"Reading this may hurt the hearts of some people you know." That is the thought that goes through my head whenever I write a blog post about Liam's antics or plans for our baby girl. It was definitely on my mind as I wrote about ideas for her nursery, yesterday. The thought has also come into my mind each of the three times that I have been blessed with positive pregnancy tests. "Hearing about this may hurt the hearts of some of the people you know."
I'm not totally sure what I'm wanting to say with all of this, but I think I'm just wanting to acknowledge the fact that even though God has chosen, for whatever His reasons are, to give my little family much to celebrate lately; I know there are many others whom He is leading through the valley of the shadow of death. I have sweet friends whose marriages have crumbled and have no idea how to even think about the future. I have friends I love dearly who are hoping and trusting in the Lord for a spouse, even as most of their good friends are well into the child-rearing stage of life. I know so, so many wonderful hearts who are longing to be blessed with a child and navigating through the turbulent waters of medical procedures or long adoption waits.
I can't pretend to know what any of those experiences are like. Sure, I have known heartbreak and wondered whether or not the Lord had marriage in my future, but that question was answered at a relatively young age. Sure, getting pregnant with Liam wasn't easy, but in the grand scheme of things, it wasn't that hard either. Yes, I've known the pain of losing a baby to miscarriage (there is no 'but' for that one). However, my inexperience in dealing with a long period of singleness, or infertility, or divorce does not disqualify my heart from aching for those who have had to carry those burdens. I don't think my life is better because, thus far, God has not called me to follow Him into any of those deserts, but I do feel a heaviness for those whose longings seem to go unmet.
This is not to say that I do not have any longings that are unmet; but the things that my heart has had to hope for and long for over great periods of time would not be appropriate to write about in a public venue, because those longings involve others' stories, as well, which are not fully mine to tell. I think I just want anyone who is reading this and dealing with those types of heartache to know that even in my rejoicing, a part of my heart continues to mourn with them. It is not a mourning that diminishes my joy in the gifts that the Lord has given me, but I do feel that my joy would be doubled or tripled to learn that your hopes have been realized. I often pray for my friends who are waiting, and to be honest, much of the frustration I experience in my relationship with the Lord is in trying to trust what He is doing in the lives of others. How I wish I could just fix wombs and marriages and foreign adoption offices and turn frogs into Mr. Rights.
Since I can't do any of those things, I am left to cling to the truth of Psalm 25:10: "All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies." I will continue to pray, I will continue to thank God for the pleasant path He is leading me on at present, and I will trust that even though your present paths are much more difficult, they are still paths of the Lord's steadfast love and faithfulness. I will also pray that God will give me the courage to trust Him deeply when He leads me down those rockier paths.
I love you, friends, and I pray you will close your browser when your heart doesn't need to see another baby post or when Satan tries to whisper lies to you about others' lives being perfectly sunny all the time while the Lord is letting you down. If you're going through a particularly rough patch, please don't ever think I wouldn't want to hear about it or get an email with a prayer request. We're all the Body of Christ, and I want to mourn with you, knowing that someday (be it in this life or the next) we're going to get to celebrate the beauty of what God had going on all along. I'm longing for that day for all of us.