There were the cutest twin boys playing in the family area at Wegmans today. My heart immediately jumped to see them in the cart as I compared sizes, ages and likenesses in order to make an assumption about their genetics. Definitely twins. And identical too.
I wanted to leave. I mean, honestly Lord, why couldn’t You have held off their arrival for just a few minutes so we would have been gone?! But since my girls and I had just settled in to eat our lunch, I was forced to stay.
I tried to hide any displeasure my body language might have communicated. So weird, how anxious their presence made me. I thought of identifying myself as a mom to identical twin boys. But without just letting them assume they were both thriving at eight years old, nothing I could derive sounded encouraging. “I have identical twin boys, too! Except I lost one to brain cancer three years ago. Good luck with yours, though!” Thankfully, I just smiled and said nothing.
Nothing about my physical presence identifies the scars I carry. Nothing about my face shows the hours of sleep I’ve lost, the hours I’ve prayed, the joy I’ve experienced, or the books I scoured through about parenting multiples. It is such a huge part of who I am. And yet it’s not.
And then my thoughts shifted. I wondered how many other mothers I’ve unknowingly put in this position in the past. How many hurting women who saw my identical twin boys, my three girls, my wedding band, my four earthly kids, my previous pregnant bellies… and silently hurt and wished it were them. How many hurt to see us happily playing in the family area and their hearts ached with their own pain. I was never able to see any of their in invisible wounds either.
It was difficult to be angry after that.
Wherever we are, whoever we’ve been chosen to parent, whatever walk we’ve been called to…we have so little control. And that is both wonderful and scary. We feel a sense of security in being in control, knowing what to expect. But there is an even bigger sense of peace that comes in acknowledging our loving God that has already bore the weight of that responsibility. And He always works things for our good. Even the awful things that we couldn’t have foreseen. Even if it takes a long time. Because my God is the Creator of joy. And grace. And peace. I’m living proof.
I’ll always carry this wound. But I’d be foolish to assume other people haven’t hurt too. Even if they choose to silently carry their pain rather than share with random strangers at Wegmans.
I know how good I have it. God has continually brought so much good out of our heartache. So much more than I deserve.
I just had to zoom out a bit to be able to see it.