I'm reading this book called Hannah's Hope as part of a one-on-one Bible Study I'm doing with a lady from Rockpointe Church. (We connected through Hopeful Hearts at The Village, thanks to my friend Lori.) This is an excerpt from what I read today:
(The author is telling the story of the woman at the well...)
- She sought happiness in the arms of men, Jesus provides peace that could only be found in none other than Himself.
- I sought joy in the new life of a baby. Jesus offers New Life in Himself.
- I wanted to know the feeling of carrying another soul inside my body. He provides the Holy Spirit to indwell me.
- I longed to nurse a child. Paul wrote, "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good" (1 Peter 2:2-3).
- I dreamed of watching my baby grow and mature. But am I ever-growing in Christ? "Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, I not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil" (Hebrews 5:13-14).
- I bemoaned the "bread of adversity" I felt unfairly called to taste. The Lord answers with the cross: "And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, 'This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me'" (Luke 22:19).
- I pleaded for a child to enrich my days on earth. He commands, "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:20-21).
This is all so good to read today, because others have asked and wondered, and I have even asked and wondered what to do about all this babymaking business. Our hearts long for a baby so deeply that we have pursued it relentlessly for so long. The kids talk about babies, and of their friend's babies, and ask when we'll have a baby. Several of my friends and family are growing babies. Of late, I had even become open to becoming a foster parent again just to have a baby (though as we consider that in more detail, the less right it seems for our family in this stage).
I am at that point in time and in my cycle where a decision must be made: do I pursue, do I wait, do I avoid, do I prevent? James wants to know how to plan his life and summer vacation. I need to know if I should apply for a new school in the Spring. And then there's the garage: what do we do with the bins and stacks of baby things? Do we continue to hang on? What are we supposed to hang on to? Needless to say, we have just been overwhelmed with the what-nows. And so today, I get to read this. Great.
This is not the direction I wanted. But it is just what I needed.
I don't want to overspiritualize this, though that may be difficult when talking about working out something with the Lord. I have to say when I read this this morning, I was not very happy about it. Why in the world when I ask a question does God have to answer it with Christ? (Because He is the answer.) Why when I ask for direction does God point to Christ? (Because He is the Way.) When I really get down to it, my sole purpose here on this Earth is Christ: to know Him, to love Him, to become more like Him, to tell others about Him, etc.
(This is my Isaac...)This morning after I read that and thought on it, I was driving to visit someone in a hospital -- the wife of a friend. On my way there, I began thinking about babies again because of something Bub said. [Before they left for school, we were talking about today's plans and I said I was going to visit this woman. "What did she have?" Bub asked. "What do you mean?" I asked (she's in there for some gastrointestinal issues, so I was puzzled). "I mean, what kind of baby did she have?" I then explained that people go to the hospital for lots of things like ear infections, or heart surgeries, or having their noses made smaller. Hospitals aren't only for having babies.]
As I drove, it occurred to me that this is my Isaac. All of it.
Isaac was to Abraham an impossible desire. He was the dream fulfilled. Isaac was God's promise come to life, and the hope for the future. He was Abraham's joy and treasure. He was that tangible something that Abraham could point to and tell others, "See, God does what he says He'll do." And that, all of that, is what God wanted Abraham to bind up, place on an alter, and kill. The prospect of a baby has been that for me, and is now something I feel I am being required to give up. Just as Abraham didn't want to, neither do I. But, just as Abraham knew he had to obey, so do I.
I am available to whatever God will do in me, but I will not pursue anything.
No longer will I be the clock watcher, the temperature taker, or the mucus observer. I won't check anything. I won't chart anything. I won't remind anyone it's been 48 hours, so pants off. I won't be in contact with my OB-GYN and Perinatologist, and I'll see my Endocrinlogist only for non-fertility related issues. I won't buy ovulation predictor kits, Pre~Seed, or pregnancy tests. I will take all of this, including the pain, loss, and unfulfillment, and will bind it up together for the altar. May all of it be a sweet sacrifice to He who requires it.