Remember that great Disney song from Pocahontas? Just in case you developed amnesia, here it is:
My favorite lyrics?
“Should I choose the smoothest curve
Steady as the beating drum?
…Is all my dreaming at an end?
Or do you still wait for me,
Just around the riverbend?”
For whatever reason, despite my preference to choose the smoothest course, Jesus typically makes me take the roundabout way. Typically I hate it in the moment…but I look back after the wild ride is done and thank him for taking me on yet another adventure.
Something has been coming up in prayer lately. Not anything huge. Actually quite small. Kind of like what Elijah experienced:
“And he said, “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.” 1 Kings 19:11-12
What’s the still small voice been saying, you ask?
It’s been telling me that one day…just around the riverbend (weeks, months, years, only God knows how long my wild riverbend of infertility is)…my circumstances will change.
I will likely either be a mother someday, God will change my heart’s desires and reveal something else I am called to do as a wife, or he will give me supernatural strength and courage in this cross. I am confident that His will isn’t to emotionally rake me over the coals for the rest of my life until I die. Yes, I feel stuck in a never-ending, grueling, suffocating, heart-breaking, Bill-Murray-Groundhog’s-Day-esque, brutal place. But it won’t be my forever. There is a life beyond this riverbend even though I am clueless to how it will play out.
How will I look back on this time of waiting?
I don’t want to get 20/20 vision someday when I am cozily on “the other side” and look back and regret how I lived my life through this trial.
Will I look back and see a girl desperately needing a hug on a constant basis? Will I look back and see someone who wallowed in near-despair for years on end? Will I look back and wish I had been more generous with the gift of myself to others despite being in tremendous emotional and physical pain? Will I look back and see a girl who fell for the Devil’s lies more often than she clung to eternal truths of her Almighty King?
Will I regret how I lived my life?
I don’t want to regret it. I want to live my life in light of the truth that this isn’t the end of my story. That infertility and all its emotions aren’t my eternal destiny. That God does have a plan for me despite my ability to see or understand it. That I am going around a particularly arduous riverbend that has another side to it even though I can’t see much right now.
If I live my life in light of those things…it will likely change how I spend the time waiting.
Sure, I will definitely have highs and lows, as to be expected. I am not superhuman. If I lived in this confident trust and hope, I would be at peace far more often than not. I would strive more eagerly to carry my cross with Jesus and to offer it up for others. I would want to make each day count and not live my life for some fantasy future that isn’t reality (yet). I would calm down and not get so frantic or anxious. I wouldn’t be able to regret this time, knowing I fought hard to look at Jesus as we hung and died on this cross together.
Lately, I read this blog post. It affirmed what I’ve been thinking in prayer. I see how beautiful life “beyond the riverbend” is for this woman who battled her way through 5+ years of infertility. I know that type of sweet redemption is possible for me even though it won’t be her same story. Or anyone else’s story. I know who my God is. Nothing is impossible with him.
For now, I continue winding along on the riverbend of infertilty.
“Is all my dreaming at an end?”
No. It’s not. It appears that everyone else is on the smooth course but take me on the crazy route, Lord. The one that bends and curves and even has a terrifyingly steep waterfall. I trust you will my good. That there is life around this riverbend. That all my dreams aren’t at an end. You will take care of me. Help me choose truth when I want to choose lies. Help me keep my eyes fixed on you and not what other people’s lives look like. Help me to operate out of a spirit of trust and not a spirit of fear. Then, and only then, will I be able to look back on this time in our journey together and not regret how it was spent. Your will be done.
I know that I will look back one day and thank you for this path you’ve chosen, even if I can’t thank you today.