Lessons learned that are of any value rarely come in the trials of life that last only moments or even hours. The lessons that God allows us to meander through by our own choices often take years for the truth to finally set in, be understood and bring change. They often come at a high emotional cost (as well as financial and relational) and spend every ounce of strength you have. God waits for this moment, for it that split second, He is there. It is exactly where He wants you to be.
I always expected to be a mom. I would have never supposed that this was not for me. I discovered that due to a rare condition at birth, my body would not cooperate. I was nineteen when the news came to me rather roughly from my personal Doctor during a routine visit for a throat infection. While it bothered me somewhat at this instance, I believed that time would change things.
Many times as a single person I would bring the matter before God, and pray to be healed. In my mind if I could get things fixed up before I was married. Voila! I could conceive on the wedding night! I had it all planned out. I was so convinced; I waited for all the signs. Month after painful month I waited and found that in fact those signs would never come. Our first year of marriage was bruised by the painful realities of infertility.
There was a broken place in me. I always wanted things just the way I planned for them to happen. I continually needed to know every detail and wanted to find out why and how and when. I knew about the who and what. I needed to be in control.
It was simple: I wanted a child, period. In fact after I was married I poured over the details of my condition, and learned everything how a woman conceives a child, apart from the obvious. I delved into the processes of hormones, cell development and how interruptions to the delicate process can make it all fail. My one thought, was if I could just figure out what the missing piece was, I could replace it with a reasonable facsimile and once again, voila, problem solved.
My husband and I attempted to get help and were referred to a reproductive physician. She put me through many tests and even though In vitro fertilization has a history of producing many births, my age, risks of procedure and cost for each attempt disqualified me. I was crushed, so crushed that I secretly vowed that having a child would have to be a miracle, so I enlisted God without asking.
I returned to the computer to pursue answers, found books that dealt with healing and in particular healing for infertility and went to every healing prayer line I could find. I thought to myself that if I did everything right and followed every direction set forth in this material, God would owe me a child. I believed that because He set up the system, He would be responsible for seeing it through. A growing anger and bitterness toward God grew as I tried very hard to make what was not possible for me to happen. I prayed, commanded, demanded, quoted scripture to God and basically told my body it would have to obey. I cried tears many times in complete helplessness and frustration. Why wasn’t it working?
I finally let go somewhat that I would have a child through my own body. I still believed that God owed me – so my husband and I decided to pursue adoption. The process seemed hopeful at the beginning, but delay after delay, after delay, brought a deep hopelessness and it damaged me.
We felt that we did everything that was required of us. Though I had found a new hope in a relationship with God, I didn’t fully trust Him. After all, I felt that He was withholding something precious from me. I began to believe that certain people got things from God and certain people didn’t qualify. This is not true but I began to believe it. After seven years of setbacks a frustrating hindrance with our family Doctor and a delay with our paperwork I had had enough. We decided to close our file for adoption. I was defeated and crushed.
My life and my faith were in crisis. I had abused God’s grace in my life. I had made having a child an idol in my life. I was finished and I needed God and He met me there. Immersed in His mercy, secured by His grace, and soothed by His love, I was exactly where God wanted me to be. I was in His arms.
My lesson learned was God’s way is not only the best way, but the only way. In His mercy, many things are restored to me. I have a release in my heart, a new peace. My husband and I are making plans again in our lives. Possibilities and choices are blooming all around us. We have chosen to live child-free, but to consider those children that are already in our lives.
In God’s eyes, He has already answered my prayers all those years. You see by His definition of ‘mother’ in addition to the family relationship, it is also defined as “one who takes the place of a mother” I mother children every day and have wonderful relationships with many. This is my lesson learned.