“Everywhere in nature we are taught the lessons of patience and waiting. We want things a long time before we get them, and the fact that we wanted them a long time makes them all the more precious when they come. In nature we have our seedtime and harvest; and if children were taught that the desires that they sow may be reaped by and by through patience and labor, they will learn to appreciate whenever a long-looked-for goal has been reached. Nature resists us and keeps admonishing us to wait; indeed we are compelled to wait.” -Joseph F. Smith
The lessons I have learned during “the wait” have proven to be as significant as the things I have learned when the goal/blessing/miracle was achieved.
I've thought about this a lot as it took so long (and a lot of heartache) to get our Coley here. And now here I sit, about ready to have our third baby. My first real heartbreak now a distant memory - a memory so foggy and pale in comparison to later trials that I can barely remember the sting of the pain.
During “the wait” for Cole, I learned:
-That life can still be beautiful - even when the final picture doesn't look at all like the one I had planned to paint. A lesson that would sustain me later when red paint was splattered on my almost perfect painting. And then again, after I got kind of used to the red, when black was suddenly sprayed onto my colorful canvas.
-That I can put all my effort toward something, but it is all ultimately in God's hands. I tried absolutely EVERYTHING (including artificial insemination) to get Coley here, but God knew better than I did. I watch Cole and my sister's son, Jack, run around as the very best of friends and I know with my whole heart that it is no coincidence they were sent together. I can almost see them promising before they came that they would always be there for each other. And just watching them together makes me thankful for the wait and heartache I endured.
-That my Heavenly Father always has our best interest at heart. Whether that is something that will manifest itself to me in this life or not.
I've often compared my wait for Cole to the lions and bears that were sent to David to prepare him for Goliath. My wait, the pain of my miscarriages and the heart wrenching desire to hold my own baby in my arms were my metaphorical lions and bears, working together to prepare me to face my Goliath - as well as other battles that would cross my path.
- Because of the lessons of my wait for Cole, I know that my Heavenly Father will provide the necessary things for me to successfully (or at least try to) navigate this life. Sometimes those tools are not pleasant to learn, but always they are vital in my survival. I get to choose whether or not to take full advantage of those lessons planted in my heart during the waiting period.
I can only hope with all of my heart that the skills, tools, and weapons I have been given will sustain me through my current and future battles. But I do know that I will strive with everything in me to learn all that He wants for me to learn, to take full advantage of the lessons provided to me while I faced lions, bears and seemingly unbeatable giants. I know that is the only way I will survive.
For 22 months now, we have been in a wait. A wait that is far more active than just “staying where one is until something else happens” - as waiting is defined. In waiting we work, we try, we fight, and most importantly we trust. We trust that when the time is right, our wait will be over.
Just today, in Dr. Patel's office, Dust was told he would need to wait for at least another nine months for his next surgery. Disappointing, sure. But we have learned to treasure the gifts that “the wait” brings.
One of those gifts - that Dustin actually read 5 of the 6 letters on the 20/15 line on the eye chart! A miracle that strikes right to my heart when I think of the days that Dustin's mood solely depended on how blurry or dark and dim his vision was. The days where we trusted that things would get better, but couldn't completely ignore the possibility that it all could be taken away again like the flip of a switch. To us, almost 20/15 vision is yet another miraculous droplet of sunshine to make the wait manageable.
For some things, we will be aching a long time for the day that the wait is over. I cannot imagine the joy I will feel on that day when I no longer have to wait to hug my sister tight to my chest and understand why she had to leave so soon. I cannot imagine the peace and gratitude that understanding will bring. The wait for the day when I hear her laugh and see her beautiful smile will be sometimes almost too much to bear, but that pain will be nothing in comparison to the happiness and love that will encompass me on that glorious day.
I know with all of my heart that the ultimate realization of all of our dreams will surely be worth “the wait.”