There are times I am painfully reminded of everything infertility took from me…and most importantly, others. Today is one of them. On our commute to work lost dreams became the topic of discussion.
For around fourteen years other dreams were put on hold because we were consumed with trying to have a baby. During that time other dreams died, and they weren’t all mine either. They were infertility’s collateral damage. My husband had dreams, and while the reasons he didn’t pursue those dreams weren’t entirely my fault I feel that I held him back in a lot of ways.
My husband felt a call to the ministry, and while we are both now working for a major international ministry it’s not quite the work he had imagined “in ministry.” It was during the hard years of infertility, treatments, and my own personal and spiritual turmoil my husband felt called to be a pastor. I was so consumed by our inability to conceive that I told him that I didn’t think I could handle being a pastor’s wife. Heck, I couldn’t even comfort and encourage myself. How could I be the bubbly, perky stereotypical preacher’s wife? Who would take us seriously if we didn’t have children? How could we relate to 99% of any given congregation? Being a pastor’s wife was going to be a stretch for me even if our family status had been optimal for the job. I’m introverted even though I can put on an extroverted face when the need arises. A trait of my personality type is the ability to rise to the occasion and do what needs to be done, but combine infertility with disillusionment about what was going on in my own church at that time…a preacher’s wife was the last thing I wanted to be. This along with some other circumstances served to totally derail my husband’s dream of being a minister. So, add another disappointment upon our shoulders partially brought on by me…the much less than encouraging wife.
I know God has an amazing ability to bring beauty from ashes, and in some ways he has done that for us. Because we remained childless we were free to totally pull up roots and move to accept the jobs we have now, but we still struggle with the lost dreams of the past. There’s a pervasive cloud in our marriage that we’re not all that we could be. Some of the same roadblocks to lost dreams still remain (mostly financial). Can lost dreams be found and resurrected or are they dead forever? If they’re indeed dead, can new ones be dreamed and realized? I guess only time will tell.