Have you ever been in a season of worry, anxiety, and waiting? Are you currently in one during quarantine, possibly waiting to see where your job is leading you or wondering if you will be able to continue working? Maybe you’ve been laid off and are left wondering how you will provide for your family. In a season of unknown, it’s so easy for our vulnerable, weary hearts to wander, leading us down dark paths and a myriad of “what ifs”.
Turn of Events and Anticipation
Our family had been waiting to adopt from Haiti for 4 ½ years when I found out I was pregnant with our fifth child. As the news set in, I knew I needed to contact our adoption agency. I needed to let them know that we were going to put the adoption on hold for a while. Her response gave me instant peace: “I couldn’t figure out why it has taken so long for you to get a match. I rarely have families willing to take a sibling group of up to three children. This must mean that this is God’s plan for your family. He wanted you to have another biological child all along.”
The moment you become pregnant is the moment dreams form. Dreams of gender, name selection, nursery decor, and a palpable sense of pure joy. Your head and your heart flood with all the sweet, newborn possibilities.
I remember feeling confused — I thought for sure God had called us to adopt. We had prayed about it, worked tirelessly on the paperwork, and felt peace and assurance as we ventured through the adoption process. However, I couldn’t help but feel overjoyed about the thought of birthing another baby. I enjoy pregnancy, every part of it in fact — even the morning sickness, and especially the birth itself (call me crazy but I so do). The sense of empowerment you get when you give life to a baby. The miraculous wonders of how each and every cell works together to form a beautiful bundle of pure love. I can’t help but be in awe of the God of creation and how He perfectly knits it all together.
The wait made sense; we had watched other couples go through the process after us and get their babies before us. Years of getting excited every time our adoption agency’s phone number appeared on my cell phone as it rang. Answering with much anticipation, thinking this call must be THE CALL, our match. Our adoption agent was right, God meant for us to have a biological baby, our fifth child — or so we thought.
Shattered and Broken Dreams
It was Valentine’s Day, the day I would see and hear our baby’s beating heart. I mean, could it get any more perfect than that? I’m pretty sure there’s no sweeter sound than hearing your baby's heartbeat for the very first time. I went to my appointment with much anticipation as all mommies do. As the nurse maneuvered the wand over my abdomen, I could read her facial expression. She couldn’t find the heartbeat. She excused herself and told me she needed to have the doctor come in to see if she might be able to find it. As the doctor explored, she couldn’t find a heartbeat either.
Instant nausea, I wanted to vomit. Weeks of dreaming, planning, considering names as a family, those dreams and plans were instantly shattered. What had made perfect sense now made no sense at all.
We found out we were pregnant the day before we needed to update our home study for our adoption. We canceled the appointment, making our home study outdated, which meant we’d have to start all over. Suddenly, the loss of it all was a heavy load to carry.
I remember going to the would-be nursery, sitting on my son’s soccer bean bag, and just praying. As tears streamed down my face, I cried out to God.
What were you trying to tell me?
Why the heightened excitement only to be crushed by the weight of losing a baby and our wait in the adoption process?
I fell into a dark pit of uncertainty. The plans I thought He had for our family were shattered. The hopes and daydreams of our future were stripped from me. At one point in my grieving, my husband threatened to burn my PJs because on most days I refused to get dressed.
Resting in My Savior
Feeling forgotten, overlooked, and confused, day by day, moment by moment — God met me in those empty, anxious spaces of my broken, weary heart.
He says in His word, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
Was God calling me to rest?
Perhaps He was calling me to surrender my plans and give it all to Him.
All of me, all of my every desire, all for Him.
Maybe just maybe I needed to stop focusing on what was next and start focusing on what was right before my eyes. He had given me four beautiful, healthy children. God was calling me to focus on the blessings right in front of me.
It’s not something I do easily. Business has somehow become a badge of honor in our culture. Rest would take effort on my part. An effort to slow my roll, sit in reverence and awe in how God has already shown up in my life. Giving thanks to the Father for the myriad of blessings He had already given me. Isn’t it just like the enemy to distract us and tempt us away from slowing down, away from taking time to be grateful even in the midst of heartache and hurt?
I Lack Nothing
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4 NIV
Lacking nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Truth is, God has written a start date and an end date on our calendar of life and He knows the events of every single one of those days in between. Sister friend, we lack nothing because we have a Heavenly Father who fulfills our every single need.
When your weary heart tends to wander, wonder, and worry, remember that the Lord of all creation will provide. He has before and He will again.
It was there on that soccer bean bag in our would-be nursery that I penned this prayer with tear-filled eyes, so blurry I could not see the words in front of me.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for reminding me today to trust You in the wait. When my circumstances and my own weary heart beg me to believe You have forgotten about me, remind me You are very much still at work. Even in the silence, even in the unknown, even when I cannot see anything on the horizon, I want to trust you more and more each day. Knowing that not only are all of Your ways perfect, Your timing is perfect too.
In Jesus’ name I pray,
Sweet friend, I do not know what you are going through, but I do know God has not and will never forget about you, His plans for you, and His purpose for your life. Stand firm with expectant faith. Know that He’s not done with you yet and while He may seem silent, He is very much still at work in your life.
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