I think the last time that I truly opened up spiritually about something that God was doing in my life here at Weeping Cherries was June 29th, 2008. That is incredibly sad to me as I see all the “surface” posts that I type instead of a continual sharing of my heart. I think part of the reason that people enjoy blogs is because we as humans have a desire to feel kinship with others and read about the things that make them tick and the workings of their lives. I realize that by the topics of my posts you may not know me. So, I am going to do something that I don’t like doing- being real with people when it hurts and when it isn’t pretty. I have talked with some of my friends about my struggle in this area but I realize that most of my consistent readers are also a great blessing in my life. I know that some of you pray for me daily and I appreciate it more than you know. So, this is me. This is where I am right now, what I am learning and what I want to reflect on years from now and celebrate the work that God has done in my life to bring me through it.
I have been studying I Samuel because I feel a great kindred spirit with Hannah. I first looked at her story because I wanted God to write my story like hers. I have been painfully aware for a while now, each day, week, month, and year that passes after the birth of my daughter Aralyn. I read books about the incredible blessing of siblings. I desire for Ara to grow up knowing that blessing.
When Paul and I first were married I felt that I was not ready to have a child. I wanted children, the desire was there, but I had taken everyone’s warnings to heart that it is smart to wait and get to know each other in marriage before having children. When I found out that I was pregnant with Ara two months after we were wed, I was scared. “What will people think Lord? We’ve only been married two months, they will say we are foolish.” What turned out to be God’s perfect timing was not “our” timing and Paul and I were convicted at that point that it wasn’t about what we felt we were ready for, it was about what God had drawn out for our lives. After the delivery of Aralyn ended in what Paul and I felt was an unnecessary cesarean section, again I exerted MY control. “Lord, there is no way that I can go through that again. You know my deepest fears and how I had to go through every single one of them to have Aralyn. I can’t do that again. I believe that children are a blessing but I just can’t go through that again.” I came up with reasons to avoid pregnancy. “I have a headache” became my slogan so to speak. We had decided not to use birth control but was I really surrendering to God’s will for my life? Was I really doing what He wanted when I was avoiding my husband like the plague? Through much conviction and time, I came to understand that if the Lord decided to bless me with more children, then HE would give me the strength to go through whatever circumstances were set before me. I found a doctor who felt that I would be a fine candidate for a VBAC at a birth center that we had heard great things about and we began to anticipate the blessing of another little one around the house. That was two years ago. Two years have passed with no pregnancy and I began to cry out to God as Hannah did, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son , then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life…”(1 Samuel 1:11)
I desire to raise my child to walk in the ways of the Lord, and I thought if I surrendered my children to Him, He would write my story as He did Hannah’s, “The LORD visited Hannah ; and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew before the LORD.” I have come to realize that I need to be faithful to serve Him and rejoice in His blessings EVEN IF HE DOESN’T WRITE MY STORY LIKE HANNAH’S. When I first read 1 Samuel I was looking for her secret, what I could do so that God would bless me too. That was the wrong motive. It has become a precious story to me because it was Hannah’s heart that God was pleased with. I want God to see my heart, pure of selfish motive, as fully surrendered and depending on His sovereignty regardless of my circumstance. Even if I never have more children, even if the story of Jennifer Christine is different than the story of Hannah.
“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8)
Just as I had to learn that it is GOD who opened my womb when I did not feel ready, I am learning that it is GOD who closes my womb even though I feel ready now. And I rest in His sovereignty in both circumstances. Because my ways are not His ways and I choose His ways.