Experience and Expectations

This is Sunday. Less than two weeks (Lord willing) until my frozen embryo transfer. My lining check is scheduled for this Thursday.
I find myself crowded with unchecked expectations for the days to come–and a kaleidoscope of previous experiences, each of which claims to offer me answers that it cannot give. Each cycle of infertility treatment is unique, different, has its own pattern and progression. Yet, each is hauntingly familiar, variations on a routine, and promises success while it considers failure.
For me, since I have been so multiply blessed by a gracious God, there are moments of soaring nostalgia, hope, bliss, anticipation. Since I have also been touched by loss, grief, frustration, there is also re-awakened pain, struggle, anxiety.
Experience tells me, “Hope!” It also whispers, “Despair.”
It prods me to expect that this next month will be like some other month that I have had before. And crushed expectations, disappointments, cause me immense grief. So, my flesh tries to guard me from future pain by hiding from the hope, wincing away from forethought and anticipation, moving forward on auto-pilot.
So, today, I throw myself into Sunday, the Lord’s Day, a much-needed day of rest and reflection.
Thoughts struggle to come to terms with the emotions that war with one another in my heart. What can I expect? Can I control my expectations? Can my experiences inform me as I anticipate the days to come, rather than torment me?
I think they can. I remember a song we used to sing frequently in church and Bible camp, “Through it all… Through it all… I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, learned to trust in God. Through it all… Through it all… I’ve learned to depend upon His word.”
Whatever the outcome this week, next week, next month, I know that my Savior will not abandon me. He has been with me through thick and thin, and I can anticipate that He will be with me, whatever happens now.
As in 2006, my lining check may find something amiss, or find that I have not yet “bulked up” enough. Back then, I had to wait a few extra days for the transfer, but God still blessed us with our second son from that cycle. Last May, my lining check went perfectly, but I didn’t stay pregnant… Either way that Thursday goes, it is all in God’s hands. Those little lives, sleeping on the ice, are His. He knows just how to guard them. All I can do is to try to do my best for them–try to listen to Him and try to quickly obey.
Even if it is not on Thursday, or even not on Beta day*, or even if I am walking into a season of grief and loss; nevertheless, there is a lifetime of joy in the future for me.

*Beta day= the day that we get the results of the blood pregnancy test, named so because the test is a ‘quantity beta HCG’ test. Your pregnancy is not really “official” unless the beta results double in about 48 hours. Some have a beta day on the day of their first test, when a nurse calls and says, “The HCG results are high enough. You are pregnant!” Others get the call after the second test, two days later. I’m in the latter group.

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