A while back, my post talked about the fact that we are putting our Journey to Baby Bear on hold. We have completely stopped doing all the textbook things you are supposed to do when undergoing fertility treatments; except I am still taking medicine to treat my brain tumor in an effort to continuously reduce my prolactin level.
In the last several months, I have run into old friends and new who follow along in the story of our lives. After making small talk and catching up on the details of days gone by, the question of ‘what’s next’ came up in each and every conversation. But I didn’t have a very good answer to offer to them. I realize that I shouldn’t be overly concerned with their asking as it’s always done in a loving manner showing concern and never in any way less. No one means anything by it, it’s harmless – it makes sense for them to ask; they are our friends and family and they are showing their concern. I get it.
When asked these questions, it doesn’t help me feel content with where we are in our life. It does more damage than you probably realize. Maybe you’re just trying to make conversation or small talk, or maybe you’re genuinely interested in my life. For that, I’m very appreciative. But when you ask, it reminds me that I’m far behind where I’d hoped to be when we started on this path to parenthood. It makes me feel broken. I feel like I’m letting you down as well as my husband and myself. Instead of relishing in the freedom, and limitless possibilities that this stage of life offers Christopher and I, I am left frozen, feeling like I’m not enough. Like what I’ve done doesn’t really matter or that I’ve accomplished nothing.
Having dealt with all of those thoughts and emotions for a long time, it’s probably going to sound strange to say that I feel like there is a realm of complete freedom surrounding me. It was so clear that the Lord led us to trust Him and since it’s been such a relief. I have no clue what CD I am on, no idea if I’m ovulating; truth be told I don’t know much about my body right now. I never really realized how I was trying to control things until after we decided to take a break, but I feel like the best ‘me’ that I’ve been in a long time.
What if my aim is to love people well, and to fully embrace the gifts I’ve been given? Would that be enough? What if my life goal is to simply run the race, to be called a good and faithful servant at the end of it all? Maybe it includes having a family. Maybe it doesn’t. Is it ok if it doesn’t?
I would like to suggest one thing, though: instead of asking me what’s next, ask me what’s now. Ask me what God is teaching me, ask me what I’m struggling with, or what brings me joy. I am learning, I am growing, I am happy and I would love to tell you all about it.
I might not have what people expect I should have after being married for nearly 6 years coupled with the desire to be parents that Christopher and I have – but we are abundantly blessed with absurd, exhilarating, and fantastic things I would have never dreamed up on my own. There is so much freedom in our decision and I feel the best I’ve felt in a long (long) time. I truly believe that we are on the path the Lord wants us to be on at this point in our lives.. my hands are wide open and ready to receive whatever it is that unfolds next in our journey.
So please, don’t ask me what’s next.. ask me what’s now.