"Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep." -Romans 12:15
Tonight sweet friends of ours gave birth to a healthy and I am sure, beautiful baby. And we rejoice with our friends. We rejoice in the Lord and His blessing and gift to their family. I smiled BIG when I heard their wonderful news.
Truthfully, I smiled big...through tears.
This has become all too familiar. Rejoicing with others in the midst of sadness. I have learned the only way to keep a bitter heart at bay is by stopping as soon as I hear...and praying. To stop whatever I am doing, wherever I am, and to thank God for His blessing to that family. Because children are a blessing. And God opens and closes the womb. He is the author of life.
Today was a hard day.
I've been slowly reading Choosing Forgiveness by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. It's been a heavy and hard, but good read. She makes the point that in the midst of suffering, He - He being God - is with you.
"Helping you. Loving you. Hurting with you. Driving you back to Him, drawing you closer in, making you more dependent upon His grace and power.
"As you get to know and trust His heart, you will be able to face the cross - the way Christ faced it from the haunting shadows of Gethsemane - and still say, even through your tears, 'Not my will, but Yours be done.'"
That's where I am. We are. Through the tears, knowing that His will is perfect, but wanting something vastly different.
It's been well over a year now that The Engineer and I and our children have prayed, asking the Lord to bless us with more children. Everywhere we read about children in scripture, we read that they are a blessing. "Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them." -Psalm 127:5
There are six chairs around our breakfast room table - simply because that is how many came with the table - and the children have decided that that one empty chair should be a reminder to us to pray for another child. And they have. And we have.
We have prayed that if that is not His will for our lives, that He would change the desire of our hearts.
Our desire has only grown stronger.
I want so very much to rejoice and be thankful to be exactly where God wants us to be. To rejoice that right now, His perfect will for our lives is to be a family of five. He is sovereign and He is good.
But my heart, oh my heart longs for more children.
I thought for sure we'd have a baby in our arms by now. Surely.
I was surely wrong.
But an interesting thing is happening. With that longing for more children and the sharp reality that He has not chosen to bless us in that way right now, He is driving me to Himself. He is drawing me closer in. He is making me more dependent on His grace and power. Because I am weak. I am so weak and full of self love.
Only by the grace and sweetness of God, I find that I am living more in the moment than I ever have before. I am seeing my children. I am soaking up so much more with them. I am looking in their eyes a little longer. Smiling at them more. I am enjoying these moments that are slipping through my fingers like sand. And I am so thankful and happy to be at home with them. To be homeschooling. To eat three meals a day with them. To wash and dry and fold their clothes. To discipline them. To read to them. To hold them. He is making my heart thankful for the interruptions...whereas before I was inconvenienced. He is changing me. I dare say, He is making me more content than I have ever been. Don't get me wrong. Everyday is not perfect and I am far from perfect and I fail miserably again and again and yet, still, He is showering me, us, with His grace.
With all of our children, I have sung to them and prayed with them before bed each night...and long after they've fallen asleep, I have snuck back into their room and kissed their soft cheeks and covered them and thanked God for them. Often it has been out of sheer routine...and now, as I do the same thing with Little Bit, I am soberly reminded to treasure it. To breath it in deep. To enjoy it. To savor her head on my shoulder and her arm around my neck, the feeling of her soft breath on my face.
In wanting something God says is good and being told clearly that now is not His timing - He is changing my heart. And so I am smiling through the tears. And sometimes it is a forced smile. And it is hard.
The Engineer says that we can rejoice that this is His perfect will for our lives, and at the same time, be sad.
And so we are.
Only by the grace of God, through the tears and with our hearts aching, do we offer our thanks to Him.