This spring I am forced to recognize that perspective matters. The world looks completely different depending on the vantage point in which I place myself – and depending on the areas where I focus my gaze (literal or otherwise.).
My eyes have been glued to brown mulch rather than the tulips. Faithful readers – you’ve probably noticed that I have a hard time seeing the beauty around me. I’m more focused on the dirt; Mother’s Day is a tough time of year. I miss my mom. I want to be a mom. My father-in-law passed away on mother’s day eight years ago. It’s a landmine. The internet does not help my ability to bury my head in the sand. I have been sad this month. I know that there a good things around, but I’m having a hard time bringing them into focus.
And at the same time, I am tired of being sad. I resent this feeling of grieving. I want to be done with it. I want to not be the infertile girl. I know I can’t stuff the feelings down and pretend they don’t exist. I still want to be feeling something different. Why does this still matter to me? Why can’t the longing ease? Why can’t I control my emotions?
I want to be done with this unresolved grief in infertility. I want to be done with this radical hope that springs the week that my period is due. Each month I hope against hope that this might be “the” month. And then fight against that crazy hope as I tell myself to chill out, live in the present, and stop imagining pregnancy symptoms.
I want to see the beauty of spring – to be beautiful like the hyacinths and tulips. To feel like my spirit is awash in sunshine and beauty and the sweet smell of hyacinth. I don’t want this sneaky and mysterious sadness to visit.
And then as I was walking into class last week, I began to wonder to myself about the cost of discipleship. Am I willing to faithfully follow Jesus even if it means I won’t have biological children? Am I willing to consider not having biological children as an acceptable cost for being able to be an agent of God’s reconciliation in others’ stories? Is my pain able to be given meaning if I can harness it towards making intentional choices to participate in God’s kingdom? If Jesus himself – who was fully innocent and blameless – suffered and died so that the world might be reconciled to God, how then do I think I deserve the American dream rather than being completely sold out for his kingdom? Why do I think I deserve something easier than Jesus’ life?
These are the questions I’m stewing in now. And I begin to feel my perspective shift away from the mulch and back towards the flowers and the beauty. I wonder if this is crazy or delusional. But at the same time, I think that part of what it means to be human is to try and locate meaning in our circumstances. And so, my question now is whether the meaning that I’m choosing to make out of this seven year journey is ultimately going to be helpful or harmful for me?