It was indeed midnight before I crawled into bed beside my sleeping husband after my last post. I had more tears, even then. They began as sniffs that turned into those little gulps, which became bigger gulps as Rob reached for me, and then full-on sobs.
Wednesday night was the beginning. Friday, our next-door neighbors brought their newborn home from the hospital. Saturday I inflicted my own pain by watching the beautifully-done newborn slideshow they e-mailed to friends. Sunday we gathered with Rob’s family for Easter, and I wondered if the baby announcement would come before we could leave. Monday, my body confirmed that I am not pregnant.
But this is not the whole story.
Though the pain is true and real and worthy of telling, the pain alone is not a fair telling. Because I have experienced grace in this painful place. It is good for me to remember; good for me to tell.
» One month ago, my sister-in-law and I finally talked about the “what if” of them getting pregnant first. The vulnerability of such a talk had plagued me for months. How could I ask her for what I needed, without seeming to control how they shared their news? I was embarrassed. I was hurting. As it turned out, we were in the grocery store, picking up items for a spontaneous dinner together, when the conversation turned. “We pray every night that you’ll get pregnant first,” she told me. Her words were a balm; I knew she “got” my awkward, painful spot in relation to her. And I understood her awkward juxtaposition of desires for herself and for me. She gave me that opening to tell her that the best thing she could do for me is to let me know—whenever it happened—before she made a public announcement with me present. The evening made the possibility of her pregnancy seem bearable.
» Several weeks later, I finally wrote a thank-you note to her. And I told her, in case it had not come through clearly before, that we will be happy for them. My note arrived the afternoon she returned from her first doctor’s visit, where she saw the heartbeat that confirmed her home test results. She’d been afraid to tell me…she opened the note, cried, and gave me a call.
» I felt no envy. I’ve fought that monster before on this journey, and know what it looks like burrowed in my heart. By God’s grace, I did not need to fight it now.
» After going to sleep feeling passed over and rejected for God’s favor, I awoke with two phrases of a song in my head; a song I’d heard once, several days earlier. At work, I googled those phrases and found this song by Casting Crowns:
But the voice of truth tells me a different story
the voice of truth says “do not be afraid!”
and the voice of truth says “this is for my glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth
Grace does not remove the reality of my painful circumstance. It doesn’t answer my questions. Sometimes it even raises new questions.
But these pieces…these granules of grace…remind me that I am seen. I am not forgotten.