I want to start this post by thanking everyone who has supported Terence and I over the past two weeks. We have felt so loved and uplifted by our family and friends and it has been like a balm for our weary hearts. I am so grateful to be a part of such a fantastic Christian community.
It has taken me a while to sit down and write this post, but I believe the hesitation is linked to a very important lesson God wanted to teach me today.
I have been wrestling with my feelings and wrestling with God. There are so many ‘unknowns’ to this story and I have struggled to trust God with the answers. I’ve asked Him repeatedly why He allowed J-bug to fit so perfectly into our family and then have her taken away from us? Why something ‘felt’ different about this precious child and yet that ‘feeling’ led to empty arms? Why He gave me a ‘mother’s heart’ and yet I feel unable to use it? I cannot adequately describe the pain I felt watching my social worker drive away with Little J. The heaviness of my heart clashed against the emptiness of my arms. The quiet that night was deafening. The little world I had created dissolved before my eyes.
We never set out to adopt this baby. I know that. She was supposed to stay with us for a short time only. We allowed ourselves to dream and fall in love and I allowed myself to play ‘mommy’ in my mind. We foolishly ‘created’ a family of three when that was never the plan. How I wish that was the plan, but evidently, despite trying everything, our princess had to move on, as she was always meant to do.
Even though I know all of this to be true, I have struggled to find any peace about the situation. When my other three babies left, I felt incredibly sad and yet I knew they were meant for other families and so my heart was at rest. This time, my heart was at war with logic and it did a real number on my emotions.
Do I believe Terence and I would have been fantastic parents to little J?
Have I been allowing myself to dream that maybe my social worker would phone us and bring J back, or J’s birth mother would somehow find out about us and want her daughter to come and live with us?
Do I realise that by holding on to these futile dreams, I am harming myself, upsetting my husband and trying to manipulate God?
On Sunday night, Terence and I had a heart-to-heart. It was good and it was hard. I needed to hear my husband’s wise words. I realise that by fighting the process I am robbing myself of the time to properly heal and feel sad about missing J. I am allowed to be sad. I am allowed to miss her. I am allowed to cry. I am not allowed to torture myself and undermine God’s plan in this situation by refusing to acknowledge His sovereignty. I refuse to undo the wonderful thing that happened in our home, where a little girl was loved and cherished and given a good start to life, and where we were blessed abundantly by having her with us. I refuse to allow the hurt to mar this process and prevent us from caring for other children in need. I will not let what we did be in vain.
This brings me to today’s lesson. God is showing me His grace in many ways, dear friends. The Monday after J left I started another part-time job. My boss is a Christian who has a passion for the vulnerable and the lost. God has used him to help me understand His nature better over these past few weeks and I have been very blessed by our conversations. Today I admitted to my boss that I just didn’t understand why I couldn’t be J’s mother and why, despite my gifts in this area, I am not a mother at all.
And then he said something very profound.
“Julie, you need to ask God to give you an Isaac and you need to be willing to wait for him. You cannot create a family your way. It has to be God’s way.”
boom, light bulb on.
Sarah and Abraham were desperate for a child. They doubted they would ever have a son and yet God gave them Isaac in His perfect time, despite their doubts and yet acknowledging their desire to be parents.
I realised that I tried to create a family with J in it, based on what I want and not what God wants. I have refused to trust God and have allowed myself to forget that He is good to His people. I diminish the blessings God gives me by comparing myself to others. I have been wearing clothes of entitlement, believing that I deserve a child because I’d be such a good mother (I’m embarrassed to have to type that last sentence). And I have been unfairly angry at God for not giving me the desire of my heart on my schedule.
pfft…lesson learnt, God. You are clearly a better organiser and life-planner than I am 🙂
And so I am going to pray for my ‘Isaac’.
That the Lord will bless us with a child/ children through adoption or the old fashioned way when He desires. His timeline, not mine.
That I will trust in His goodness.
That I will be patient (Julie weakness alert!)
And in the mean time, that He will draw our hearts nearer to His.
That He will allow me to expand my definition of ‘mother’ to include a role so much bigger than our nuclear family.
And expand my capacity to love people.
To be used for His glory.
And to be content.