**this post is from february 18, 2013**
This past week, I feel as though I have been walking a tightrope. I have a stick (God) to help me balance, but there are two bags tied to my rope – one at each end. Weighing down one end of the stick is “hope” and the other end is “trust.” If one of them weighs heavier, I am in real danger of falling.
I learned this week that my body is starting to gear up for menopause at an early age. My husband and I still want at least one more child (we have been trying for 2.5 years), so this news knocked me off balance a little bit. Okay, a lot bit. Suddenly, I was confronted with thoughts I had not allowed to enter before: Will I have a 3rd child? What if our family is complete at 4? I had never given these thoughts any real space in my mind and allowing them to enter brought a wave of sorrow. I felt as if I was being forced to confront a reality that was not what I desired. The first two days after receiving the word, I teetered back and forth between hoping for a 3rd child and feeling like I had been told, “It won’t happen.” I was not sure where I should land or, more importantly, where God wanted me to land.
I had loving friends, whom I trust, present both sides of the debate. One would counsel, “You need to be okay if God says, ‘No.’” Another would counsel, “Why would God say, ‘No,’ when it is clearly his heart that you bring forth life?” I can tell you which friend I wanted to listen to, but I was fearful of disappointment down the road if I chose that side. I was afraid to hope and cling to what I have studied and learned over the past 5 or so years because I did not want to risk facing disappointment.
If there is anything we can learn from life, it is to not do anything if the driving force is FEAR. Fear is like a bag of rocks that hangs over our heads as we walk the tightrope. Fear waits to be poured in one of the bags that hangs from our balancing stick. If one of the bags is weighed down by fear, it will be impossible to stay balanced. If fear enters my “hope” bag, it looks like this: Hope diminishes and I start to prepare for the worst, believing it will happen. If fear enters my “trust” bag, it looks like this: I start to fight the outcome I am fearful will happen. I put lots of time and energy and resources into fighting the perceived inevitable outcome.
If fear is present at all, the result is that we are weighed down. Hope and Trust in God are actually anti-gravity. They do not weigh down our hearts at all. They do the opposite. They lift our hearts. If our hope or trust is in anything other than God, there is a noticeable weight added.
Both of my friends that offered counsel had one thing in common: they wanted me to trust God and keep my hope in Him and his goodness. They wanted to lessen any weight I was carrying. They just approached that outcome from different angles.
And the thing is, I could not whole-heartedly choose either side of the “debate” that my friends presented. Both sides were actually intertwined with no chance of untangling them. I did have to face the reality that I may not carry another child in my womb (what if God says, “No?”). I also could not deny that no matter what I was told, my heart would not give up the hope that I would still carry another child (or more). It is the heart of God that I be fertile (I wrote a whole book about this). So what now?
Here is where I have landed: I will continue to walk the tight rope with BOTH hope and trust. I hope for another child, but ultimately, I am trying to let God hold that hope in his hands, trusting that he knows best what to do with that desire. The key to balance is in the word: surrender. If I release the outcome to the hand of God, even though I believe that the outcome I want lines up with God’s heart, then I am able to walk in freedom and not fear what the future will bring.
It really is a tightrope act, and I pray that God helps me to remain balanced as I move forward – no matter who delivers their baby or announces their surprise pregnancy (I’ve had both of these scenarios this week). If I am secure, clinging tightly to God, I am able to genuinely enjoy the celebrations of others – even if their joy happens to remind me of my struggle. I want to choose the “high road” and walk it with my hope and trust securely in place.