I’ve been struggling with some terrifying internal questions lately. For months, these questions have been relatively speculatory. In my mind, they were “what ifs,” and never seemed to be things that would actually happen to me. Moving into our eleventh month on this journey, that has changed.
Why is it really taking several months for me to get pregnant again?
If this continues, because it’s completely possible that it could…Am I really going to end up in that group of women who try for years to have a child of their own?
But then the scary thoughts get scarier. I go down into the rabbit hole and can’t get out.
Does God want me to completely give up this desire before He will bless me by fulfilling it?
If I completely give it up, will He fulfill it?
When God promises to give me the desires of my heart, does that mean He will necessarily allow me to have my own biological children?
Would God really allow me to be barren after I tasted what it was like to have a child of my own?
I mean, it is possible His plan is for me not to have children. Who am I to assume it’s out of the realm of possibility. To assume that just because I want something, even desperately, that I can have it. Little me. BIG God. I’m just a tiny speck on this earth. What do my desires have to do with anything — especially God’s bigger picture? Maybe certain ones don’t have a place in it.
This week I cried out to God. I was (and still am) completely confused as to what His promises mean.
His Word says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” But that implies that what you ask for is in line with His good and perfect will. That what you seek is Him, not necessarily the thing you want. And to knock — that implies that you persist, you persevere in asking. You bring it to His feet constantly. For years if you have to. That last part I’ve got down. But I’m not so sure about the first two.
Is having biological children in line with His good and perfect will for me? I can’t know that.
But what is it that I’m truly seeking? Is it Him? Or is it the thing I desperately want? And I had to answer that honestly. I’ve thought about this before, several times, and each time I answered in my heart, “Yes, Lord, it’s You I’m seeking.”
But I had to examine that this week. If the Lord didn’t give me the thing I want — if he never blessed me with that thing — would I truly praise Him anyway?
In the book of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were commanded to bow down and worship Nebuchadnezzar’s statue. Nebuchadnezzar taunted them and said, “If you refuse, you will be thrown immediately into the blazing furnace. And then what god will be able to rescue you from my power?” And what they did next took real faith. Not ‘I guess I should trust God because what else do I have left’ sheepish, selfish, half-hearted faith. They replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, your majesty. But even if He doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, your majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”
‘But even if He doesn’t.’
I finally got it. The thing I seek, the thing I’m so desperate for — it won’t fulfill me. It won’t even scratch the surface of the deeply-rooted longing in my heart.
God is the ONLY thing in this world — not my husband, not the possibility of children, not anything — that can fully satisfy my longing. That completely fills my heart with joy. He is not just THE Alpha and Omega — He’s MY Alpha and Omega.
So even if He doesn’t rescue me, even if He doesn’t give me the thing I ask for, I will praise Him. I will absolutely know that that is His best for me, and I will praise Him for graciously allowing me to experience His perfect love.
I can finally say I mean this. I’ve been praying, asking God to change my heart and help me mean it — that if He didn’t give me my own children I wouldn’t hold it against Him. I didn’t want to just say it. I didn’t want to act like I released my desires to Him, when I really hadn’t; when I was really holding back thinking, “If you don’t give me this, I can’t — and won’t — be happy.”
As I was putting together my HOPE! page today, I came across this C. S. Lewis quote:
I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face, questions die away. What other answer would suffice?
— C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces
The greatest gift God could give me is not children. It’s Himself.
Questions die away. Even the terrifying ones.
Because the only thing truly scary is to be separated from Him, from His love. And I’ve been blessed to intimately experience His love 100 times over this year. In the midst of this turmoil I can truly say I have found fulfillment in Him.
I know I’m not going to feel this way 100% of the time, and there are definitely times when I might not act like I believe it. But I know God will keep working on me. He will keep bringing me back because this is where life is found. He will keep bringing me back to this because His love is way too much to give me lesser things.
I don’t know the answers to these scary questions yet. But I am not as scared of them as I used to be… or at least I’m trying not to be.
I still want my own biological children. That desire has not changed. And I believe God cares about the desires of my heart, and that He delights in giving good gifts to His children. I believe He rewards those who seek Him. He tells us to hope. To ask, seek, and knock. I’m not giving up hope — and I will definitely keep asking, seeking, and knocking. I will keep trying to conceive, because with all of this said, I do feel God wants to bless me with my own children. But even if I’m wrong, even if He doesn’t, I will know that He is the answer. What other answer would suffice?