Many of you know our back story with infertility and adoption. These two things were not what I had ever envisioned when I dreamed of my life as a little girl. I was to get married, have two children, maybe a third if the first two were the same gender, and I would happily live life as a stay-at-home mom. My college degree was simply to give me a hobby to do while I waited for my real aspirations to come true.
At the age of 22, I found out I would most likely struggle with infertility. Not having even gotten to the first step of marriage, it was a very crushing blow to what I had hoped for in life.
Fast forward a year and a half, and I get the privilege of marrying my best friend. I felt back on track, but the prognosis of infertility was never far from my mind. Knowing we had a smaller window than most if I was to get pregnant, within a year of getting married we started our quest to have children.
Three and a half years of trying to conceive ended in a hysterectomy with no children.
Another two years passed before we landed on the road of adoption through a chance encounter, but that ended in a loss when the birth mother chose to parent instead of following through on her adoption plan.
Enter January of 2011 and we are holding our son in our arms. The road was tumultuous but finally successful. We have gone on to have a daughter, completing my dream of two children and I have the blessing of getting to stay home and raise them. In all, it was 7 years of trying to have children before our son legally became ours.
I would love to give you a rosy picture of how I accepted my fate, but I did anything but embrace it. I wrestled over and over with God. I prayed and prayed for pregnancy, all of which went seemingly unanswered. I could not understand a God who would allow for all of this pain in my life. My dreams were so innocent and simple. Why would God not allow for them to be played out? It was not as if I was hoping to be a billionaire or some other world-born dream. I wanted to be a Christian wife and mom. I longed for my will to be done.
Then, I read the account of the crucifixion. Through the gospels, we hear Christ say over and over, “Not my will, but thine be done.” In Mark 14:36, the writer records Jesus saying, “everything is possible for you”, almost prodding God with the knowledge that He could make up an alternate plan that does not include Jesus on the cross. He wanted anything but that. The anguish with which he prayed is palpable.
And, yet, he surrendered to God’s will and it was not just his ability to have children that was at stake. It was his very life.
For me, even more than the fact he surrendered, I am in awe of how he did it. As we read through the account, we see no action on his part, no words, to stop God’s plan from being played out. He remained silent before Caiaphas and Herod. There was no pleading for his life. As the song “10,000 Angels” reminds us, he could have ended his suffering at any given point, but he allowed God’s full plan, all that was prophesied, to be carried out. He did not even accept the gall that was offered to lessen his pain.
Oh, how that contrasts to how I handled accepting God’s will!
I fought and wrestled and pleaded. I was angry and resentful. It was only from the point of my hysterectomy that I really learned to surrender. I went into the surgery, knowing that on the other side, God was still capable of letting me live my dream. And, has he ever!
I look back on all we went through and now can recognize, even in my ugly times, that God walked alongside us in our journey to parenthood every step of the way. When I met our son, I knew that all we had endured was because he was meant for us and I would have gone through all the pain twice over if I had only known that he was waiting for us in the end. Our daughter perfected our dream.
Surrendering to God’s will is not easy. We have a vision of how life should be. And, at least in my case, sometimes almost an entitlement of wishing our will to be done. I am a good person, therefore, I deserve good things. Yet, that is never what is promised in scripture. God’s will, will prevail. It is not for us to understand, but only to accept and trust.
How are you doing in embracing what God has planned for you? Like a sheep before the shearers, he remained silent in the face of accepting his fate. Can you?