Yesterday, I found myself in a place that I had spent countless hours dreading for many years. I was alone, sitting in my reproductive endocrinologist's office, just two floors above the labor and delivery unit where both my boys had been born. The office was quiet and dimly lit, I am assuming to calm those with reproductive anxieties. The ladies at the front desk even spoke with hushed tones. It was full of single women and couples either on the first leg of their "assisted" journey or at the end. For me, I was at the end- of this part at least.
It has been a complex journey. Since I first realized that I would be dealing with aggressive endometriosis 10 years ago, I anticipated it to be as such. For those of you who don't know this about me, you can imagine my apprehension in mentioning such a private, personal pain. But one thing that was clear yesterday- that really prompted this writing- was the heart change that has taken place in me over the last 10 years. It is truly a testimony of God's work. I know that 10 years ago, the thought of not achieving my child bearing goal would have been completely devastating. Totally incapacitating. But I sat there, listening to my doctor offering more assisted technologies that I knew were beyond what Micah and I had decided to pursue as the only available options, and I was at peace.
One thing I have learned through my own experience is not to take for granted my two precious boys. Through a lot of soul-searching, I have learned to separate (1)real, profound sadness over the effects of sin on my physical body and the challenges I have been faced with and (2)real, profound thankfulness for the wonderful gifts I have been given in Andrew and Elijah. I have even found joy in knowing I have a child I have never met that has spent all his or her days with Jesus and will one day lead me in worshiping Him- as that is all he or she has ever known. It may be difficult to see how these attitudes can co-exist, but God has graciously cultivated both in me. I think diving into the depths of sadness and rising again to the heights of thankfulness and trust in the Lord was a means to bring me peace yesterday. There have been days that I resented my physical form. In my expression of that to God, He slowly, gently reminded me over and over again that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and that He has given me the body I need to live the life He has called me to on this earth. He always listened, never wringing His hands (as Micah reminds me often) or wondering what in the world He was going to do with me. He always waited patiently on me, even though I was many times slow to entertain His plan. The words of the Psalmist are true, "Weeping is for the night, but joy comes in the morning."
I think the thing that surprises me the most in all of this is that joy did come in the morning- or more literally the afternoon- very differently than I had imagined. I had initially thought that my feelings of joy would be when I, or the doctors, had finally figured out how to appropriately deal with my problems and I would have clear answers or that I would get what I wanted. But as with most things, God's way of enveloping us in joy is much different than mine. Now, in the face of fewer answers than questions, there is joy. Joy in knowing I am in just, capable, never-failing hands. I am sure there will be sad days. In some ways though, I hope an appropriate sadness remains in me... so I never take for granted life and breath and everything else. Then one day, when I am made wholly new, I will be able to feel the complexity and fullness of that change and find ultimate joy in Jesus Christ- the One who has made this transformation possible.
The Lord has been giving both Micah and me hearts for adoption for a long time. You can begin to pray for us as we pray for His will and leading in this. We want to be obedient in seeking contentment as well as responding to whatever calling we are given. We know that in His way and in His time, all we are meant to accomplish for His glory will be accomplished on this earth.
I will post Easter pictures soon of the boys in their matching shirts and vests. We all took a long nap Sunday afternoon and lost prime daylight, picture-taking hours. We all hope you had a great Resurrection Day!