I told you I'd have more thoughts on this.
As I mentioned before, I am anything but a quitter. It always bothered me to hear people say, "When I finally gave up, that's when I got pregnant!" That, to me, is almost as irritating as the advice, "Just relax and it will happen!" - because both imply that there is something harmful I am doing, that I couldn't possibly change, which is preventing me from conceiving. In the first case, it is actually desiring being a mother. (And for me, I would literally have to give up the desire to be a MOTHER, not just the desire to be pregnant, because there is no adoption process available to us at this time.) In the second case, it is stress. The implication is, if you remove stress from your life, you will magically become pregnant. The statement in and of itself is incredibly stressful.
But as more and more time passes, and new crosses reveal themselves around every corner of my life, I am more and more drawn to the idea of just letting go of trying to conceive.
It is the most painful decision I've ever pondered. Every fiber in my being is invested in this decision, whatever the final outcome.
It is a painful decision because to let go, as a human, feels so much like quitting. How could it not? You have a goal in mind: becoming a mother. You set out to achieve that goal, which is a God-given desire, and you put 100 % of your heart, your spirit, your body, and your mind into reaching that goal. You may start down one path, which appears to be blockaded, but instead of giving up, you explore other paths, tredging through thick, muddy swamps, climbing over downed tree limbs and bushes... always pushing forward, always with that goal swelling in your heart.
What does it mean to surrender that journey? Does it mean we stop walking? But that is giving up! How do we surrender the journey without feeling as though we've quit, and given up on our dreams?
I think about the persistant widow of the Gospels. The one who never stops asking the judge for what she wants. I think about St. Therese, not accepting "no" as an answer in entering the convent under the legal age, and going straight to the Bishop for approval. I think about these examples, and I see the end results: the widow receives her wish when the judge finally gives in, and St. Therese becomes the youngest nun, later to die at age 24.
The difference between their lives and mine is that I know the ending of their stories. I can understand why their persistance is now an example to us all.
I don't know the ending of my story. I only know the here and now.
Surrendering to God's will. We hear it a lot as Christians. But what does it mean, exactly?
It would seem that there is a fundamental clash here. We are taught to surrender. We are shown that persistance pays off in the end.
What if we could somehow do both?
Going back into the woods, and looking at the paths I've gone down, which have all seemingly been blockaded with unsurmountable obstacles, I look forward from where I stand to see nothing but darkness and closed paths. But from a bird's eye view... from God's view, what might those woods look like? He can see everything - He can see ALL of the other paths that surround me on all sides, which have been invisible to me due to my tunnel vision. He can see how close or how far I am from getting out of the woods and into the pasture. He can see all of the trials, tribulations, joys and excitements that all of those other paths could bring to me. He can, in short, see the rest of my story as He would want it to be.
Following my will, which seemed to be God's will, has only narrowed my journey. True surrender to God's will can open it to all the other opportunities I have yet to see.
And yet, I do not need to "give up" in my persistance on this journey. I can continue in my desire to be a mother, and I can follow the other open paths with that desire growing and burning strongly in my heart. I can keep praying, and hoping, that someday my desires will be fulfilled - WHILE I WALK DOWN GOD'S OPEN PATHS. I believe this is the way to bring surrender and persistance together so that they no longer clash, but complement each other.
True surrender. It means being strong enough to open yourself to the unknown, and never giving up. Letting go of the narrow vision of "trying to conceive," but allowing myself to let God in and let Him write the rest of my story.
I'm not sure if I'm there yet. But I'm working on it.