Thursday, March 1, 2012
Joy & Love
Before Joe and I were even married we agreed that we wanted two or three children. When I was pregnant with Eli Joe was pretty convinced that he only wanted two children. And when the ultrasound confirmed that our second baby was a boy Joe felt certain that two (a girl and a boy) was perfect. I, however, didn't feel the same way- I knew I wanted a third. Three children to me just seemed like a complete family- not big and not small-just right! Clearly Joe and I weren't in agreement. But the one thing that we agreed about when I was pregnant with Eli is that Eli would be our last biological child. I knew I wanted another child someday, but we were both interested in adoption. Joe had always been interested in adoption and he was at least willing to consider adopting a third child. And being that I don't enjoy being pregnant adoption seemed like a great compromise- not to mention something that we believe is really important and such a part of God's heart. When I gave birth to Eli we both really believed that he would be our last biological child.
God had other plans for us. When Eli was about 9 months old something began changing in my heart. I certainly wasn't expecting it, but slowly it began to creep it. It started slowly at first and I tried to just shrug it off but it just keep growing. I knew that God was changing my heart. I knew, without a doubt, that I wanted another biological child. Even more than that though I was convinced that God had another biological child for us. I remember how scared I was to tell Joe. I knew he would tell me that I was crazy. So I waited for a while. Finally though I had to tell him. And sure enough- he told me that I was crazy! He laughed at me too (in a nice way) and basically said that it wasn't going to happen. I explained to him how God had changed my heart and how I believed that God had another child for us. I knew I was going back on something we had already agreed on so I didn't really blame him for thinking I was crazy. To his credit though he did agree to pray about it. But basically I wasn't expecting much. And as the months went by every time it was brought up he would just sort of shake his head and say something along the lines of, "NO Way."
And then there was a morning- in late January I believe- that I was feeling pretty down about things. I remember being in the shower and just thinking that I had no idea how God was going to bring us together on this. I recognized that neither of us was wrong. He wasn't wrong for not wanting another baby and I wasn't wrong for wanting one. And I so wanted another baby. And believed so strongly that's what God had for us. But it just seemed like we were on an impossible impasse. And then the very next evening, after the kids were in bed, Joe sat me down in the living room and explained to me how he had been praying and how God had been working on his heart and how he....wanted another baby!!! He WANTED another baby. I remember just staring at him in disbelief with tears running down my face. Just a day earlier it seemed impossible to me that God could bring us together on this. I guess I should know by now that nothing is impossible for God. And then of course I do have a wonderful husband who is willing to seek the Lord on these things and to follow God's plan (and not just his own desires). I firmly believe that God can change our desires if we are open to letting Him.
Four months later we found out that I was pregnant. I remember that morning very clearly and the thing I remember most was such an overwhelming feeling of love. This baby felt like such a gift of love to me...a gift of love from the Lord and from my husband. Later in the day when I found out that the baby's due date was Valentines Day it just seemed PERFECT.
As it would turn out God DID have another baby for us. And she WAS a gift of love for me. Though it wasn't all as perfect as I had hoped...though she is certainly perfect now in the presence of the Lord. In some ways it felt a little cruel initially that her due date was on Valentines Day...something I would never be able to forget. I have to believe, then, that God doesn't want me to forget...that instead He wants me to remember Joy, remember her life, look forward to the day that I will hold her, and to remember His faithfulness to me.
Admittedly though I was dreading this first Valentines Day. I was expecting it to be a hard day and so I didn't plan too much. Instead I just prayed when I first got up and just asked the Lord to carry me through the day as He so faithfully did during the time we lost Joy. And He did. I can't even explain why or how, but He did. And that day felt so full of HOPE and PEACE. Only a few tears were shed because they were honestly replaced with such a feeling of hope...hope in eternity and hope in knowing that THIS life (and all it's heartbreak) isn't all there is. God allowed me to think of our baby girl often that day with such, well, JOY. It was nothing short of God's power and faithfulness in my life. That day I truly experienced the peace that passes understanding. There are still moments that are hard and from time to time the tears still come, but God reminded me this Valentines Day that despite my darkest days He is love (and so is she).