Posted by Dave
As I sit here typing this, they’ve just wheeled my wife Hope back for her hysterectomy. The healing from years of struggling with infertility begins for her. Her post from several weeks ago, The M Word, chronicled this journey. She has been hesitant to share her story at times, and understandably so. If there is anything I’ve learned since we’ve been together, women who struggle with infertility deal with a deep sense of hurt and loss. Sometimes it is painful to uncover that, like when you go to the women’s clinic and you’re surrounded by baby and parenting magazines. When Hope and I began discussing marriage several years ago, I told her that I wanted to be there for her to walk through the pain that she still experienced. I had no clue what that meant then, but I now realize that the past six weeks have been that time.
If anyone can have a favorite letter of the alphabet, “D” is my favorite. Lot’s of important things in my life have happened that start with D. David is my first name, and David is my favorite person from the Bible. D is the first letter of divorce, and this seemingly negative word has shaped and changed my life. D is the first letter of my job description and the most honorable title I’ve ever held: DAD. God has blessed me with the opportunity to raise three sons, something that changed the course of my life. I don’t take the responsibility lightly, understanding that God has chosen me to be the one to launch them into manhood.
When Hope and I were dating, we waited three months before we introduced her to my boys. We didn’t take this lightly. Deep down, I wanted to get to know her character to see if I wanted her around my sons. I never take off the “Dad Hat”, so I knew that the woman I chose to have in my life would be responsible for shaping the lives of my sons. I’ll never forget the day that she met my boys. That was the day I knew I wanted her to be my wife. She was a natural with each of them, and over the next several months their response to her confirmed that she was perfectly capable of raising children. Her body didn’t work properly to give her children of her own, yet her motherly instincts are evident in all that she does.
So, not only was I chosen to be a Dad, God also chose me to be Hope’s husband. Meaning that her struggles become my struggles. Meaning that her pain becomes my pain. How do you find the place inside yourself to both be a Dad, and support the one you love who wasn’t able to have children? How do you identify with someone who desperately wanted children but couldn’t have them, and know that you were chosen to be a Dad? These questions have swirled around in my head many times. For me, I’ve discovered the answer to these questions. Another D word: DEVOTION. It is impossible for me to identify with the struggle of infertility. It is impossible for me to put myself in the shoes of someone who desperately wanted children but couldn’t have them. It IS possible for me to be devoted to her.
Being devoted means being committed, it doesn’t mean I have to come up with all of the answers. It isn’t my job to be the “solutionist”, it is my job to be her companion. Sometimes all it takes is just being there.