Monday, January 11, 2010

::i didn't fall off the planet...::

...but I did fall off the wagon.  The wagon being that ever-elusive carriage of contentment.

For many months I was handling my desires for pregnancy, for more children in general, for a houseful of little ones--adopted or born of my womb.  I reconciled my deep longings with God's sovereignty, I thought.  Lots of people I knew were pregnant.  I was fine.

But then, one day in October (right before my last post),  I got a phone call that shattered that sense of self-composure I had so carefully cultivated.  I wrestled for two days with the fact that I was going to have to handle the pregnancy of someone I did not expect to be pregnant, should not have expected to be pregnant.  A situation frought with disobedience and indiscretion.  But here it was in front of me.  And I knew in my gut that I'd have to hold the hand of someone with a womb filled with all I desired, and quite frankly believed I rightfully deserved

Writing that last sentence makes me cringe a little.  In my sense of self-righteousness, I fought with what felt unjust to me.  Why?  Why, Lord, would You allow her to conceive and not me?  I spent a lot of time weeping on my knees.  Because of my calling in life (my husband is a pastor, if you are a new reader), I knew I would have to be the support for this woman who was, in many ways, alone.  A litany kept leaking out with my tears: "God, I cannot walk through this with her!  I can't do it!  Please don't ask this of me!"  But I knew that this was exactly what God would require of me.  I knew it with all of my being.  And I knew that if He required it, He would give me the grace to endure it.

Which He did, of course.  Because He is good.

The situation did not turn out as expected.  The young woman involved ended up miscarrying, and then my ministry to her went in a different direction.  I look back at my initial reaction and wish I had handled it better.  Why did I let it get the best of me?  Why, after all these years of infertility, did the sting feel like the very first time?

Since then, my desire for more children has only intensified.  I can't explain it.  I used to disdain women who had given birth to one child only to write about their desire for more.  I thought, "You have one child already--be thankful! Some of us don't have any."  What a hypocrite I am!  I understand it so much better now.  I love my son so much, so fiercely, that it just makes sense to have many more children to love and raise and spend my life on.

I was reading a blog the other day where a young mother was extolling the joys of having her children so close together (2 under 2!).  She talked about her plan to have another baby next year and then possibly another because she loved having little ones in the baby stages.  Astounded, I wondered what it must be like to have the freedom to think like that.  I only ever thought that way before my husband and I began trying to have children way back in 2004.  (Can it really be almost 6 years since that first negative pregnancy test?)  After about 6 months of disappointments, I thought--how could I ever have planned something like this?

After reigning in my intensely jealous thoughts, I realized that that sweet young mother doesn't really have any more control over the size of her family than I do.  "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand." (Proverbs 19:21)  We all make plans and act accordingly, but it is the sovereignty of the Father that holds our lives together.  And while I fight against His sovereignty at times, I know that He does what is best because He is good and faithful.  I wonder if I will live my life forever as a barren woman, as the mother of one child through adoption.  If that is all He allots me, then it is more than I deserve. 

In spite of the negative turns of this post, I do take great joy in the role God has given me.  I often look at my son, Isaiah, and wonder how in the world the Lord saw fit to grace me with him.  It is true that my husband and I long for more children, and we are praying and thinking about how the Lord might lead us to additional children.  We are talking foreign adoption, domestic foster-to-adopt programs, and who knows what else? 

Whatever the next step is to be, I am learning to take hold of that carriage of contentment who is Jesus Christ.  I hope to hold tightly for a while.



M at Hidden Valley Simplicity said...

I needed this today. . . wrestling with "why her with 3 when she doesn't even mother them and me with 1 and my other two in heaven!?!?!"

Thanks dear.

Love you

Doug and Heidi said...

Thanks for getting back at this blog Glenna. This has been my struggle...especially in the last couple months. My neighbor, (whose baby I kept few a while when she was first born) has a teenage daughter who also just had a baby. She struggled and did not want a baby...but she has one. Their house if full of BABY! I don't visit them anymore, I hate that it is that way but it is SO hard to see that.
Something that I would give anything for...she has despite the fact that she never wanted it.

Elaine said...

Well said, Glenna! I think this post will minister to many women. God is using your pain to bring glory to His holy name, and you will not go unrewarded for that. Still praying, sweet friend!

Allison said... good to have you back! we missed your blogging!

i am so sorry for the tough fall season you had. i also am praying to have more than our one child. all of our plans keep slipping out from under our feet...over and over.

you know you're always in our prayers!!

Faith said...

I've missed your posts! I struggle with these same things and it is SO encouraging to know that I am not alone. Thank you for sharing your heart and how God is working, even through the pain.

Have a wonderful rest of your week! Hugs, Faith

melanie said...

glenna, thank you for sharing so honestly and openly. i appreciate knowing what you are going through. you have helped me and taught me how to speak to others with your same struggles. you also help me look at my own life differently.

i think of you often...

Kathryn said...

Just found your blog today, and when I read this post I knew I wanted to leave a comment. Clicked comments and the very first one says "I needed this today..."


I'm so glad I found your blog. Great to know that I'm not alone. 5 years went by between my two angels in heaven. Before my second angel, I was told that without fertility treatments, I couldn't get pregnant. Surprise to us, we did! But that wasn't God's plan for us...

7 months later God gave us the most amazing 18 month old boy. God chose him to become apart of our family... We understood. We needed that. We came home from Africa thinking that maybe now it was time for us to try again. So funny how we just got the child we had been longing for, for years and I was already crazy over trying to plan the next. Why couldn't I just be thankful? Two months after being home, the Dr said we needed to stop trying. I need to give my body a rest. I had to start taking medication, for at least the next 2 years he suggests, or I might lose everything... Ugh...

But over the last few days, I've found some joy in it all. I've stopped googling. I've stopped researching. I've shut my computer. I've laid on the floor and just spent some amazing quality time with the awesomest, now 2 yr old boy.

Your post was just great reassurance that I need to stop being jealous (lots of pregos around me right now) stop trying to force the next offspring, stop putting my husband on a rollercoaster of ideas and options.. And just enjoy all the other things in life. We're young. We have time. God's plan is great and mighty, and I just gotta let him do his thing.. I've known this all along. Why don't I listen?

So thanks so much for your post. So glad I found your blog today. I needed it.

Shutting my computer now! I think my son and I are in need of some Jamba! :)