A Series of Promises, Part I

The Light in the Window

I had a dream that God was standing beside our bed in the middle of the night, watching over us as we slept. I always close our curtains at night, yet when I opened my eyes, the curtains were drawn open. I couldn’t see God standing beside us, yet somehow, I knew He was there. He was a part of us, watching over us, covering us.

My husband and I had been trying for a baby for an entire year before I had the courage to truly ask God for what I wanted. I had just scheduled an appointment with my doctor in order to get everything tested to make sure everything was okay. It had been a year, and with my health history of menstrual irregularity, I had a feeling that something wasn’t right. It had always been a fear that I’d shove in the back of my mind that one day I’d find out that we couldn’t get pregnant. My way of controlling that fear was to act casual; let me act like going off my birth control was just a casual choice. We weren’t in any hurry. Whenever it was right, it would happen.

We had gotten used to telling people we didn’t want kids yet. Maybe when we were in our late twenties, we’d start trying. There was so much we still wanted to do. We wanted to finish school. We wanted to establish careers. We wanted to travel the world. Babies could happen later.

Our prayers were as casual as our responses to the questions. We’d gotten used to saying something like, “Hey God, when it’s the right time, let it happen.” It was my way of convincing myself that I wasn’t in a hurry. It was my way of burying that fear inside me. But every day that passed was a new day where this yearning inside me became greater. I was so busy pretending to myself that we weren’t in any hurry that I’d never actually admitted what I wanted. I’d never told God what I wanted. I’d never said it out loud: God, I want a baby.

Every month when nothing happened, the fear inside me became bigger. I could no longer silence the voice inside me that said this will never happen for you. I cried sometimes, but I pretended it was stress. My prayers became shorthanded as I skirted around my heart’s desires, pretending as though God couldn’t see them. I couldn’t admit to God what I truly wanted. Because in doing so, I’d be making myself vulnerable to an answer. I’d be at risk of receiving a “no.”

The first time I felt God urging me to admit to Him what it was that I truly wanted was the day I heard the song King of My Heart for the first time. I was at a worship concert, and as I listened to the words You are good being sung over and over, I felt God urging me to ask Him for what I wanted. I knew exactly what He wanted to hear, but I resisted. I wasn’t ready to say it. I couldn’t say it.

But the words kept repeating, echoing within me, urging my heart to repeat them and believe them. You are good. You are good. And in that moment, I realized what it was He was trying to teach me: He wanted me to believe that He was good in every moment. That even though things would not always be easy, that even though this very well may be the beginning of the greatest heartache of my life, He was good now and always. He would be proven good in all situations. He would be proven good here and now.

In asking Him for what I wanted, I was relinquishing my control over my own heart, making myself vulnerable, acknowledging that I didn’t know where I was headed, but recognizing that I didn’t need to know. He was pulling me to surrender this part of myself to Him. What He wanted was for me to trust Him enough to not only ask Him for what I wanted, but to trust Him enough to believe that if His answer wasn’t what I wanted to hear, that He would still be good.

In that moment, I was broken. God had opened my heart and broken down the barrier between us that had been keeping me from being honest with Him. For the rest of the concert, I prayed, crying out to God and asking Him to grant my heart’s desire for a baby. I knew that from this point on, that desire could never be reeled back in. It could never be hidden. From that point on, until my God would allow this desire inside me to either be met or mitigated, I was a mother awaiting a child. I had begun a new, terrifying journey that could easily end in grief. Yet in that moment, I knew that the possible pain of the journey would be worth it. He was going to use this journey for His glory.

When I went home that night, I was in a sort of blur, one of which I could not separate my thoughts from my prayers. The presence of God was overwhelmingly close. I fell asleep in prayer, though after a while, I became exhausted, and could do nothing but whisper the name of God.

When I awoke to the gentle warmth of His presence beside me, and when I looked toward my open window, the moonlight was casting a shadow over our room in the shape of the cross. And I knew in that moment that God was going to answer my prayers. In the midst of my despair and my inability to trust Him with my deepest heart’s desire, He had heard me, and He had taken the time to reassure me that He was still there, and that He was still good.

He was covering us with His grace in that moment, not only my husband and me, but our entire family. He knew our family inside and out. He had already created us, He had intricately planned and crafted us to fit together perfectly. He had our child in His hands. We were already parents. My husband was a father, and I was a mother. He urged me to remember this promise, to cling to it in times of insecurity, to hold fast to it as I travelled the winding road before me. In that moment, I knew that this journey would not be simple or easy. I knew that it likely would not be short. This would be one of the greatest challenges of our life: our journey to parenthood. But it would be beautiful, because it would be ours.

As I closed my eyes again, feeling the peace of His promise overtake me, I could do nothing but repeat those words once more, willing for them to be engraved within me, holding them close to my heart, in the hope that regardless of what was in store for me, that He would be my song through it all. You are good.

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” -Romans 12:12

Letter to Our Baby, Part I

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