This upcoming Tuesday is my 29th birthday. Here is a picture my husband took of me one year ago on my 28th birthday:
I’m sure you can easily guess what I wished for. When I blew out that candle one year ago, I wished that I could become pregnant with a healthy baby. Never since my childhood days had I wished so hard for anything. I was eating at one of my favorite restaurants downtown with my husband and my mom. The waitstaff came out singing, and, much to my chagrin, the air conditioner blew out the candle before I got to make a wish. When they finished singing, they began to walk away. I motioned the waiter back over to our table. I asked him to relight the candle so I could make a wish. Matt asked if I was kidding, my mom shook her head and the waiter looked at me like I was crazy. He happily obliged, though.
You see in past years I wouldn’t have thought twice about asking anyone to relight a candle. Not in my adult years at least. I usually didn’t put too much stock in wishes and absentmindedly wished for something general like good health for my family.
Last December, however, we were in the middle of the infertility roller coaster and things were looking bleak. I was back on birth control recovering from Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome with an estrogen level I probably should have been hospitalized for, a multitude of giant cysts covering my ovaries and a uterine lining that was just about destroyed.
It was the month my doctor all but washed her hands of me, told me she thought my chances of conceiving a baby were slim to none and didn’t offer any solutions. I was broken and devastated. I cried hysterically, I got mad, I questioned God and I moped around. Each new pregnancy announcement felt like a knife in my heart. I let myself feel a full range of emotions. Then I realized that even when I thought I was losing my sanity, there was one thing I never lost: hope.
I made a conscious decision to have hope. Being a mom had always been my heart’s desire, and I wasn’t going to let anyone shatter that dream for me. I had already experienced a lot of difficulty and numerous roadblocks. I knew there would be many more in my future, but that wasn’t any reason to give up. I had to change courses and I had to have hope.
When you’re coasting through the good times in your life, you don’t put too much stock into things like wishing on birthday candles and praying with prayer relics. When you’re in the trenches, though, those things become so important to you. They’re signs of hope, and hope is all you have.
So even though the air conditioner had blown out my candle (and my doctor had dashed my dreams), I didn’t give up. I got the waiter to relight that damn candle, I wished with all of my might, I changed courses, I got a new doctor and I made a new plan.
The road still wasn’t easy. We had a lot of setbacks and felt a lot of pain along the way, but my wish came true. One year later, my beautiful little angel is growing inside of me.
I’m sharing this story for all of you who are still in the trenches. Maybe you’re wishing for a baby this year or maybe you’re wishing for your dream job or maybe you’re wishing for something else altogether. Maybe today is the lowest point along your journey, just like my December of 2014. Maybe everyone is telling you that your dream is impossible and it can’t be accomplished. You might even be starting to believe them.
Scream. Cry. Get pissed. You deserve to feel all of those things. But DON’T lose hope. I don’t care if one person or one million people have told you no, it’s impossible, it can’t be done, you are out of options, quit trying. I’m telling you: find another way. Light that candle, make a wish and choose to have hope. Eliminate the people from your life who don’t believe in you and aren’t helping you move forward towards that goal. Find another doctor, find another boss, find another avenue to pursue your heart’s desire. The only person who can ever truly stop you is yourself.
I’m not saying it will be easy. I’m not even saying your end result will be the exact end result you imagined or the path will unfold the way you once planned. God might have an even better plan in store for you than the one you have for yourself. What I am saying is that God won’t put a desire in your heart without helping you fulfill it in some way, shape or form. If the things you’ve tried in the past haven’t worked, try something else. There are many different ways to arrive at the same destination. Most importantly: always choose hope. Miracles happen every day.
Praying to be Mommy