Amidst a hard day when I felt the need to grieve the passing of time, I landed on a page in a book of encouragement. It says, “Tough times don’t last—tough people do.” I immediately envisioned Rosie the Riveter on her poster proclaiming, “We can do it.” I’ve been told numerous times from well-meaning friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances that “this too shall pass.”
But will it?
Up until now, I’ve believed it wouldn’t. I’ve felt this dark cloud of overwhelming grief, frustration, sadness, disappointment, and heartache suffocating my thoughts and beliefs for the future. The cloud has hung above my head for so long, it seems weird to think that it could ever go anywhere else. This cloud has dumped torrential hurt and angst. It’s drizzled despair, jealousy, and feelings of unfairness. It’s roared and completely shook our world. It even seemed to stir the very ground and oceans, if you will, beneath our feet.
The suffering cloud only seems to take respites like a person who has been swimming for hours in a stormy filled ocean and nearly makes it to the beach, but is so exhausted from her journey, she clings with all her might to a nearby rock wedged into the shoreline of a choppy ocean. Even in solstice, the water and weather still beat and lap against her as she tries to maintain her grasp on the jaunted edges of this believed “safe place” rock.
And yet, the shoreline is in view. And rain, although seemingly lasting forever, does end. And eventually sunshine breaks through. And eventually there is this one final push. You regain enough calculated strength to release the rock and float towards the shore. It doesn’t mean there won’t still be rain, unforgiving currents, and even a riptide. But you’re nearly there.
This is how life feels today. I’m there. I’m fully aware of the rain cloud of sorrow. But I’m equally aware that the shore is now in my line of vision. I can’t give up. Even if it’s a few or quite a few more pushes, I will put in that effort. Keeping the hope and faith alive seem to be the hardest part for me as we close out another year of infertility. I believe in my heart of hearts, that we are nearer to that finish line than we have ever been. And my heart is more open and trusting than it ever will be. So I ask you, how does your rain cloud get lifted?
Can you remember that old saying “this too shall pass” and be lifted up or feel more alone than ever? I hope even as the journey is wearisome, tiring, and unrelenting, you seek comfort in knowing your journey is not just your own. But you get to share it with others. And most importantly, God is there to unweight part of the burden to remind you that He’s there and He cares for you tremendously. I wish I could emphatically explain why we are put in the situation of grief, of this “holding pattern,” but I have yet to come up with the right words. Instead, I choose to believe we serve a loving, compassionate, all knowing God who has our hearts, our spirits, and our minds in His best interest. He has saved us and He gave up everything for us, so He knows and He cares and He has wept alongside some of His dearest companions.
So if nothing else, keep praying, keep trudging, keep talking, keep crying, but most of all, just keep on. Because after all, your toughness will outlast the rain and the wind. Because you have a God given desire to keep pursuing your heart. And every once in a while, I hope you’re reminded that you’re not alone.