As I was sitting in the lobby of my obgyn’s office, a couple walked out from the back with instructions to wait on the couch until the doctor was ready to see them. They sat down across the small waiting room from where I was sitting and began looking at a strip of black and white images. “I can’t believe it,” the wife loudly whispered with a smile that took up most of her face. “Okay, this is actually starting to feel real now,” the expectant father said with a quiver in his throat. During the time we were together in the lobby, they FaceTimed friends, reminded each other that they were going to have a baby, and had no idea that I — the other person in the waiting room who would smile politely when we made eye contact — was fighting back tears.
I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience because I was feeling so many things all at once: excitement for this couple’s growing family, deep sadness for my own story, a craving for coffee while questioning if I should drive through Starbucks on the way home, annoyance that my doctor’s office put all of the patients in the same lobby to wait together, and an unprecedented desire to get out of that freaking waiting room.
On my drive home I cried. I cried and thought things and asked God questions and kept crying until I felt okay. And I also drove through Starbucks. In a humorously cruel way, the time in my doctor’s office felt like a metaphor for the season I’ve been in: the waiting room. It’s in the waiting room where I’m looking at my watch because isn’t it my time yet? and how much longer will I be here? It’s in the waiting room where there can be mourning and also celebration happening at the same time. And there’s really no better way I can explain what the last fourteen months have been like in my brain than by telling you that it has been a tension of feeling opposite feelings and believing opposite beliefs all at once.
I wonder if God is holding out on us and also believe that He sees us and has a perfect plan.
I am thankful for how I’ve grown in this season of waiting and also desperately want this season to end.
I try to love my body for what it does and also feel bitter towards it for what it hasn’t been able to do.
I am excited when I hear that my friends are pregnant and also am sad that I’m not.
I doubt things will change and also trust that they will.
I fear this belief that God doesn’t hear my prayers, or worse, care about them and also pray anyway.
I feel hopeless and also hopeful.
I sing songs in my car and feel close to God and also wonder if he knows my voice or knows me at all.
I wonder when I’ll become a mom and also remember that God has already commissioned me as a mother in ministry.
I mourn my own plans and also rejoice and believe that God is who he says he is and that it’s not about me anyway.
Maybe you understand, and I’m sorry if you do. Maybe for you it’s not fertility, but it’s something. You’re waiting on the nurse to peek around the doorway and say your name. You’re ready to stand up and get out of that freaking waiting room. You’re smiling politely at the people around you who are living the story you’re waiting to live and you’re fighting back tears because you’re afraid their story might never be yours.
So, I’ll say this to you because I need to say it to myself: your waiting isn’t for nothing. There’s something for you here. If nothing else, God is in the waiting and wants to sit with you; and maybe that’s everything you’ve ever needed and better than anything you’ve ever thought you wanted.
You can question whether you’ve been forgotten and also hear me when I say that you haven’t been.
And also and also and also.