Spring is difficult this year. First of all, it's such a tease! This Friday, we experienced 70 degree and higher temperatures. It was beautiful. I spent about an hour swinging on our tree swing wearing jeans and short sleeves, reading a book. Saturday and Sunday were cooler, but more like normal spring weather. In fact, I would describe Sunday as the perfect first day of spring. I could hear birds singing, see crocuses blooming, smell damp earth, and the bright yellow sun, shiny emerald grass (because new grass definitely has a shimmer to it), and brilliant blue sky were glorious. The temperature was in the 50's; warmer, but still with a hint of coolness in it. And the sunlight seemed to last forever! I worked for hours in the sunny kitchen, making key lime pie, grading papers, and folding laundry. I couldn't have asked for a better first day of spring.
Then Monday morning happened. I woke up to two inches of wet, slushy snow on the ground. Covering the beautiful green and the indigo crocuses. The incongruity of scraping the snow off of my car while little birds cheeped in the trees was boggling. And my commute to work was not fun. I actually slid right past one of the roads on which I needed to turn. Generally it was a yucky day (except that in the evening Steve surprised me by taking me to dinner and a movie).
By this morning, all of the snow was gone. Just muddy grass left. But according to my Weather Channel app. on my cell phone, there is a Winter Storm Warning in affect until Thursday morning. Great, more snow. I feel like saying, "Hey God, it's not winter anymore; spring has begun! That means no Winter Storm Warnings. Give us a thunderstorm instead!"
That's what I feel like with all of this infertility stuff. Spring has begun in my heart so many times. Every time I've purchased a pregnancy test, every time I though this ultra sound or blood test was the last one, every time I've begun a new herbal supplement, every time I've had a normal length cycle. Then winter dumps another two inches on my lap; a three month cycle, no results from the supplement, another $600 test, another negative pregnancy test.
It's so hard not to be discouraged perpetually. Some days I just want to cry. And to be honest, that's the feeling that usually takes over when I allow myself to think about it. Despair and discouragement. Because that desire and longing is always there, waiting in the background, and any time I have a spare moment to myself it creeps up. Once in a while it's a hopeful feeling, but usually it comes with a reminder that it may be a longing that is never fulfilled.
God always sends me reminders though. Either through scripture I read on my own, a sermon in church, the Word for the Day read over the PA system at school, something I read that seems unrelated, or a friend's blog. This week it came through a friend's blog.
Kristen's words about raking and smoothing reminded me that God is shaping me through all this. Shaping Steve and me as a couple. Prayerfully, he's shaping us to be better parents, but even if he's not, he's forming us into who He wants us to be.
I know I'm jumping from metaphor to metaphor here, but I'm also reminded of C.S. Lewis's book The Voyage of the Dawn Treader which is my favorite of the series. In it, the character Eustace is turned into a dragon and tries over and over again to change himself back into a boy. He tries to shed his skin, which he can do easily, with almost no pain. He does it over and over again, but nothing changes; he's still a dragon. Until Aslan shows up. Aslan tells Eustace that he must allow Him to make the change. So Aslan takes his huge claw and scratches through Eustaces dragon scales, and this time it HURTS! I think Eustace may even say that it feels like the claw is piercing his heart. When Aslan finishes, Eustace is smaller and tender underneath (still a dragon I think), but Aslan throws him into the water to wash him, and when Eustace arises, he is a boy again! I am reminded that change, real change, is painful, but so worth it.