Since September, I've been involved in a Bible study survey of the life of Moses. We've covered Exodus and Leviticus now, and are in the middle of the book of Numbers. There have been some exciting and familiar reads, such as the parting of the Red Sea and the plagues of Egypt, but also a lot of those passages that, let's be honest, most of us skip over. It's been interesting to actually study the laws and the nitty-gritty details of the tabernacle. However, one thing that has stood out strongly to me is the concept of rest.
The idea of Sabbath rest is in the Bible from the very first chapter. Whether you believe the Old Testament or not, this idea is part of our culture. We all live with a seven-day week (even in medicine where those weekends are not really weekends!), and the word "sabbatical" is used in academia and other professions as a throw-back to the fourth commandment. If I'm honest, taking a rest is something that's easy for me. I've written previously about the fact that getting married and quitting my job was a wake-up call for me, an opportunity to realize how much my hectic lifestyle was literally making me sick.
A recent study on Sabbath years and Jubilee years reminded me once again that God's plan involves taking time off, and it suddenly dawned on me that this applies to our infertility journey too. We've been in this game for a year and a half, and it's taken a huge toll on me. It's no secret that hormones make you freaking crazy, and when you add in dozens of blood draws and various and sundry tests, it is extremely difficult emotionally. Fertility treatments really do take over your life.
And yet... it's hard to walk away. Any step away from the clinic feels like quitting, giving up on a dream. How can I say that I want to be a mother more than anything and then stop after less than a year of treatment? The truth is that we are on hiatus not because I can't hack it, but because Gil and I are not exactly on the same page about what comes next.
Reading these portions of Leviticus, however, made me realize that part of God's pattern is to take time off. I can't read this too literally, because it's not like we have tried for six years and are taking the seventh one as a breather, but I am challenged to see this waiting period not as sitting in limbo, but as a Sabbath, a chance to sit still a while.
It's been a pensive time lately. I never mentioned this on the blog before, but in the first month that we tried, I really thought I was pregnant. I had eighteen or nineteen days of high temperatures and even swore I saw a faint line on a pregnancy test, but only one time. I'll never know what happened, whether this was a chemical pregnancy or I was seeing things, but I do remember thinking that we would have a baby in spring, 2014, and that by now, we were supposed to be thinking about the next kid. I had plans. I had goals. I was going to do what I could to make them come to pass. And now I'm sitting, contemplating, marinating about whether I will ever be a mother. The Israelites too had plans. They were supposed to get to that promised land and start farming. How strange it must have been for them to think about taking a whole year off of farming. What would they eat? What would they even do? It's a reminder to me that I can't figure it all out myself, and that try as I might, I can't make things happen according to plan. So for now, I will try to enjoy this Sabbath as best I can.