I Dwell In Possibility…

16 Jul

The other day a dear friend was showing me the upstairs rooms in her new home. As we discussed her plans for decorating the guest room we both noticed the stuffed animals on the closet floor. The room had initially been intended as a nursery. It took only a thirty second glance at those furry friends for me to feel the pain of her infertility. We moved on to view her husband’s music room.


How many of us have put away the toys of our beloved dreams or not even begun collecting them? I know I have never set aside baby paraphernalia, nor have I purchased a house in which there could be a guest room. Do we have a right to our dreams or is it too painful to petition the Lord and the Universe with our prayers? What role do we play in manifesting our destiny and what baggage gets in the way from our creating it? Is the world our oyster or does shit just happen?


I think of all the women in the bible who so desperately wanted a child – Sarah, Rachel, Hannah… And how they waited on the Lord. But what if that process turns into a production of “Waiting for Godot?” What happens when there is no resolution? There is no silver lining?

God is not Santa Claus. If even Jesus petitions the Lord, asking for his cup to be removed, we must conclude that life isn’t about our will and what we want. But how are we to know what is His will for us and does not the Lord want our lives also to be filled with blessings?

The other day a woman asked me, “Do you want to have a baby?” I looked at her and felt the rationalizations spinning in my head. “I’m forty-four, I’m single, I’m celibate, I don’t want to raise a child alone if I were to adopt, the cost of living in San Diego is very high, children irrevocably change one’s life, how would I do it with no one to help me? I think children need a mom and a dad….”


“Do you want to have a child?” She asked me again. “That’s the question. Not how you would do it or if you will do it. Simply, do you want to have a baby?”

It’s a possibility too scary to even consider. People who are married make plans for this. People who fall accidentally pregnant jump on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and figure it out. But does a single person have a right to this lifestyle? Or do you say, “Sing yea barren woman…” and tell yourself that you bear fruit in other ways.

What does it mean to look to the future and think about buying a house on one’s own and possibly adopting a child? This sure isn’t how the childhood fairy tale played out but does that mean there is no happy ending?

Emily Dickinson once wrote:

I dwell in Possibility,
A fairer house than Prose,
More numerous of windows,
Superior for doors.

With chambers, as the cedars,
Impregnable of eye,
And for an everlasting roof,
The gables of the sky.

Of visitors – the fairest –
For occupation – this:
The spreading wide my eager hands
To gather Paradise.

Do we dwell in possibility and can we gather Paradise? Is it safe to reach up one’s hand towards the sky?


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