Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Grace Abounding

There was a time in my life when the first thing I did every morning was take my temperature. 

Every month, I hoped.  And every month, I cried.
The worst months were the ones when I was a couple of days late.  The waiting was torture, and I let my imagination get completely out of control.  What would my parents’ faces look like when we told them the good news?  Would it be a girl or a boy?  What would we name her? 

And then, the next day, only to be crushed again. 
I went through dozens of pregnancy tests.  Dozens.  It’s a good thing I could find them at the 99Cent store. 

And then God brought us Grace, and I was thrilled because brown babies were always a part of our plan.  The part of me that craved being a Mommy was filled up to the brim.   

But every month, I still hoped. 
Then Josiah came, and I was getting older, and I remember asking Gil one day, “Will you have regrets if I never get pregnant and we never did any procedure to help it along?”  And he thought about it a while and came back with a definitive No.
And I knew by then that No was my answer too.  But I knew I needed to ask it of myself, because we live in a country where “getting help” is not a possibility, yet I did not want to live with regret. 

But I realized that God’s grace had filled me up.  And that I didn’t really pay attention to what happened each month any more.

Then my addiction started.  Instead of craving a child from my womb, all I wanted was more brown babies:  the ones who were helpless and hopeless and desperately needed a Mommy.

And after Lily came, and we started to think about James and then about bringing a baby into our family from another country, I suddenly realized something.
I was afraid of getting pregnant.

Afraid because I thought it could mess up our plans for bringing home another orphan.  And suddenly, I was facing every month with relief at not being pregnant, instead of disappointment.
And that, right there, my friends, is the abounding Grace of God.
That He could take my pain, and my shame that started so many years ago, and turn it around so completely and entirely and fully---that can only be the Grace of God. 
Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. 

Or rather, He will change your desires and make them His. 
He is the God of redemption.

He makes beauty from ashes.
He brings over-abundant joy from pain. 

And I am in awe.

(Just to clarify—I do know it could still happen to me.  It’s been 8 years of “not preventing” and I am now 35, so I’m guessing it won’t—but I know God does crazy things.  And if He does, well, of course, we will rejoice.  But that’s really not the point.)

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