This may be silly, but I have purposely avoided using the phrase "letting go." I don't know why. I guess it just sounds so cliche. Nevertheless, that is the only phrase that has been in my head for the last couple of weeks, so what can I do? It is what it is.
I suppose I've been thinking about this for a long time, but I finally voiced it to Robby a couple of weeks ago when we were driving back from San Francisco. I had taken the pregnancy test that morning, and of course it turned out to be negative. We talked about how hard it is to let go of ideas we had about life and family and babies. Some of the ideas are nearly silly, but that's how it goes sometimes.
One thing I'm having to let go of is the hope that we could have babies right along with our friends. I wanted my kids and my friends' kids to be the same age, so we could all be in the same phase of life together. As my friends' children grow, I feel more and more left behind, and sometimes I even feel panicked about the time that's passing, the opportunity that's leaving.
I also have to let go of the hope that I'd be a "young mom." Sure, 28 is still young, I give you that. But I wanted to be like my mom, all done with having kids at 30, still young when her kids are grown. And I certainly didn't think I'd be 28 years old, wondering if babies were even in the near future.
I'm having to let go of what I thought my role at church would be by now. I had hoped I'd have kids and get a break from ministry! I thought we would be at the point where "our ministry is our family" and I would get to focus on my family and serve in the nursery once in awhile :) I didn't expect things to still look as they are.
Perhaps more seriously, I'm having to let go of the belief that my children would be mine biologically. I looked forward to the day when I would have a baby who looked like me or my husband. As we continue in this struggle, the idea of adoption becomes more real and more welcomed, but that was never something we intended to do when we were married.
On that same drive, I asked Robby if he would have done the last six years differently, if we had known then what we know now, that it would be at least this long for us to begin our family, and perhaps much much longer. We both "dreamed" awhile and talked about how we had wanted to live at the beach or we had wanted to do more school or we had wanted to pursue a different career. But then we both realized that that is precisely why God doesn't let us know ahead of time what struggles we're going to face. The spiritual life is about change, and change comes from dealing with trials and the unexpected and the difficult, allowing God to work in us when things don't go as we want them to go or planned them to be. Some of these things I'm having to release may seem silly, but they're just one part of the change that's had to take place inside of me, whether I wanted it to happen or not. And as my hope in these things has decreased, my hope in God alone has increased. I'm understanding more and more what it means to allow God to lead us in our lives and let Him decide what the best life is for us.