I was overjoyed to be out of the house and at our wonderful church service with my Farmer Boy, the sermon was great, the songs were worshipful, even the announcements made me smile. One second I was singing: "He Loves me, oh how He loves me ..."
...and then I saw her.
She was about as far from where we were sitting as she could be - all the way on the opposite side of the sanctuary - and she was so tiny in a room so full of people it's crazy that I even noticed her. A perfect baby girl - she looked only about 2 weeks old. Her mama was supporting her little head with her hand as she slept on her shoulder - all wrapped up in pink and looking so peaceful. And suddenly I couldn't seem to swallow. I am ashamed of the first thought that popped into my head as I kept trying to sing the words that now felt like they were choking me: "He loves me ..." - but in my mind I heard: "He doesn't love me because He hasn't given me a baby".
I knew immediately that that lie was not from God but from the enemy and the father of lies. I know that God's love is not limited or only expressed through the gifts He gives to His children. I know fully that sometimes God's love is even experienced best through times of suffering or loss. I know all of this, but that didn't stop that lie from resting for a moment in my mind. I choked back tears through the rest of the service. Partly because I couldn't stop looking at that baby but mostly because I was sorry that that thought had even crossed my mind. I was frustrated that seeing a beautiful baby from a distance could bring back so much grief - shouldn't I be over that now? I want to be done.
And maybe it was more powerful last night because over the past few weeks God has been doing something new in my heart. Ever so gently over and over I have heard Him say: "Would you follow Me wherever I ask you to go, even if you didn't have a guarantee of there being a baby at the other end?" For so long I used my infertility as an excuse - like because God allowed me to loose my one deepest desire on earth, that I could hold it over His head - "God you can't be asking me to go there because You after all know that my main goal now is to become a mama", "You know that I can't do that because it would be putting off what we've already put off and I don't want to have kids when I'm much older than I am now!" Now, while I do believe God guides me through circumstances sometimes, I also believe that if we get to attached to our plan we can miss out on what He has for us that might be so much better than anything we could imagine!
So last night God used a tiny pink baby to pry my fingers off the last thread of my own plans. To test the truth that He loves me even if I never do have a baby to call my own. To make me believe all over again that He loves me even if life doesn't go my way. His love is not less when His blessings are deeper than what we can see at first glance.
None of this means we are stopping our pursuit of adoption - but just that we are seeking His plan and not holding Him hostage or putting Him in our box of how the next 5 years should look. This doesn't change the longing in my deepest heart for a baby. It doesn't take away the feeling that I'm a mother without a child.
"He love me, oh how He loves me."
I believe this with all of my being tonight.