Look what I received in the mail...
...a gift from my best friend! Although I received this after the holidays, it is still so very special to me! When I received it in late January, I just couldn't bear to pack it up even though my tree and ornaments had already been packed away. As March draws near, I know it is time to put it away for discovery and delight next December!
Besides the fact that I FORGOT to purchase my own child's "first Christmas" ornament, there is also a lot of sentiment behind this purchase.
Like me, my best friend has struggled with infertility, but our stories have traveled different paths. One woman has experienced the gift of life three times (really...we really do struggle with infertility!), while the other has yet to give birth. Most recently, after hitting our 40s, one of us got pregnant and carried to term, while the other finally achieved pregnancy, only to miscarry.
For the first time in my life, I was "the fertile" one.
It was an odd feeling...like the shoe didn't quite fit and was pinching. And while nothing could dampen the joy surrounding the birth of our youngest child, my heart was heavy when it was time to "share the news" with her. Best friends since 15, at 40+ our babies would have only been 3-months apart. It just wasn't meant to be.
When I received this gift in the mail, it was almost as if she gave me the gift of forgiveness.
Forgiveness? Yes, forgiveness. Forgiveness for "getting" to have a 3rd baby while she so desperately only wanted one. Permission to let go of the guilt I carried for nine months in addition to the weight of pregnancy.
We do not know, nor can we always understand God's ways. It is only through prayer (God, Please make your will be my desire.) that we can reconcile the difference between what God wants for our lives and what we want for ourselves.
Thank you, Shannon, for the gift of forgiveness. For loving my children as your own. For being my best friend for over 25 years. I love you like a sister and cherish our friendship!