July 18, 2011

More and Less

I had to pull the car off the road for fear of crashing into a tree or running off the winding road. The tears were falling hard and fast, leaving hot red tracks down my face. I let the sobs come as I put my car in park, allowing the grief to just be for a moment.

Dear Lord, why won’t you take away this desire if you will not fulfill it? It isn’t a bad desire. It isn’t selfish. After all, you fulfill this for most people. Why won’t you let me be a mom?

After a few minutes, I got out of my car and opened the back door so I could reach the box of tissues. Blotting my wet face I prayed,

Please change my desire, Lord. I know you can do that. You can change the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4). I can’t take this anymore. I’m so alone. None of my friends or family understand, and I don’t hear your voice. Where are you?

I drove the rest of the way home and allowed my long hair to cover my face when I walked in the front door to hide my splotchy red cheeks – I didn’t want to talk about my breakdown to my dear husband at that moment – but I kept begging God for understanding.

I’m terrified when I think of never having children. I can’t allow myself to think of the future in case the picture of childlessness becomes too real. When I do let my mind wander near those thoughts, I start to panic. Surely this isn’t what you are really calling me to, Lord.

Maybe the truth wasn’t that I didn’t hear God’s voice, but that I didn’t particularly like what He was telling me. It seemed too hard a truth to accept.

My dear child, what I am doing in someone else’s life has nothing to do with what I am doing in yours. Remember, just because they can have children easily does not mean their lives are perfect. Everyone has difficulty. Life is not about you. It never has been.

Ouch. I knew God was right, of course. It can be so easy to allow our hurts and despair to overtake us, making us blind to everything else. My pain and grief were real, but I was focusing on them too much and not enough on God. God needed to be greater in my life, and I needed to be less (John 3:30). I needed to shift my focus, broaden my perspective.

Slowly I began to see how God could bring beauty from the darkness I had been in. He reminded me that I am not forgotten. He sees me. He loves me. I learned how to start surrendering my desire for children. Instead of asking God why He seemed to give other women the things I wanted, I began asking what I had that they needed. How could God use me in the lives of other women?

Above all, I learned that God is enough. Enough for me to feel joy again. Enough for me to find contentment in Him. And ultimately, He is more than enough to guide me through my uncertain future.

He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live to please themselves. Instead, they will live to please Christ, who died and was raised for them.
~ 2 Corinthians 5:15 (NLT)
Rachel and her husband live in Maryland, home of the world's finest crab cakes. Her heart for women facing the struggle of infertility has led to an active, encouraging role on Hannah's Prayer Community Forums. When she isn't laughing with her husband, Rachel can be found cooking, blogging, and hanging with girlfriends.

Author website: Portrait Rachel