“What is an area of your life where you need to consciously acknowledge a desire to the Lord? Sometimes we wander around in our frustration and never even go to Him with our request. Does He know the desires of our hearts? Absolutely He does. But just as Jesus prayed to the Father, so are we to–daughter to Father. Be specific and give it all to Him. He is not a God who stands at a distance.” –Angie Smith, from “Mended”
As I read this devotional entry this week, I felt my breath stop inside of me.
Right now I’m in a period of total contentment with my life, where I sometimes just cry tears of joy because of how blessed I feel.
But a year ago, I did not feel this way. A year ago, I wanted. Badly.
It was against my will, against my desire, against the kind of person I wanted to be. Wanting in the midst of such a blessed life? How spoiled was I?
I KNEW the timeline David and I had been led to was right. We needed to have X amount of money, have spent X amount of time in our jobs, have X amount of school completed before we could start the adoption process. That was what He wanted, and I felt total peace about the decision portion of it. But it didn’t feel good to wait, especially knowing that the adoption process would likely take a year or two once it was finally time to start.
On Saturday mornings I would leave Zumba class and walk by the 2 year olds playing soccer outside my gym. As they ran around tripping on their oversized T-shirts I would hurry as fast as possible to my car, close the door, and cry as I looked at them wondering, would it be 2 years? 3 years? 4 years? before I could hold a child that looked like them but was mine?
This year when friend after friend told me about her pregnancy, I would smile with joy and genuine excitement. But after the 4th or 5th friend in a row told me, I came home and cried to David. “I don’t want to be crying right now,” I sobbed. “I want to be happy for our friends. But I feel like everyone’s getting their baby and I’m never going to get ours. I want to be a mom so bad, but I don’t know when it’s going to happen.”
I have friends who are there right now—who want children and whose bodies aren’t cooperating, or who want children but need to have more money or a husband first, or who are waiting for a government across the ocean to smooth things along with their adoption process.
There’s something so God-ordained about the longing for a child. You can’t tell yourself, “don’t want that…” because it’s a good thing to want. You can tell yourself “be patient—it’s all in His time” and absolutely believe it and feel cognitively soothed by that, but it doesn’t stop the wanting, the emotions, the frustration of your humanness that wants when you don’t want to want—when you want to be content.
Bringing it to Him doesn’t make it easier. But it makes you more honest.
I began telling God “I want a baby” without shame or disclaimers or apologies. I began crying to Him, with Him, instead of pretending He couldn’t see me.
Every Sunday at church I would stand and sing songs about His promises, His presence, His power, and I would worship and sing to Him with open longing, asking Him to fulfill those promises and use His power to bring me my baby. I brought Him my emptiness, reminding Him that He could fill it and asking Him to. I prayed for my baby, and I prayed for my baby’s birth family—thinking that I was praying for a baby that would be conceived in the future.
Little did I know that I was praying for a baby that actually existed—a baby that had been conceived right around the time that David and I interviewed our agency, before we even decided to choose them. A baby that would be ours. A birth mom who needed my prayers to make the decision she made.
We were selected by our birth mom while our family profile was at the printer.
I had literally been crying the day before saying we would never get picked. “I want to get picked, Lord.”
God is bigger than our rules, our version of how the world should work, our version of how processes “should” go. He delights in giving us the desires of our hearts when He placed those desires there to begin with.
He can be trusted with our desires.
He does not stand at a distance. He is here, waiting to surprise us. Waiting to humble us with His goodness.