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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Rescued {2 of 40 Stories}


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I know what it's like to have prayed so long for a baby that you can't pray for it anymore.

I know what it's like to desperately want to be a momma and then to want it even more.

I know what it's like to give up all hope of being a momma.

It can make a person sick.

And then it gets worse when your husband tells you, "Maybe kids aren't something for us. We can be happy, just the two of us. There's a lot we can do just the two of us that we won't be able to do with more. Maybe that's our calling. Maybe it's a family made up of just the two of us."

Sometimes you reach a point in life when you stop praying for something and start praying that you don't want it anymore. Your favorite worn jean jacket falls off the hanger, and you stoop down to pick it up and instead of hanging it neatly on the rack, you collapse on the closet floor. You lean over the heap of dirty clothes and you sob until the tears stop, but your nose keeps running and your body keeps shaking. In this moment your prayer shifts.

Mine went something like this: "Take away my desire to be a momma and give me a heart for whatever you want." It hurts too much to want the impossible. There's a point when your will splits and you'll take what you're given.

There are million ways we are cracked, we stop fighting, and our prayers shift. Waiting for a spouse, waiting for a job, waiting for a dream to come true.

Sometimes this is exactly the point where we find the Lord is mighty.  Maybe it is only when we give up control, when we give up our plans, our hopes, our desires, that we can see the big dream God has for us.

I think I know how King Darius felt when he was forced to throw Daniel in the lions' den. The king longed for a way to avoid it. He anguished over another solution. He tried to figure out how to get his own way. Yet there was no other option, so he gave control to God and miserably sealed Daniel inside the lions' den.

I bet Daniel prayed for a way to avoid the lions' den. I also bet about the time the entrance was sealed was the point when his prayer shifted. It wasn't about avoiding the lions' den, but about avoiding the lions' teeth.

This is the God I serve. He is not a God of comfort, ease, or predictability. Instead, He is a God who closes the mouths of ravage lions. He is a God who can build a tailored-made family without babies. (Although He did provide one baby, which confirms that He is also a God of indulgences.)

Andy found me on that closet floor, clinging to my jean jacket and crumpled on top of the dirty laundry, swollen eyes, and shaking. It's this most desperate of moments when you simply want to hide because you know your whole world, your whole plan, is falling. Somehow, I choked out a plea for Andy to pray: Will you just ask that we would be open to the family God has for us?

He nodded, but I saw the doubt in his eyes. He believed it would always be just the two of us. Perhaps it was because I was crumpled in a closet, and so he prayed a prayer he didn't think mattered. It changed me. I quit trying to figure out why I didn't have babies and everyone else did. I quit trying to figure out what I was going to do with a big house and no kids. I quit trying to figure out why I had a desire to be a momma, but no babies.

And then one morning, before my eyes were open and the wisps of sleep were still lingering, Andy nudged my shoulder. "It's time," he said.

"Time for what?" I mumbled, barely opening my lips.

"Time to find the family God has for us. There's a baby for us to adopt."

My eyes flew open, and he grinned. "That's it?" I asked. "Suddenly you're okay with adoption."

He smiled. Shrugged. Sometimes it's impossible to know exactly how a heart is changed. But it makes me understand King Darius' decree about God:
For he is the living God,
    and he will endure forever.
His kingdom will never be destroyed,
    and his rule will never end.
He rescues and saves his people;
    he performs miraculous signs and wonders
    in the heavens and on earth.
He has rescued Daniel
    from the power of the lions.
And He has rescued me from trying to control every detail to make a perfect life. It's unsettling to think what the cost would have been if I missed His plan in the name of comfort and ease and predictability. Thankfully, He is a God who rescues.