Life interrupted: What now?
What do you do when you can't just "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" and create your dreams or goals out of thin air? What if the 'perfect' life is suddenly interrupted by an unplanned situation...or lack thereof?
Insert exhibit A:
The family in this photo looks happy, joyful, full of possibilities! And they are! But in the midst of this beautiful photo was the beginning of a struggle that stopped us dead in our tracks at the time. My husband and I had been burning the candle at both ends since we met: got married, bought a house, bought two bulldogs (and two ridiculously fluffy Maine Coon cats), completed an associates degree and two bachelors degrees between us, and saw Eric become credentialed as a minister. The next logical step, like most young couples, is children. Even if my biological clock didn't constantly remind me that, "Hey, you're not young forever", those that we loved around us made it known, too.
"When are you guys having kids?"
"You should have kids so we can have play dates!"
"You guys are gonna make beautiful babies!"
These words of encouragement were all delivered in love and excitement! And trust me..we were equally as excited for the possibility of starting a family! But what do you do when you can't just "make it happen?" What does life look like when a dream is deferred or gone? Maybe that dream is children...maybe it's for a spouse...or [insert a long list of possibilities you're waiting on God for]. Friend, I get it.
I'll tell you what happens in these dark times...8+ years later, you GO. THROUGH. SOME. STUFF. And by that, I mean...you have to have some hard conversations with yourself, with your spouse, with friends and family, and with God. These conversations are raw, brutal, and certainly one I never thought I'd have to have. Truth be told, I'm still in the midst of many of these conversations and dissecting the implications of this wound. If there's one thing I can encourage you to do in the midst of the heartbreak...it's be honest. Really honest with yourself, with what you want, with what your call is. Press into that still, small voice of our Creator because there is a satisfaction and joy when we are in His will that no earthly blessing will measure up to.
But that's why I started On (In)Fertile Ground...because I've realized that a dream deferred or a dream cancelled doesn't mean an unfulfilling life. It means that life is going to look different than expected. But friends, if you are reading this, that is NOT a bad thing. This unwanted blessing may just open us up for a greater call, an opportunity that many couldn't complete. There is joy, laughter, and belonging in the midst of the mess. Our job? To be intentional about living it out.
And friends...those two people that found themselves in the midst of a mess? Guess what? They're still there. But they're there together, figuring it out one day at a time. Stronger, more united and fully confident that the best is yet to come.