Friday, January 14, 2011

Joy Cometh in the Morning

My students cannot, no matter how hard they try, resist putting a “happy ending” on their essays.  They always want to give novels a positive spin—even novels that clearly illustrate a pessimistic view of life and humanity.

For instance, one of my students recently wrote an essay about Of Mice and Men.  His thesis was “Through Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck proves that mankind’s idealized dreams are often crushed by their harsh realities.” In his essay, he detailed how (spoiler alert…skip to the next paragraph if you’ve never read this novel) George had a grand dream of owning a farm with his best friend Lennie; however, he couldn’t earn the money to buy the farm because Lennie’s mental disability caused them to lose job after job and kept them running all over the country.  Ultimately, he had to shoot Lennie to save him from a vicious and angry mob, and his dream died with Lennie.

At the end of this gloomy essay—in fact as the final, conclusive line—he wrote, “But just because your dreams get crushed, you shouldn’t give up trying; keep trying and someday your dreams will come true.”

Sorry, kid, but I don’t think that was the message of Steinbeck’s book, nor does that fit with the rest of your essay.  But I admire your optimism. 

I guess I’m like my students.  I can’t leave a post like yesterday’s without a happier ending.  I have to write a follow-up.

One of my favorite scriptures is Psalms 30:5:  “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

I often think about that verse when I am going through something difficult.  Sometimes the “night” may last more than a night—sometimes it can last for weeks or months or years—but eventually, joy does return.

I didn’t go to school yesterday.  I couldn’t.  I slept in until 11:30 a.m., woke up with one of those crying headaches, wrote in my journal, thought, prayed, did a little online shopping (retail therapy), went out to dinner with Ryan, and made chocolate chip cookies with one of my best friends.

It turned out to be a pretty good day.

I will admit that being back at school today wasn't very fun; sometimes teenagers are whiny, lazy, and insensitive. But I survived the day.  We all have times in life when we just have to power through.

One of the two things that I bought online yesterday was a cute necklace with Ryan’s and my initials.  I am going to wear it to remind myself that, no matter how tough life gets, I have Ryan.  They say the stress of infertility can destroy a marriage.  Ry and I have been doing pretty well, in fact I’d say we’re closer than ever.  But Wednesday night, after we got the news of yet another failed adoption, I am ashamed to say that I took my anger out on Ryan.  I yelled at him, and he yelled at me back (believe it or not, Ryan can yell); but then we hugged and snuggled in bed, and he played with my hair, which always makes me feel better.

I can’t let anything come between me and my Ry.

I want to thank everyone for supporting and praying for us.  After reading yesterday's post, a few people emailed me and said, “I hope I’ve never said anything that made you feel alone!” Don’t worry…even if you did, I don’t remember it.  It’s not like I keep a running tally of who said the wrong thing when they were obviously just trying to comfort me.  I know that people mean very well when they offer words of solace.  It’s just that, if “it will happen when it’s supposed to” or “it’s all in the Lord’s hands,” then why do my next door neighbors who constantly scream the f-word at each other have a baby and we don’t?  Was it God’s will for the baby to grow up in that environment?  These are the complexities of life that puzzle me.

I don't know what to do next.  I don't know if we should continue with adoption and risk continued heartbreak, or if we should take a break for a little while, or if we should try invitro fertilization...if I knew what was "right," I would do it.  I pray every night to know what to do, but unfortunately, God doesn't send me lightning bolts.  Sometimes I wish He did.  

I guess instead He sent me this scripture, which I love: 

“And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good" (D&C 122:7).

This verse reminds me of this beautiful song; I listened to it today and cried a little.

Whether or not God intends for us to have these difficult experiences, I don't know; but I do know that He can use them for our good (Romans 8:28).

I am confident that Ryan and I will eventually get a baby.  I know that this long period of “night” will end, and we will experience “joy as exceeding as was [our] pain.”  In the mean time, it is really hard—but we are “hold[ing] on [our] way” and praying that God will be with us. 


  1. Wow. What a woman! And what a writer! I admire you so much that it is overwhelming.

  2. You are my hero Rach. Hang in there. There are a lot of people that have you in their prayers.

  3. You truly are an ispiration to us all. You and Ryan are in my thoughts even more so after yesterday's post. It is so heart wrenching. I don't know why it has to be so stinking difficult and painful. We will keep praying for you.

  4. Rachel, your post last night brought me to tears. I have a close cousin who went through the same thing when adopting. She got her hopes up several times and it ended in heartbreak. She eventually got her little boy, but not without more heartache than I can even imagine. I just wanted you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers and to let you know how much your post last night touched me. Thank you for being such an amazing example of strength to me.


  5. Rach, I am SO sorry. How heartbreaking. I cried a little for you, and I continue to admire you in every way possible. Love you Rach!!

  6. I love that song too! You know why this post made me smile, even after your last post that made me cry? I remember you attributing that scripture to Amy Robinson. Hang in there, Rach. We all love you and are praying for you guys. Thanks for being such a good example to me.

  7. Great post. I imagine that you have found strength that you didn't know you had. Heavenly Father really loves you two.

  8. Love you, Rachel. I wonder about the complexities of why certain children go to certain families as well. I wish I had answers. All I can say is that baby that will come to you someday will be one lucky kiddo! We'll keep praying! In the meantime, thank you for sharing such uplifting thoughts.

  9. That is a beautiful message Rach. I am thinking and praying for you two. Love you so much.

  10. It breaks my heart to read your posts...yet you are such an example because no matter how hard it gets, you are always able to pick yourself back up and keep on going. And most importantly you don't let it waver your faith, which so many people would. We keep praying for you guys!

  11. I just reread this and it made me incredibly happy and peaceful. Without being too overbearing, I am so grateful that you chose to share these sentiments; I go to bed tonight knowing that joy cometh in the morning.


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