Sunday, December 16, 2012

Birthday struggles

I've been trying to keep my posts less "woe is me" and either more factual or at least a little more hopeful. However, today is just not one of those days. On Friday I turned 25 and it was kind of hard. I know, that's not "old", but please don't tell me that I'm "still young". I have heard those words so many time from many well intentioned people. I know that those words are meant to be encouraging, but what I hear is that my desire is not valid and that it shouldn't hurt so much because I'm young. The reality is this, I have been aching for this for four years and my pain is just as strong as any other woman, and while I may have more time, I still see myself as one year older. One year less of "having time". Another year has passed, the most difficult year to date, and I have yet to be a mother. At the same time I feel very selfish for feeling this way because on Friday, multiple lives were lost that will never be able to be 25 and I should be celebrating the fact that I have lived 25 years and that this has been the biggest struggle in my life. I want to have hope for this next year and I want to enter this next year with joy for the things that I do have and the blessings in my life.

This morning as I was dealing with this I turned to Hannah's prayer from the book of 1 Samuel. Hannah also ached for a baby but "the Lord had closed her womb" (1 Samuel 1:5). Hannah's thoughts centered on the fact that she was childless and she was bitter, which I can completely identify with. God had a plan for Hannah and her future son, and it took her turning to desperation and vowing to give her child over to God before God granted her request. Hannah was only able to keep her son for herself for a few years before handing him over to Eli the priest and only seeing him once a year after that. However, in return God granted her 5 more children. The devotion I was reading regarding this story said "There are Hannah's in the world today and there are purposes of God yet unfulfilled. Maybe he has "closed the womb" for a purpose. Maybe he is looking for desperate ones." This struck me in a new way. I'm not saying that God has "closed my womb", but I have felt for a long time that God is using our infertility to accomplish something greater than us and I do feel that "that something" is adoption. I don't think that God is asking us to hand over our child to a priest and vow not to shave his/her head (some might question our parenting if we did), but he may be asking us to do something that we wouldn't necessarily do if we weren't "desperate". Maybe that something is doing foster care and risking giving that child up after only a few months or years. Maybe it's adopting an older child rather than a newborn. We haven't previously been open to these ideas, but I find myself considering them more and more as I question how the pieces of the puzzle are possibly going to come together to adopt a newborn. Please continue to pray for us as we discern God's plan for our future. That we won't act out of desperation in haste, but that God will use our desperation to lead down the path He has laid before us.

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