A few years ago I would have been in heaven. Sitting at our church picnic, holding my goddaughter on my lap while she ate, watching her 2 sisters play, and then watching other mom's with young children bring their children over to play too. It was what I dreamed of - building a church community, meeting other young couples, and making new friends. And loving on their children with the thought in the back of my head that some day that might be us. It just never happened that way. We have a couple of friends from our church, but not a group/community.
Today, it happened. And it wasn't heaven. It was one of the hardest moments on this road to-date. It started out awesome. My goddaughter on my lap eating, her sisters off with The Man watching the magician and her mom and I chatting. And then another mom came to join us, with her sweet baby. And then another. And then the magician was done and the older siblings all came back. And sitting there, outside in the sunshine, it felt like the air wouldn't fill my lungs. And the tears sat just under the surface.
So, instead of sitting and chatting and building new relationships, I told The Man I was ready to go. And we left. I just couldn't face the possibility of being asked "Do you have children?" I just couldn't do it today.
And it is one more thing I am missing out on because of IF. Missing out on first smiles, and steps, and pregnancy, and childbirth, and all that comes with a son or daughter. On top of all that I am missing out on potential friendships and community as well.
The blessing in all of this is that I had an outlet. After the ice cream I'd eaten settled in my stomach, I grabbed my running shoes and headed out for my first-ever 7 mile run. As my feet hit the pavement, my mind was racing at first, but after about a mile the best thing happens and my brain shuts off. It goes on autopilot and I stop obsessing and I feel free. The music is loud in my ears and my focus is on a steady pace and meeting my goal. While I wish with everything in me that my baby-making parts would work right, I am determined to see the gift that running (and swimming and biking) has become for me. I am determined to be grateful that my body seems to be working right in this area and that it is an outlet where my brain turns off.
As I find myself craving this "turning off", this freedom, I realize the only other time I find this is during Adoration. It's a different sort of "turning off", but the feeling of freedom is the same. I even cry while I run sometimes...and of course during Adoration sometimes. I need to do a better job of making time with Jesus as much of a priority as I've made running. I need to give myself this gift of letting go more often and in more ways - meaning I can't replace exercise with Adoration or vice versa. I have found a way to add the exercise into my days, now I need to find a way to add the Adoration. It is the only way I'm ever going to be able to sit and stay and face "the" question, it is the only way to limit the missing out to that which is out of my control.