So, Lord, do you remember how I always planned to be done having babies by the time I was thirty? I’m not sure why, except that my mother had her last one while in her mid-twenties so it seemed like a good plan.
I had no idea that one day I would be facing my thirtieth birthday without a pregnancy lasting longer than 6-8 weeks.
Tonight, as I was struggling through chores with a frozen water hose and a nosy heifer and a hissing cat, I felt a little like crying. Sometimes I feel like screaming but tonight it was just tears that bit at my eyes.
Dying dreams hurt. I know, I know– You do good things with dead dreams. But any type of death is painful. Especially the death of my-wants.
It seemed simple, you know. Asking for a baby. It says that every good and perfect gift comes from above– and this desire seemed good and noble and perfect. Just a wee little one to snuggle close and kiss and teach and love. Just a baby that won’t have another mama coming to take her away from me.
Why does thirty seem so hard? It’s not like it’s suddenly impossible that You might move on my behalf. But I guess it feels more improbable. And no matter what, no matter how You choose to act– it won’t be what I wanted. I’ll never be the young mother with half a dozen little ones running around. It just won’t happen.
But tonight, as I was pushing up hay and shaking out bedding and shoving that silly heifer out of my face, I couldn’t help but think of the conversation I had with my daughter.
Which was good. Because, hello! I have a daughter. Regardless of how many dreams have died and been buried, You did gift me this wonder. Thank you.
Anyway– the conversation with Lizbethy this morning came to mind. The one when she was fussing about doing chores. “You probably just adopted me to have a slave!” She sobbed into my shirt as I patted her head.
I almost laughed.
Almost, but not quite.
Thanks for that little extra self-control there.
Instead, I looked down at her and talked quietly about how learning to work hard at a task, even when it’s something we don’t want to do, is a part of growing up. And the only reason I care about her sweeping the floor correctly, is because I want her to grow up and become a woman of valor. A woman who can face the hard things in life with grace. A woman who knows how to do the stuff she doesn’t like, just because it has to be done.
I want good for her. Good and not evil. I want her to be strong and capable, with a foundation that is sturdy enough to handle life’s storms– and the piles of laundry.
And my little pixie girl, she looks right up at me and says, “But Mom, this doesn’t feel like something good. It feels bad.”
Those, of course, are the words that caught my attention as I shoved the heifer away one more time. Sometimes we can’t trust our feelings.
It’s easy, You know, to feel like maybe You’ve forgotten me. Like maybe You haven’t heard my prayers, or cared about the longings of my heart. But sometimes we can’t trust our feelings.
“What is truth?” I asked my daughter, to help guide her mind away from the lies about her worth. And this evening I asked myself the same thing as I turned out the barn lights and started the trudge toward the house. In the thirty minutes or so that I had before the family arrived home, I sat and wrote. I wrote the truth that I know.
You, Lord, have good in store for me. You will not forget me.
This year I’m going to remember. I’m going to set aside my feelings and cling to truth. You know the beginning and the end. You know what these trials, these empty arms, are building in me. And I’m going to believe that it is something good. Something beautiful.
Last year You told me You would be teaching me delight and then from the ashes of sorrows, we welcomed home our eight-year-old daughter. Through all that hard, and all the hard that she brought with her, You have kept Your word. Delight.
This year is going to be the year of good.
Not that I get everything I want, but that I can be settled and know that You are doing good things in me, no matter what my feelings say. No matter how many years pass without babies. No matter. For I know truth. And truth shall set me free.
Know, Friend, that no matter what you are facing– He is going both behind and before you. Rest in Him this year. When all else fades, His truth will remain.