Confessions, Husband, Infertility, Letters to My Kids

Hope or Optimism?

Dear Child of Mine,

I love being able to write to you. It gives me a purpose and a focus, both of which seem very allusive to me these days. These letters are a pretty honest look into the real me, my likes and dislikes, the things that excite me and the situations that bring me to my knees in prayer. My emotions are complex; most of the time I can’t even sort through them. I’ll babble on and on to your dad and he listens, attentively, knowing that is what I need from him. He offers no input or advice unless I ask, because we both know whenever I’m done prattling on, a light will switch on and an insight comes to the forefront of my mind offering peace or need for change or a way out.

I wish my mind didn’t operate in such a wibbly, wobbly, timey, whimey sort of way. But it does. For whatever reason, God saw fit to combine my deeply intertwined, emotionally fueled, overly sensitive thought process with your father’s straight forward, rationally realististic, practical application type of mind. And, honestly, it’s a beautiful thing. We’re both “extremes,” so the end result is balance. (Or at least that’s the idea.)

I’m not really sure how I got to all of ^that^ stuff when my original post started with this most excellent perspective of living with hope by Henri Nouwen.

Optimism and hope are radically different attitudes. Optimism is the expectation that things-the weather, human relationships, the economy, the political situation, and so on-will get better. Hope is the trust that God will fulfil God’s promises to us in a way that leads us to true freedom. The optimist speaks about concrete changes in the future. The person of hope lives in the moment with the knowledge and trust that all of life is in good hands.

All the great spiritual leaders in history were people of hope. Abraham, Moses, Ruth, Mary, Jesus, Rumi, Gandhi, and Dorothy Day all lived with a promise in their hearts that guided them toward the future without the need to know exactly what it would look like. Let’s live with hope.

These words by one of my most-loved authors perfectly depict the hopeful focus that I can have during this journey of waiting for you. Infertility is a hard thing. It’s pretty much the OPPOSITE lifestyle that I thrive in. I need schedules, set plans, goals, focus, and a sense that I know where I’m going. Without that plan laid out, I’m a floundering ball of stress and apprehension.

And yet…this is the path on which God is leading me. It’s uncertain. It’s completely unpredictable. It’s difficult. It’s a roller coaster. And I have anything BUT a plan in place.

It would be easy to listen to the the teeny tiny optimistic corner of my mind (and all of those platitudes offered): “It’ll be ok. You’ll have a baby. It might even be soon.” But none of us knows what the future holds. I can’t rely on unrealistic expectations. I can’t just choose to be optimistic.

I can CHOOSE HOPE. I can live today in hopeful trust of My Good God. He is leading me on the path of true freedom.

Waiting for you, Waiting on God,

Your Mama


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