It was on the same day the baby was born that I sat with her. Her body had been drained, almost all the life she thought she had was poured out into 7 pounds of flesh that had her eyes and his chin. She was a mother now. In mere hours of labor she’d inherited a lifetime.
Just as I couldn’t relate as her body morphed and stretched to incubate this life, the woman she was when she walked into Martha Jefferson Hospital and the woman that I was now sitting beside seemed … different. Except this wasn’t just a difference, it was a painful estrangement from my own experience.
She was fruitful. I was barren.
“After all that, you think you could do this again?” I asked naively, ignorant of the heart-swell that motherhood can produce and blind to what her answer might elicit in me.
“Of course,” she said, without a thought. “It’s a rite of passage.”
I left her hospital room an hour later in a fog. Those words hovered around me so much so that I could think of nothing else. She gave voice to what I’d felt for years but couldn’t say out loud—because then it might really stick.
She shared this “rite of passage” with billions of women across languages and colors and boundary lines—and that rite of passage had a “Do Not Enter” sign on it, seemingly scripted just for me.
It was too painful to make fourth-floor visits to Martha Jefferson Hospital and watch soon-to-be mamas open wrapped packages of onesies and bibs. It would have been easier to shut myself off to these mothers or to shut myself off to hope. Either option would provide a reprieve (because how else do you grapple with unmet, God-given desire and a room where you’re kept waiting?).
Everything in me wanted to shove down hope.
Choosing to hope when everything in front of us tells us otherwise can be the very choice that ushers us, very close, to God’s feet.
Whether it’s a financial setback while the surrounding world seems to be padding their accounts, or being asked to stand (again) next to another friend as she makes vows with a now-husband, or as a [continue reading over here on Relevant Magazine —>]