Honesty time, my friends.
As Christmas has drawn closer, I have found myself feeling a strange combination of sadness, anxiety and exhaustion. You see, this is the fourth Christmas season I have thought, "This is the last Christmas before we are parents." And each time another year has come and gone with no children in our home.
And again here we sit. Waiting. Wondering. Wishing.
It is so hard. Hard really isn't anywhere near sufficient of a word for what this is. My English teacher brain cannot think of a word that would accurately give a picture of what this is. "Impossible" comes to mind. So does "heartbreaking." And "ridiculous" has been on my list a time or two. But even then, those words are not enough. They are not enough to explain what it feels like to cross another year off the calendar and realize that, as much as people say you are so close, you are really just not that close to being a mom.
But that is where I am.
A few weeks ago, I was trying to somehow articulate this to the incredible and beautiful women God has placed in my life through our small group. It was right after we got our December update, letting us know that we are sitting at #29 for another month. Words were failing me and tears were prevailing (despite my best efforts), when I finally stumbled onto what this feels like.
Here it is:
Today I feel forgotten. Today I feel abandoned. Today I feel alone and confused and hurt. But I KNOW that is not true. This is what I know. I know that God is with me. I know that He alone is sovereign over this. I know that He is orchestrating something beautiful. And the thing keeping me standing here, rooted in the adoption with the absolute certainty that this is where I am supposed to be, is the fact that I KNOW that God is with me. I know it in the deepest recesses of my being, in the places where fear and doubt cannot exist. It is a fact for me. It is not a belief. It is truth. I must be honest with you, there is not much in me that FEELS like this is true right now. But I KNOW it is. I do not serve a God who is dependent on something as feeble as human feelings. I serve a God who IS truth and IS love. And this God, the one true God, He will NEVER abandon me. He may test me. The last three years have been evidence of that. He might refine me through a fire that burns away everything in me that is not real. He is doing it now.
But He will NOT abandon me. He will NOT leave me.
I am HIS. He chose me. Saved me. Adopted me.
He fought for me. Sacrificed for me. Gave His LIFE for me.
And no amount of pain or emotional torment or fear can change that.
I have felt so defeated over the last three months, drained of all I have and left empty in a crumpled heap on the floor. There are days when I cannot even think about our children without turning into a puddle. But I know I am not alone. Even though I feel like it, I know I am not alone. He is here. And I know that because, if He was not, I would not be either. I could not have made it this far without the love, grace and protection of my Heavenly Father. He is carrying me through this; I know I am not walking on my own. I can't!
A few weeks ago, and maybe I have already shared this, but it is resting on my heart, we were at Bible study and husband of the couple who was teaching that week shared an excerpt from Screwtape Letters. Wormood's demon mentor is teaching him about fighting against Christ followers and he says this:
"Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy's [God's] will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.”
I long so desperately to be that human. To be the woman who looks around and cannot physically see evidence of God in her life but chooses to obey anyway. Because even when we cannot see Him, He is here.
And so that is what I know. I know that He is here. And I am trying to fix my eyes on Him.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."