Ghosts of Christmas Past

As I decorated the tree for the past two Christmases, my mind was focused on what that tree would look like when we had a baby. I would hang the ornaments and debate which ones I would box up to make room for the inevitable slew of baby’s first Christmas ornaments that would accompany our child. I didn’t fully enjoy the season because I was so focused on the future and what I dreamed our holidays would soon look like.

Two years ago, the PNH test came back positive on December 2. At first it was a huge relief. We had been looking for an answer to what was wrong since August so we were all just overjoyed to have an answer. But the following weeks were filled with research, and the realization that the diagnosis had serious ramifications regarding our family starting plans, as well as the fact that the disease was more serious than I had originally thought. I spent the month researching PNH and adoption, failing to really enjoy the holiday season much at all. All my thoughts were on the future and what we were going to do to add a member to our family.

Last Christmas, I received an incorrect diagnosis for an infertility problem in November and so once again, my holiday season was spent researching and undergoing tests. I spent that Christmas worried about whether or not we would be able to get pregnant, along with worrying about my blood counts that were on a downward march for no explainable reason. But the doctor had a plan for us and I believed that come next Christmas, there would be a little one to celebrate (fortunately, I do the research and quickly realized that the diagnosis didn’t quite fit so I got a second opinion. Who knows where we would be at right now if I had just blindly followed the first doctors instructions!). When I look back on that holiday season, all I really remember is worry and an unhappiness that my life didn’t look like what I wanted it to.

This Christmas though, as I hang each ornament, I will be focused on the amazing life that I do have. I will not debate the worth of each ornament and plan its retirement to the back of the closet. I won’t spend my time thinking that Christmas will be better once we have a kid. Instead, I will enjoy every minute of this magical season. I will cherish the special times I have with my husband and will not discount them because they don’t include a child. I have traveled a long and hard road of letting go of my plan for my life and I have finally come to a place where I am at peace with the life that God has blessed me with. I don’t know what God has planned for us. I don’t know if the answer to children is no, not now, or not in the way you have planned. But what I do know is that I finally have peace, and I am content to trust in God’s plan for us. And for the first time in far too long, I am going to enjoy every minute of our Christmas season just the way it is, perfect.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:8-9

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