Saturday, February 21, 2009

An Incredible Journey

I have been thinking about getting what I want. Bearing in mind that I already have all of my needs met. I literally cannot think of one thing I need. But it's not the needs that consume me, it my wants. It's part of the American dream, right? (Please note the sarcasm.) However, what has been on my mind isn't new wants. But wants fulfilled.

Would you rewind with me a minute? The new setting is around this time of year, 2005.

Becca was nearing two years old, I knew in my heart our family was not complete. Doug and I began praying and asking God to direct our paths and asking that that path would include another child.

A year passed. No child. Then another. Still no baby.

I sat in Sunday school class every week with a couple that had prayed for a child for years. I had two beautiful (I know I'm biased) children. Did I need more? Was I right in asking God for more? Why were we not being blessed with another child. I prayed. I tried to not care. I tried to find the good in where we were.

We enjoyed Ty and Becca, but my heart still ached for another little one. I wanted to feel those butterfly movements. I wanted to pick a name. I wanted to have the joy of seeing a new soul born into this world. I wanted to watch the firsts - rolling over, sitting up, smiles, rice cereal, mama, dada, baths. My heart was aching. I wanted my child that was not even conceived.

One April day, we found Hope was coming!

The pregnancy was wonderfully terrible. I was elated to have a child growing within me. I was sick for all but eight weeks. She was very vegetarian and I loved the smaller weight gain. I had a midwife who was hard to connect with. She kicked and moved and stretched and had a little personality early. The list could go on...

In the midst of this happy time, something happened that forever has changed me. Because the details do not belong to me, I will not share them here. What started my journey was loss. Loss of innocent life. Loss that to this day I cannot understand. Loss that changed my heart. Loss that made me question God.

In the stillness of the night a baby was born into the arms of Jesus. While I wept, God said to me, "I lost My little Boy too. I loved Him and I gave Him up." It was not the first time I thought of God's sacrifice, or His heart breaking. But it was the first time I could comprehend some portion of his pain.

I got what I wanted. I got my wish, my dream. I got my Hope. I wouldn't trade her for the world, but seeing loss like that for the first time changed me. That change is not yet complete.

Since that time, God has been changing me through a refining fire also known as postpartum depression. With Ty and Becca, I had been able to shove the lessons God was trying to teach me through the birth of our children to the back burner. I struggled with the 'blues' for a few weeks but used my own strength to fight it off. I relied on people instead of God. He had to do something major to get my attention. So in His ever loving way, He brought me back to Him.

The death of an innocent unborn babe made me face what I thought about a God who could allow something like that to happen. I had to decide who I was going to trust. I had to decide what I would chose to believe.

The journey wasn't that clear to me at the start, but that is the basic question it has come to. I had never allowed myself to question God too strongly. I didn't think it right of me to question who He is, what He does. Or any of the other myriad of issues I can't comprehend about God. But through this last year of struggle and joy all intermingled in chaos and confusion, I heard His voice, I felt his hand, I saw His handiwork, I marveled at His character.

I had one thing to decide. Do I trust who He says He is?

Yes.

I have been through valleys broken by glimpses of sun this past year. I have had days where I did not feel a part of the living. I have had to face dark memories. I have had to forgive the unforgivable. I have had to ask for forgiveness. I have had to beg for help. This valley has not been short or easy or without grief. Nor has it been without purpose or joy or growth.

So I got what I wanted. Sort of. I thought having my third child would look more like more first two. Responsibility tempered with fun. Personal growth without much pain. Growing as a family. Changing as a person. I just thought getting what I wanted would feel better. In a strange way, I'm glad it didn't. I can't say I'd love to go back and do this past year over. But, I'm glad I have had it. I'm thankful for what it has taught me. I'm thankful that I'm not the same person. I'm thankful that I am learning that it is okay to take a hard look at who I am. I'm thankful that I'm learning to take a hard look at who God is. I'm thankful that God cares about my needs more than my comfort. I'm thankful that He gave me my needs and added my want as a bonus.

I know this journey is not over for me. I know there is much that God still needs to refine in my life. I have wrestled with Him for days over this post. I am writing this in obedience to Him. I trust Him. I pray that my feeble words will somehow help someone else as they face a valley. I pray that you too will know the joy and the comfort that comes from trusting the One who knows what you need. And the One who knows how to give the gift of what you want packaged with what you need.

Bethany

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Reading this makes me just wanna give you a big hug. I am so impressed with your willingness to share, your vulnerability, your honesty... not to mention your story in itself.

You are gifted with words...making a reader see into your heart, wether its comfortable there or not, and see what drives your every moment.

Our Heavenly Father.

Thanks for this. I think its really an amazing post Bethany.

God bless-
Amanda