This time of year I always feel a mixture of joy and sadness. Joy that the leaves are changing into beautiful colors. Sadness that they are turning brown and dying. Wonder at the crisp air and blue sky that refreshes after hot humid mosquito summer. Wonder at this toddler that two years ago was two lines on a test strip. Sadness at the positive test three years ago that ended in miscarriage. Every year around this time I allow myself to think– what if? Every time I see a girl (I really think the baby was a girl, but it was too early to tell) around what would have been her age I get very sad. One little girl in particular really got to me last year. She had a mess of red curly hair and spunk to match. I don’t know if our little girl would have had red hair, but it most definitely would have been curly. It was sad and happy for me to watch her antics and personality come out over the course of my year there.
I am feeling a mixture of joy and sadness again this year. I am thrilled that I ovulated this month. For someone who has ovulated a grand total of five times in the past four year (three of those times due to clomid) any ovulation is wonderful. My acupuncture doctor John Kang’s revolting mixture of sweet and bitter herbs combined with the acupuncture and some of God’s grace resulted in an ovulation this month. I was really hoping that the ovulation would also result in a pregnancy. It doesn’t look like that is the case and the news has hit me a little hard. I know I’m having a bad day when I don’t get dressed before say two in the afternoon. It doesn’t happen often but yesterday was one of those days. Before yesterday I really thought I was going to be fine either way. But given that of the previous four times I ovulated, two times Ibecame pregnant, I figured that this time it would work too. Not so. Now I’m not sure that I’m not pregnant, just pretty sure. I’ll let you know later in the day after I take a test. But all signs point in the direction of a negative.
This potential negative isn’t the end of the world, but it is hard. It is a reminder for me that as much as I like to think it, I am not in control of my life. My crazy body that doesn’t like to ovulate is a reminder of that. Dear friends of mine who struggle and find they are unable to conceive remind me of that. My miscarriage was a huge reminder. One that brought me to a new place with God. One of the books that really met me during that time was Making Sense of Suffering by Peter Kreeft. Here is an excerpt from the book that explains it far better than I could. One quote that has brought me comfort when I question God and wrestle with him about suffering (why, why is it unequally distributed, why do some people suffer such horrible things) is this
Not only do we only know God through Jesus Christ, but we only know ourselves through Jesus Christ. Apart from Jesus Christ we cannot know the meaning of our life or our death, of God or of ourselves.
In short God does not answer our tortured questions but he does give us himself. And we have to believe that in the same way that our life has meaning, our suffering has meaning as well, even if we can’t understand it ever.