I can’t tell you how many times I have been told this since I had my daughter. If you’re reading this and you’ve said it to me before, no offense taken. Really, not even a little. So why am I writing about this if not to complain of my offense? Mostly to share my struggle with you.
We live in a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath house with a bonus room. Pretty average around these parts. I work from home a good bit, so I need a designated office space. With Lydia’s toys taking over our house we decided to use the spare bedroom as her play room. My office space was in the bonus room. It wasn’t the best set up for us, but I couldn’t bare to switch with her. But after I finished my Doctorate, I finally had the time to get my house sorted out. So I did it. I picked out my favorite color, painted the spare bedroom, and moved my office in there. It worked out perfectly, and was supposed to be my reward for finally finishing my degree. So why wouldn’t I want my very own space to decorate and personalize? Why didn’t this feel like a reward to me? Because it felt like I was closing the door on ever using that bedroom for another baby. It felt so permanent. Even writing this now makes my heart hurt.
You see for years we tried to have a baby. I lost two along the way, and finally had my precious Lydia. Yes I know that should be enough for someone like me, but I wont lie, God knows my heart anyway. I long for those babies I lost. I long for Lydia to have siblings. I even put my self back out there, knowing the possibilities and tried to have a baby recently. Unless you’re immediate family you don’t know this, but I tried to have her a little brother (or sister). But you know what? I miscarried not long ago. I lost a third baby that I will never get to hold. I went through all the agony that is miscarriage, while trying to explain to my sweet baby girl why there wasn’t a baby in mommy’s tummy any more. I kept working, I kept going to church, I kept doing youth group and children’s church, and going to parties and baby showers, being a daughter, sister, and friend. I kept on listening to people say “She needs a little brother.” I felt like that last miscarriage was the answer that I didn’t want to hear. There may never be another baby for me. There I said it. There may never be another baby for me!
So instead of wallowing in what feels so unbelievable unbearable to me, I am finishing my office. I am painting furniture, hanging up pictures, and calling it mine. I won’t get angry when people tell me “She needs a little brother.” as I have before. I won’t take offense if it’s said. I won’t be bitter about it. I’ve been there before on the journey that is infertility, and I won’t go back to those places. That is not what God intends for me. I didn’t share this to ask you not to say to me “She needs a little brother.” because that wouldn’t work anyway. Am I surprised that some people say it knowing the struggle I went through to get Lydia? Sure. Am I angry at them? No. I understand that people don’t always say the right things, and that’s okay. I don’t always know what to say to others in their struggles either, and i’m 100 percent sure that i’ve said the wrong thing 1000 times.
I share this part of my journey with you to help you understand that continuing to live your life doesn’t mean you are closing doors. The doors of our life aren’t ours to open or close any way. That’s God’s job. Whether I finish my office, or leave it in disarray won’t affect God’s plans for my life. It will affect me though. We are to make the best of where we are. In the words of Paul “For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” If I leave that office unfinished, I will constantly be disappointed that it is not a nursery. Instead I will finish it as an office, and be glad about what it is. I am in a place where I don’t have another baby to put in my spare bedroom, so I will just enjoy decorating my very own space (which is a rarity after marriage and a kid). I will continue to live my life, and find joy in it. I will mourn my babies, and trust that if Lydia is to ever have a sibling here on earth, it will happen in Gods perfect time. Until then, I will finish my office.
Whatever the unfinished office is in your life, finish it. Find someway to find joy in where you are. Understand that the pain will rush up in an instant when someone says “She needs a little brother.” Or whatever that phrase is in your life concerning your hearts desire. Know that God sees you exactly where you are, and understands exactly what you’re going through. He is there to help you carry the load, and comfort those broken places, shattered by life. Listen to me when I say to you that being angry at others, being bitter and closed off, and trying to work your self to death in hopes that you can earn that “baby brother”, is NOT, I repeat, NOT the answer. Trusting God, and letting him love you through this season IS.