Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Carrying Hope

I have often heard a simple story line from well meaning people, about someone they knew who reached the end of the road with infertility, gave up (sometimes they went away on holiday) and BOOM! they fell pregnant. The implication is that I just have to give up hoping and it will happen. By the way statistics show that the chances of this happening are very low.
So in November last year after our third failed IVF attempt and after the news that IVF was no longer an option, I decided that I couldn't carry hope any more. I was no longer going to hope each month. Initially it was great and I lived in the greyness of hopelessness for a while. It was safe and grey and calm. But hope started to sneak up on me and I found that I coudn't avoid it. It was back and lurked around corners, in the periphery of my vision. I realised that hope was part of who I believed in. Jesus is Hope. To give up on hope is to give up on the Hope. Hope leads to faith and without faith we have nothing. So what was I to do? Carrying hope without a result for a long time is extremely tiring and wears you down. Also this journey is different. You carry hope each and every month. It's not like hoping for something with a single outcome, like hoping for a job. It's a hope that is raised and dies every single month, 12 times a year. This has been described as an unresolved grief- you never get to move on and heal.
So I discovered two things about hope: the first is that it's easier to carry hope when I manage my expectations. So I do hope each month but also try not to expect God to come through this time in this way. I know He will (by faith) and if it's not this time, then maybe the next or the the next. The second thing is that when we can't carry hope, God will carry and build it in us. I wasn't carrying any kind of hope last November. I felt incapable of hoping after my hopes had been utterly smashed. But I found that God helped me and a little germ of hope started to grow. I believe that God is tremedously merciful to us in this journey and realises that there are times when we are incapable of hoping or praying or standing. All we need to do is wait. He will come through for us. I waited and He grew hope in me and now I can carry it. Unfortunately it wasn't this month for my breakthrough, maybe it will be next month. I hope!


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