Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Diary of an Incubator: Hopes Deferred

Back in March, I wrote a post called The Golden Oldies about how I had (and still have) the desire to visit the elderly in the local nursing home.  I wrote about my situation of feeling like I was alone in wanting to pursue this, and deliberated whether I should just step out boldly and see what happens.  After receiving a number of lovely, encouraging comments, I spoke to a good friend of mine who is a carer in a nursing home.  She echoed what everyone had said on my post about the elderly needing structure, and not to commit to something if I couldn't maintain it.  Duncan encouraged me to wait until I finished my business course at TAFE at the start of June, so that's what I planned to do.

About a month after I wrote that post, I saw an ad from the Red Cross asking for volunteers in nursing homes.  This would involve meeting up with a resident once a week or fortnight and spending some time with them chatting, going for a walk together, having a cup of tea, or playing games....exactly what I had been passionate about doing.  I tore the ad out of the newspaper and planned to give them a call.

Then the pregnancy test came back positive...

This was not a total shock.  We hoped and planned to have children sometime around now.  Yet, because a few of my friends have struggled in this area and I have seen their pain, I had resigned myself to the fact that we may have to wait.  It turned out we didn't have to wait long at all.

By that stage the morning sickness had started.  While I didn't actually throw up, most days I constantly felt like I was on a boat.  Trying to keep the news quiet until we reached 12 weeks was a struggle as I had to pretend everything was ok when I felt so awful.  After the first trimester, I got the flu, gastro, and a cough. 

I decided that now would not be a wise time to start meeting with an elderly person.  The Red Cross programme wanted volunteers to commit to at least a year.  I couldn't do that when I would have a newborn less than a year later.  Also, to expose the elderly to my germs would just be cruel.  Duncan and my carer friend told me I had made the right decision.  They encouraged me that now was not the time of my life to pursue this, but I may have further opportunities down the track.

But when?  Would I have to wait four years until this child goes to kindy?  We might have other children by then.  Would it just be better for me to meet with an elderly person without the distraction of kids?  Or should I just take them with me?  I was very disappointed.  I wanted this baby, but I wanted to meet with someone at the opposite end of life as well.

I had also planned to meet with someone to read the Bible together and was praying for opportunities to pursue this.  This hasn't happened.  I still haven't finished editing my book.  My head space has mostly been taken up with preparing for our new arrival, finishing work etc.  I have felt bad that I haven't been pursuing relationships as much as I would like to.

This pregnancy has been a battle to learn contentment with where God has placed me at the moment. That my plans are not always His plans.  That I need to slow down and trust Him.  Please don't misunderstand this post: I do want and love my baby, and I'm looking forward to meeting him/her, but I'm finding the transition to be more difficult than I expected (and the baby hasn't even arrived yet).

My hopes may have been deferred, but they haven't gone.  I've been shown my weakness and my need to trust my Heavenly Father in all things.  Some women may be super mums, but I'm not.  I know that I don't have a very big life plate.  Right now I feel like He wants me to focus on preparing for parenthood and raising this little person to know and love Him.  While He hasn't given me an elderly person to share the gospel with, He has given me the task of serving my new family and raising them in the Lord.  Slowly I'm learning to be content and give thanks in each and every situation.


Libby said...

Hi Sarah,

I wouldn't count yourself out of being a supermum - you just need to look to the better definition of a supermum - the mum who gives up what they want to do for the sake of their children - much more super I think.

PS have a feeling this is my first comment - hello - I have been reading for a while. I'd say we know some of the same people since Christian circles are small in WA :)

Deb said...

Life transitions are difficult - even when they are lovely, planned for changes. I think being sad to say goodbye to some things and acknowledging that is part of making the transition and readying ourselves for the new. Your desire to serve and care for the elderly might not come to fruition just now, but I bet that down the track something of that, even if it's in a different form, will crop up. God puts those desires in our hearts for a reason but as you said it's about his timing, not ours.

Sarah said...

Thanks for the encouragement, ladies. :)

Welcome, Libby!

Wendy said...

Sarah, be very cautious about comparing yourself to others, particularly other mums. It is a deadly thing as it usually ends up in despair or pride. I'm sure you'll be a super mum. Not a super-human one, but one that does her very best in God's strength. You think carefully about life, and that is an exceptional quality in a parent.