What I have to share now is hard. This is my sixth attempt at a beginning and it still sticks in my throat. I have attempted to dress it up with pretty little half-truths and a lot of chistianese but each time God forbade me to print it. Who knows, perhaps this too will find it’s way to my virtual trash can.
If so, praise Him!
Either way... I am going to attempt once again.
To those in my life who doubt, let me set the record straight. I desire a husband. I desire children. I have for decades. I thought for sure by now, God would have married me off. But the older I get, the less optimistic I become.
Plus, I’m tired of the open rebukes and glossed-over platitudes.
I’m tired of my married friends hinting that I don’t have enough faith, patience or spirituality and if I would only be more of this or less of that then God would bless me. I cannot help but roll my eyes when (some of) my family members jest that I must be a lesbian. Honestly, when did celibacy become so unnatural? I argue with those would-be-encouragers who insist it MUST happen because God promised to give me the desires of my heart. Since I desire it, God HAS TO do it. Right?
The Bible also says that my heart is desperately wicked. What if I desire something that is wrong, wicked, ill-timed, or going to destroy me? Would a good God grant me those desires too?
But more to the point, does this passage really say that God HAS TO give me a family just because I desire it? No. I don’t believe it does.
Nevertheless, I do desire these things. God knows this and yet keeps me single and childless. He must have His reasons.
Meanwhile I continue to ride the emotional rollercoaster of envy, bitterness, heartbreak, and longing. I’m not some super-human, spiritual giant who somehow lives unaffected by longings. I don’t possess the ‘gift of singleness’. And the older I get, the more I weep at the possibility of barrenness.
This. This is the hard that I have to share with you today.
Well, it is front and center to the breaking and crushing that the Lord has being doing in me this year.
I’ve already shared with you what God has been showing me through the giving and taking away of the clinic. In fact, when I take a closer look -- a more honest look-- it was me that grasped for and took it. I didn’t wait for the Lord to give it.
I was wrong. I sinned.
Lord, forgive me!
This same grasping for and taking way happened with a would-be child, and a would-be husband.
Let me explain.
A year ago, I took in an abandoned newborn. When I first saw him, my heart leapt within me. I wanted him as my own and I rejoiced to hold him in my arms. I had been waiting for a true orphan (meaning a child with no known living relative) to come to the orphanage to adopt. I desired a boy. He seemed like an answer to prayer.
Then I learned that he was to be given to another. But the couple was not sure yet. They didn’t want him if he was HIV positive and needed to meet him before they could decide. So my agony was prolonged.
I cannot tell you the story without weeping.
Long story short, he was taken from my arms and given to another.
The Lord gives and takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!
A few months later, a South African missionary reached out to me and started courting me. The relationship moved quickly and I found myself carried away. He seemed to be everything I was looking for, praying for. He seemed like a perfect fit and we started talking about marriage. I was excited.
But... then one day he disappeared.
I was confused. It stirred up insecurities and dashed hopes. What was worse is he refused to explain why. Later I learned that he was talking to several women at the same time and had chosen another.
What I thought was for me, was meant for another.
Blessed be the name of the Lord!
I don’t know why God decided that this would be the year to reveal the dark secrets of my heart. I don’t know why... nor do I have to. I’m not proud of the envies, jealousies and anguished insecurities that surfaced through this process. But my prayer is that my heartache would not be wasted, that I would learn to wait more patiently, love more fully, and enjoy more completely the what-is instead of the what-ifs.
He gives and He takes away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord!