August 06, 2016 3 Comments
Have you heard Hillary Scott’s new song, “Thy Will”? It’s to-the-core good and these days it seems to be my go-to:
“Down like a child on my knees all that comes to me is, ‘Thy Will be Done.’ I know you see me, I know you hear me, Lord. Your plans are for me; goodness you have in store.”
It’s beautifully written, am I right? Such an anointing on those words. But why is it so hard to believe while we are in the trenches? Why, when we know He loves us infinitely more than we could ever imagine, is it hard to trust that His plans for us are GOOD? In church on Sundays, in small group on Wednesday nights, over coffee with a friend, through a text message as we’re running out the door, it’s so easy to say to others “God is greater, Friend.” “I know He’s going to walk you through this.” “Look for the message out of this mess. It’s there…I’m believing with you…” And then, when we are faced with the same blow, the same wait, the same fill-in-the-blank, it’s hard to believe the very words that we so quickly poured over someone else during their season of still.
Been there. And sometimes I’m still there. I know about waiting because out of the 11 years that Brandon and I have been married, I have spent 10 of them “down like a child on my knees”, waiting to become a mother. Yes, ten years.
Early in our marriage, God began specifically showing us through an incredible series of events, which I’ll share with you someday, that He was going to bless us with biological children of our own. Naturally, we were convinced it would happen when we were ready, but that wasn’t the case. It’s funny to me now to think back at that young married couple. When 1 year turned into 3 years, we decided to see a fertility specialist. There were question-filled consultations, pokes and prods, needles upon needles, blood work, lab results, ultrasounds, charting, zero privacy and…waiting. And… nothing. We decided to take the next step, which was a very expensive round of painful injections for one month. Everyday, y’all. In the hip. Brandon had to do it for me because with my eyes closed, there’s no telling where that needle may have landed. Equipped with a full page of directions on EXACTLY what we needed to do during that month, weekly ultrasounds and…waiting. And…hold on…what did they see during the final ultrasound??
An ovarian cyst – not a baby. Whomp, whomp, whommmmp. Hormonal ride is over. You may now exit to your right.
After the appointment, we were pretty quiet as we drove to get some lunch and regroup. It was that day, in a quiet corner of Zaxby’s, that we decided that we would rather not go any further with doctors. It was draining and depleting and honestly, the medical interference simply sucked all of the intimacy and joy out of being together as husband and wife.
Brandon took my hand from across the table and with watery eyes he told me that he didn’t marry me for the children that I could and would give him someday - that he married me for, well, just me. I cried all over my chicken and he cried all over his fries and my heart was grateful to hear all of the things that I already knew. The very next day during my quiet time, the Lord so lovingly and clearly told me, “Jeni, nothing you do is going to make My timing for your children come any sooner.” Wow. More tears. I was floored, but at the same time I understood that I needed to accept that this was something that God was going to do for us and that HE would receive all of the glory, not man or medicine. This may be a good time to interject that Brandon and I are in FULL support of fertility medicine – amen?? I mean, hallelujah for all the babies and all the parents who have had success. We simply did not have continued peace about that option for our situation.
Over the next few years, it was solely God that gave me the grace and sincere joy to celebrate with friends and family as announcements were made, nurseries were planned and babies were born. By this time in our lives, the majority of our friends were welcoming their second or third child and the difficult questions and curiosities began popping up, as well. At first, curious minds wanted to know ”when” we were going to have children. Then, as time went on, we started hearing “DO you want kids?” Our resounding answer was “Of course!” Brandon and I have a heart for family. We not only felt that we would have biological children someday, but also adopt when/if the Lord opened that door.
