"Life has many ways of testing a person's will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once." ~ Paulo Coelho
I find this quote to be far truer than I would like. And I'm going to use it to focus on one aspect of my life that is very much on my mind: my daughter. For those who are new readers, I should share that I had about given up on having a biological child. And while I had always, since I was a little girl, planned to adopt, it was still a blow to think that I would never carry a child. We had been trying off and on for nearly our entire marriage (about 4 years) to no avail. And instead, as we prepared for G to leave for Iraq, we were also preparing to begin an adoption when he came home.
I struggled during those years. The hope that never seemed to help. And then a hurt as my brother's previous fiancee became pregnant. (Although it gave me my beautiful niece, Alayna, who is an absolute delight.) It forced me to feel like less of a woman at times, even though I knew there was a family history of struggling to conceive for the women in my family. And of course we weren't sharing our struggles so there was the constant questioning about when we were planning to ever start our family that was like little knife wounds.
I believe firmly that God had a plan for us, and it was only once we completely had said yes to adopting, to taking in a child of His, that we conceived. Of course, as the last bit of the quote says, it happened all at once. G left for Iraq, I was busy with meetings at church, and it was as I sat there watching a video where a priest said something about "mothers" that I suddenly knew that the exhaustion was not from keeping with G's schedule. I took a test that afternoon and there, 5 weeks after he had left, I called G and told him he was going to be a father. I was on my own, in a huge city, having signed up for bocce ball and a summer of drinking sangria while relaxing with friends, and suddenly I was also pregnant by way of a hormone surge from medical issues.
I now find myself in another time of everything being on my plate at once, both good and bad. I have found an appreciation for some people in my life, and hurt by others. I find myself struggling as a new mama to find the balance between that role and mine as simply a woman. We recently decided to stay our course here rather than take another go at England, because though it broke both our hearts, it's what is best for right now. Our church life is in upheaval as we search for a place that provides a better community. It seems one thing after another that is testing my character, my faith, and my heart.
But I urge you, if you find yourself in a similar season to not let it harm you. To instead find what the lesson is in all of it. If you read the above paragraph it would seem I am in the season of learning to let go. Let go of people. Let go of trying to define myself with just one role. Let go of "home" for a bit. Let go of defining myself by denomination rather than faith. Once you figure out what the lesson is, it seems to bring a peace even if none of it is what you wanted.
In accepting the peace, you realize that while none of it may be what you want in a lesson, it usually is exactly what you need in this season.