was coming. All of our dreams and ambitions, our faith, our hope, our peace, our positivity, our happiness – everything came to a stop and anxiety began to overwhelm us. We lost peace when we learned that I needed surgery for endometriosis. Then, the first insemination failed and our patience was shot. After the second insemination failed, our happiness was gone. Finally, when the doctors told us that my egg reserve is low, our positivity was out the window.
This is the point where we have had to make a choice. Do we sit at the tracks overwhelmed with anxiety while the train of infertility crosses our path? Or do I put my car in park and wait patiently? I’ve decided to let go of the fact that I’m in control. No matter what we have planned, things happen in God’s timing. That has been my first step in finding peace during the waiting.
I keep thinking of the life that is on the other side of the train tracks while I wait for the train of infertility to pass. Why do I have to wait? Does my kid need to be here at an exact moment to save someone’s life? (a la It’s a Wonderful Life) Perhaps there was a dangerous character flaw in me that needed to be smoothed out and refined before I could cross the tracks to my children…something that would make me a better mom than I would have been had we not been made to wait. Whatever the reason is for this wait, I know my final promise is that I will have a family. And I serve a God who fulfills his promises.
As I sat at this train track I thought about these things. Whatever the reason is for the waiting in our lives, we have a choice on how to respond to our circumstances. We can wait in angst or we can put our car in park and trust in the promise that we have been given. Let us use this time to refine our character, to keep a patient ear to hear what we feel our next steps should be, to focus on the Lord, to encourage others who are going through the same things, to plant seeds of hope in others’ lives.