While facing miscarriage and infertility, are you struggling with setting New Year’s resolutions?
Let me begin by saying that it is beneficial to assess one’s current life from time to time and set out to make appropriate changes as needed for our overall well-being. Entering the new year seems to be a good place to do that for many of us. However, what does it mean to face the new year and set goals involving your reproductive organs over which you have no control? It can be frustrating and mind-boggling that the goals you are trying to achieve regarding your motherhood journey are seen as unattainable. I get it.
As one year ends and another begins, I often document my plans for the coming year by creating a vision board so that my goals are in front of me throughout the next 12 months. It’s tempting to get caught up in the desire of setting up an annual vision board and deciding a date to become a parent, become pregnant, or bring home a baby. With the new year, many of us are setting new goals about what we are hoping to achieve personally or professionally. I also had been making new year’s resolutions until I experienced infertility and miscarriage.
Like most women, I was hopeful at the onset of the new year that this time around, my dream would come true. As each year passed, my heart sank a little more when I did not get pregnant or brought a baby home. It is not surprising that over time, women facing infertility or miscarriage experience increased distress as they don’t see their desired outcome.
One year, however, I realized that God wanted to be part of those resolutions. God was working in my life according to His timeline. I had no control over God’s timing or my reproductive organs, for that matter. What I learned after tears of frustration that my new year’s resolution to become a mother “failed again”, is that the only failure on my part was believing that I could control God and my reproductive organs into performing the way and at the time that I wanted. I learned to remind myself that as a child of God, a beloved daughter of God, every day is a new beginning. Instead of focusing on my hopes for the new year coming and charging ahead with positive talks or even pithy verses to justify my wish, I leaned on the wisdom and love of God for me. With that, I was able to understand that every day is an opportunity to start anew.
With God, every day is a moment to surrender saying: “My life is in your hands, O Lord. Your timing and your path is the right one for me. The calendar year does not determine the fulfillment of my dreams, but you, O Lord know the number of my days and know the time when that dream would be fulfilled.”
So, instead of getting caught up with the idea of setting new resolutions for my motherhood journey, the new year became a reminder of renewal of heart and mind, and surrendering to God. That way, I was able to say: “Lord here I am with this wish and desire, you know the number of my days” even while sadness and longing flood my heart. Yes, it is possible to surrender and still hurt, to be attuned to your feelings. They are a testament to our unfilled desire and, in our surrender, we also lay them at the feet of Jesus.
Keeping my gaze on God’s timing and plan became the path leading and guiding me through those tendencies to set my own date and to become a mother. Additionally, it reminded me that the totality of my worth did not rest solely on my reproductive ability. That truth also helped me as I was grieving after my miscarriage. I believe that God tenderly reminded me that His purpose for me was for my good and that for everything there is a season. I will trust Him even in that season of grief and waiting.
Now, that was not easy as 1-2-3 and suddenly I was no longer preoccupied with my age or biological clock. It was a continuous, intentional, at times daily, decision to entrust myself to God’s clock. That means choosing to remain present in my current reality instead of planning ahead for a future I had no control over. It was also a step-by-step self-assessment of my motivation to become a mother and then asking God to renew my heart anew and making a resolution to trust him with my biological clock.
Yes, waiting is hard. Yes, waiting can be excruciating. I love Henri Nouwen’s definition of waiting. He says that “A waiting person is a patient person. The word patience means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us.”
For me, it meant that nothing is wasted in God’s timing! Every moment matters in God’s timing! God is the author of time. There is purpose, clarity, and renewal in the waiting.
So, as we are beginning this new year, let the New Year resolution be to surrender our time to God, to surrender each desire to Him who knows us intimately and has our time in His hands. The resolution, perhaps, is to surrender that desire to be a mother into God’s merciful timely provision so that we will bring Him glory, honor, and fulfillment for His purpose in our lives!
Margalita is a wife, mother, and Catholic psychotherapist in private practice who specializes in working with women who feel heartbroken and devastated after a pregnancy loss. Learn more about her here!