Seven years ago I started working at my school. It was a brand new school. As a new school, the PTA didn't have funds yet, so the year was full of fund raisers. One of them was a golf tournament. That might sound like a good idea, but it wasn't.
The day of the tournament was freezing! It was October in North Carolina so it shouldn't have been, but it was. It was cold and rainy. There weren't a lot of golfers, but there were a lot of staff members at various jobs for the tournament. Mine was to sit in a golf cart, at a hole, and see if anyone got a hole-in-one, I have never been, and still am not a golf fan. It is boring! It was even more boring because of the time that I waited for golfers to come by. Let's just say that 30-40 minutes would pass between groups.
But I wasn't alone. A teacher assistant, who no longer works at my school, was my golf cart partner. She and I did enjoy excursions along the golf paths in the cart. We were really good at timing how long we could wheel around before another group was going to show up at our hole. We never missed a group. But after awhile the trips around the course became boring as well, so we just sat there hoping for golfers to come over the hill to our hole.
So we talked. During the course of this wretched, cold, boring day she questioned me about having kids. I told her I did not. I don't remember the exact words any longer, but she made a comment about it that hurt me. It was meant to be hurtful, but it was said bluntly and well, it didn't need to be said. I can still remember how it touched on the Heart's Desire spot and made me feel like I had a knife twisted in it.
Last Friday was the first day after the school year. Most teachers walked around smiling as they finished up paperwork and cleaned their rooms. I did not. I was missing my kiddos and doing the final paperwork made it all too real that the last two years were over. (I had the best, close-knit, family-like class ever.) I had to go to office and on the way back to my classroom I ran into one of the custodians. She mentioned that I should be happy because the year was over. I told that I wasn't and I missed my kids. Her reply was, "you don't have your own kids?"
"What are you waiting for?" she asked.
The golf cart experience of seven years ago had gone along the same line and came flooding back to me in the second before I could reply. That Heart's Desire spot was getting poked at again. I smiled and said,"just waiting on a man." and turned the corner.
Yup, that smile disappeared the second I turned the corner, but I realized that even though it hurt, I wasn't devastated by it, like I was seven years ago.
For whatever reason, I have spent 30+ years with a Heart's Desire for a family, a husband and children, and I have been waiting. I don't for the life of me understand why. I have seen people, family and friends, even former students, be married, have children, and even remarried. I keep looking at them and wondering why they have what I long for, but I don't have it. Not even the least glimpse of it. Well meaning people ask the questions, make the comments, and even tell me that I am a mother to my students. Believe me when I say that it is not the same!
I am glad that the bluntly worded question doesn't hold the same sting it did seven years ago. I still have the longing, but feel more and more like Sarah everyday, and feel that I am past the hope. I don't know if the waiting has eroded my hope, or if the reality of it not happening has made me come to realize it isn't in His plan for me. This post was supposed to be how seven years changed my reaction to the question, and it did, truly.
Yet I sit here crying about what hasn't been and wonder.