Shortly after Christmas last year I started to put away our Christmas decorations. We were making plans for my six best friends and their husbands/significant others to come in to celebrate New Year's with us and I knew I needed to make as much extra room in our house as possible. I was on a roll, productively un-decorating and putting the house back to it's post-Christmas look when I got to our buffet table in the dining room. It was here that I had decided to set-up my favorite Christmas decoration. My Willow Tree nativity scene bought for me in pieces by my parents over the years. I wrapped the rust colored stars, the three Wise Men, the little shepherd girl, the sheep and other barn animals. Next was Joseph and then Mary holding Jesus. As I got ready to put Mary gently back into her styrofoam case until next year I stopped. There was something that struck me. The simplicity of the carved wood symbolizing a woman holding her newborn baby for the first time. Of course, she was holding the son of God, so I can only imagine what joy, responsibility, and utter fear she must have been feeling. I stood so long staring at Mary I finally sat down. I sat and asked if God would allow us this upcoming year to hold the same joy, responsibility and utter fear of raising a child of our own. It had officially been more than a year of trying. We wrote it off for months because of travel - international and domestic, the stresses of Corey taking incredibly important tests, us both working long hours, interviewing, Match Day, searching for a new home in a city 8 hours away, and finally graduating and moving in the same weekend. But, then...at that moment. The moment I found myself sitting and staring at a carved out piece of wood I realized just how long it had been and even more so...felt.
I decided to leave Mary out of the styrofoam case that goes in the cardboard box that sits in the plastic bin labeled "Christmas Stuff" that would have shortly been put in our basement closet until next year. Instead I put her in my nightstand. It was kind of my way of asking God for the same thing. A baby. Also believing Him. Believing that I too would one day in fact be completely unaware of everything going on around me because of the eyes of a newborn.
Just the other day I was stricken with a sadness. Not a sadness that is new, just a sadness that took me by surprise. A sadness I have learned over the past two years how to cope with. Always there. Always lingering. Sometimes it disappears, but it always seems to find it's way back to me. That day was no different. With Christmas approaching I was reminded of how it's almost time to pull my nativity set out of it's styrofoam casing, in the cardboard box, stored in the plastic bin in our basement closet. Soon Mary and Jesus will have to rejoin their other wood carved, Cracker Barrel bought family.
I am pretty candid with my blog posts and believe strongly that vulnerability is good for the soul. And, although I have thought many times of posting something this past year about the struggles we're going through with infertility, I've had so many fears. Fears of being a charity case. Fears that people would feel awkward around us. Fear that people wouldn't feel like they could tell me with excitement that they're pregnant. Fear that the friends of ours that do have kids will have less and less to relate to us with. But, I know that fear only handicaps us. So, I'm going to set it aside and through glassy eyes push 'Publish Post' at the end of this rant.
Thanks for reading. There are many of you out there that I don't even know. I know, too, that with many of you I met you long after you had met me through this blog. I hope the same for the rest of you who check in on my life and my work. I might not know you personally, but I know of you and I'm grateful you're there.