We were seven years into trying to have a baby. Eighty-four agonizing months of never getting the answer we wanted, no matter how much we wanted it. No matter how many doctor appointments we attended, no matter how much we prayed. It didn’t appear having a child was in our life plan. I was tired. I wanted off the emotional roller coaster. I was desperate to stop hurting so much.
I tried getting busy. I was working full time, going to school at night, and serving at church. It helped, but I still couldn’t stop crying every month. Even though I was truly happy for others, my heart always stopped when I heard their happy announcements. I loved their news, but hated that it wasn’t me. I felt like I was either in tears all day or running on rage. Infertility was consuming me. It was bad. Just ask the elderly gentleman I had never met who held my hand as I wept in the theater watching Juno. I could not get it together.
I have been raised to believe in God. To believe that He cares, that my happiness matters to Him. I had spent years praying to have a child. It started as asking for direction, then begging to be blessed with a child. I even boldly prayed for a miracle. I knew God could do it. I knew it was a worthy desire. But no matter how hard, how long, how boldly I prayed, I still couldn’t get pregnant. What else could I possibly have to learn from this trial?
And then a friend got pregnant and wept over what terrible timing it was. She cried about how much she didn’t want to be pregnant. Yeah, basically I hated her. This dear friend I had loved for years suddenly became everything I despised. And that anger scared me. I was jealous, I was sad, but what I felt was loathing, crushing anger. I knew that couldn’t be what God wanted. I felt desperate. I couldn’t have children but I couldn’t make my heart stop wanting them. I suddenly realized that maybe I had been praying for the wrong thing.
I rushed home and tucked myself away in a quiet corner of our apartment. I fell to my knees and plead with my Heavenly Father. I told him that I could accept never being a mom if He would help me stop hurting. I would make the most of the gifts I had been given if He would take away the desire. Yes, I did. I prayed for my desire to be a mom taken away. No more tears each month, no more pain at others’ happy announcements. Take it all away, I bargained, and I will move forward, make the most of the life I had been given. I felt that was a fair trade-off. I could live a different plan than I wanted if God would just make my wish for children to go away. Please, please just take away the desire.
Thank God He didn’t give me what I ardently begged for. Things did change, however. Heavenly Father helped me but in his own way. Time passed faster; it didn’t seem to hurt as much. I wasn’t all-consumed with what I had started calling my “barren ground,” but I didn’t see the desire to be a mother as a burden, I saw it as guiding light. I was then able to turn that burning desire outwards and let it light the path to our beautiful family.