“Don’t worry, Ginny. The right guy is out there. You’ll meet him when you least expect it.” I heard this thousands of times between the ages of 18 and 28, from supportive friends and family. (“Oh, and you should try meeting men at church events,” my mother would always add.) In spite of such encouragement, it was hard to keep the faith during an entire decade of trouble-plagued relationships and bland blind dates.
If I knew I would find a soul-mate eventually, I thought, I could stand this. If only I knew that there would be a Mr. Darcy at the end of this long journey, then I could stomach the wait. Not knowing was the most brutal part.
And then I met my husband Scott. (We met at a church picnic, no less, proving that Mom Is Always Right.) Forget Mr. Darcy: I had found Mr. Moyer.
Fast-forward a few years. Scott and I were eager to have a family, but my first pregnancy was an ectopic, when the baby implants itself in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus. The emotional pain was hard to describe, even for a writer like me. But we tried again, hoping that I wouldn’t be one of the 30% of women who have a second ectopic.
Pregnancy #2 looked great: at six weeks we saw a beautiful little embryo in my uterus. Four weeks later, though, an ultrasound showed that the baby had no heartbeat.
I felt like I’d been drop-kicked by God. The pain of the loss was awful in and of itself, and it was intensified by my deep, tenacious doubts about our future fertility. What were the chances we’d be able to have a child at all? If I knew that I would be a mom eventually, I scribbled in my journal, then all of this would be a little easier to bear. It’s the not knowing that is so hard.
Four years later, in the Advent season of 2010, my two sweet little boys nap in their rooms as I write this.
Sometimes, it’s downright brutal to wait. It takes a lot of fortitude to be patient when the outcome is far from certain. But that’s one of the great things about Advent: it comes with a guarantee that we rarely get in other areas of life. I don’t have to sit here as the days roll on, wondering if and when Jesus will show up, become man, and enter into the messy brokenness of our lives. I don’t have to wonder whether that wonderful goodness will ever cross my life’s path.
Because it will. Actually, it already has. And in a life that is full of anxious waiting, waiting that is marked by fear and fragile attempts at faith, it is a blessing to wait with such confidence. I can breathe easily. I can enjoy the process. I can be eager, not anxious.
And maybe I can pick up some skills that will help with my next big wait, whatever it is.