My little girl turned 4 on Sunday. We had a happy morning complete with her favorite chocolate-iced sprinkled donuts for breakfast. Just before we walked out the door to head to church I got the answer to the question we have every month and, again, it was "not this time." I felt upset that it had to come on a day meant to be joyous -- did I really have to battle this today? I didn't want to be fighting tears on a day that was supposed to be happy. I didn't want to take a smidgen of joy away from Little's day. I was so discouraged that I was having to walk out the door struggling to have a genuine smile on my face. My heart was breaking and the ache was so strong.
I will never be able to fully understand the Lord's timing. I won't ever have a list of reasons before me as to why He chooses to allow things at certain times. That's not mine to know; but, He is kind to help us understand pieces of it, though we may not have the whole picture. He is good to give us clarity in the midst of foggy eyes and to encourage our hearts with reminders of His presence and love when our hearts just feel faint and weary. One of my favorite songs we sing at church is called "All I Need" and the chorus says this:
My heart, my flesh, will fail me || But, my God, You're all I ever need || You are my strength, my portion || You are everything, Oh Lord, you carry me || My God, You're enough for me
That Sunday and this week I have had moments where the heart failing was very real. My body has physically ached with the desire to hold another baby. Tears have fallen as AK has said many times how much she wants us to have another baby, how much she wants to be a big sister. I have struggled with the "why, Lord" several times in my heart and I have cried out to Him with this desire of my heart, this desire of our family's heart. And in the midst of all of that, He has given me comfort. Though my mind still feels so foggy and my heart so weary, I don't doubt one bit that He is wise and loving in His choosing of this path for us.
Both on Sunday and throughout these past few days, He has shown me Himself and His gentleness in many ways. In the midst of my heart sinking with the knowledge that we weren't pregnant, I got to the spend the day celebrating the beautiful little girl I held in my arms for the first time 4 years ago, the little girl who made me a mommy, and celebrate the fact that she was given to us to treasure, enjoy, teach, train, love...to be our daughter. In the midst of my heart aching and grappling with the hurt at receiving an answer I didn't want, I got to go to church with my family and be reminded of the best and most hopeful truths about Jesus, who is the same Jesus that knows the cries of my heart more intimately than any other. In the midst of aching to hold a baby, my arms have been able to filled with my dear friends' babies, to love on and coo over and smell that delicious baby smell, and I've been able to watch my daughter adore them and continue dreaming about what a simply amazing big sister she is going to be one day. In the midst of a bucket of emotions, I have seen Jesus in the love, the words, the cookies, the hugs, the never-ending prayers, and the faithful coming-alongside from my precious family and friends. People are truly walking this path with us and that is one of most heart-bursting gifts of God's grace I will ever know.
My heart, J's and my heart, for this season of our living is summed up so well in this excerpt of a letter written by a woman Judy Squier to a family whose son had just been born with no arms or legs. This is from Elisabeth Elliot's book "Keep a Quiet Heart."
"You as a family have been chosen in a special way to display HIs unique Masterwork. I pray that your roots of faith will grow deep down into the faithfulness of God's Loving Plan, that you will exchange your inadequacy for the Adequacy of Jesus' resurrection power, and that you will be awed as you witness the fruits of the Spirit manifested in your family."