Out of love and the desire to see us as parents, our family didn’t always understand why we were waiting so long to take action, whether through advanced medicine or adoption. With pure hearts, they hoped and prayed we would make an announcement at every holiday gathering or birthday celebration. Often times, I would be the first to grab a glass of wine so everyone would see that I obviously wasn’t expecting. I would smile and laugh at the “I hope I live long enough to see it happen” jokes, but underneath the table, Brandon would take my hand and squeeze out of comfort because he knew the turmoil I was feeling on the inside. What no one knew is that each year for every single holiday, every single birthday celebration, I would dream and scheme about how I could announce our big news, jussssst in case this was our moment. A helpless feeling, for sure. The desire to give your husband and your family this amazing gift, this amazing news, this amazing reason to celebrate, but you can’t. Literally can’t.
Even still…He is still God. He is still good. According to Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man, so He does not lie. He is not human, so He does not change His mind. Has He ever spoken and failed to act? Has He ever promised and not carried it through?"
No, He hasn't because His word is true.
So, what does that mean for you and me? That means that if He says He is going to do something, it will happen. It doesn’t matter how long the wait. If He says it, IT IS DONE.
The years continued to pass and in 2011, in the middle of this wilderness - this season of barrenness, the Lord called us to take custody and raise our niece Jada for more than 3 years. Within two days, we were “parents.” Divinely, this was my journal entry just days before we received the call that there was a need in her life. God knows how to prepare a heart, y’all!
As you may have already read here, our assignment with Jada ended two years ago, in 2014, when she was reunited with her dad. It was a blessed time and a special bond was formed between our hearts and hers that remains today.
After Jada left our home, the Lord began to work on my heart regarding our children. I started to feel His calling to share our story of promised children and infertility. To be completely transparent, I was hesitant (um, or maybe completely reluctant) to open such a raw place for everyone to see, but He has showed me that I can tell of His goodness while I’m in the midst of the battle, even when victory is not yet mine. I can sing His praises during the struggle. I can share without shame. So many draw attention to their circumstances AFTER His restoration, healing, revival, rescue, miracle, redemption. What about you? Can you talk when He is quiet? For me, I haven’t always, but I hope to change that today.
More than 10 years have passed and we are still waiting and He is still confirming the promises of our children. No, I’m not pregnant, yet, but…
WE ARE EXPECTING!
Brandon and I are pursuing adoption!! I’m still laughing, y’all, because we always imagined that the Lord would bless us biologically first and then through adoption, but He is GOOD. Our first mistake was trying to predict His order!
Three weeks ago, I got up early to spend some time with God and there was a strong urgency that fell on my heart to contact my friend Trista about an adoption consultation group that she and her husband worked with last year.
Side huddle: I actually met Trista and Lee through the shop while they were walking through their own adoption process! We later had the opportunity to restore a family heirloom to be used in their nursery.
I know. It’s a crazy amazing story.
So, I messaged Trista at 6-something in the morning and guess what? She messaged right back, which started this whirlwind we are in today. I want you to know that within 24 hours of my conversation with Trista, we had our initial phone consultation with Faithful Adoption Consultants and we had our home visit scheduled with a social worker. Fast forward ONE WEEK later, our home visit was conducted, fingerprints were submitted, background checks were underway, physicals were scheduled, parenting plans were completed, current puppy vaccinations were given…you get the idea. We were FLYING with our seat belts fastened. Now, here we are, THREE weeks later and the only thing left is to create our adoption profile, which will be presented in a matter of weeks to mothers seeking adoption. The average waiting time through FAC is 4.5 months. Seriously! Hand-on-the-Bible truth. We are floored by how fast God has moved us through a process that typically takes years. Can we just go ahead and give Him a praise?!?
There is so much more that I cannot wait to share with you, Friend, but I fully realize that you have just given me precious time out of your life just by reading through this novel. Hopefully, you at least had some coffee. Mine has gone cold and I can’t feel my bum.
So, until next time, we just ask that you please stand with us in prayer over this precious itty-bitty that the Lord has created and for his/her mother as she surely faces some difficult decisions in the days/months ahead. This can’t be easy for her, ya know, but the Lord has mighty plans and purpose for her life. I’m absolutely sure of it.
If you feel led in any way to be a part of our journey, here are three ways in which you can be a blessing:
Many Blessings to you all,
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