Can I take you back somewhere for a moment? Like, way back…
Lying in my bed with my fat cat “Cupcake” resting nearby, nestled in warm covers, and dim lights, I wondered, “Maybe God knows I would make a horrible mother and that’s why this happened. Maybe, it’s because I was a bad person in a past life or because I should have been born a boy. Maybe, it’s because the doctor made a mistake. Maybe….”
These thoughts raced through my mind shortly after my hysterectomy. They ripped and raged at my heart. I didn’t understand what a lifetime of barrenness would look like, but oh boy, did I believe that I was destined for shame, anguish and never being a mother. I understand now that these dark whispers were not of God but of the face of darkness. They were from the Enemy, who likes to nip and chew at every single vessel and cell of our existence.
I carried around this heavy blanket of thoughts for many years. It seems odd to even call it a blanket, though. When we think of blankets, we think, “warm, soft and comforting”. However, like a blanket, these thoughts wrapped themselves around me and engulfed my body. Soon, I began to cling to them – much like a child clings to a blanket. After all, I was a child when barrenness knocked on my door.
These thoughts often brought shame, confusion and resentment towards a supposedly loving God. Even after all of these years and being a parent, I still have moments where my mind escapes back to those nights in my bed and of the times where I could not stop the tears from flowing. Besides, why would any loving Father ever allow this?
The truth is that I am the least likely to be typing this and to be speaking of spiritual freedom. I am the least likely to work with children, promote the importance of adoption, advocate for foster children, share in support of foster families and play a small part in the molding of new families. I am the least to be doing any of this.
The reality is that I had already envisioned a life minus anything to do with children. It just hit too close to home. I went to college and got a degree in Gerontology – the study of aging. I didn’t want anything to do with children. I even told my mom, “I don’t want to work with children; especially abused and neglected children.”
(I’ve since learned that we shouldn’t tell the Lord what we won’t do.)
I often recall those moments in time where I wondered what in the heck I was going to do about all of this trauma – medical and barrenness. I believe that these are the times when the Enemy wants to steal progress and remind us only of what we struggle with, what breaks our hearts and where our fears lie.
Still….the Lord is there to hush those whispers and calm the waves of painful remembrance.
Ending up in child welfare (because the Lord closed every single door until the one to child welfare opened up), being around children, and working with kiddos who needed homes, forced me to confront that part of my life that I had always hidden away; never showing to others what I was dealing with. This is why I am the least likely.
God takes the least, wipes the slate clean, clears the fog and reveals a truth that pierces through the darkest of places in our hearts. It was He who put me in child welfare. It is He who has kept me in it. It is He who continuously reveals so much of who He is and who I am in Him. It is He who hushed those horrible, slithering whispers that tried to capture a future without children. It is He who took a hold of my barrenness and threw it off of me; declaring a new identity.
Imagine being bound by chains of self-doubt, grief, and angst. Now, imagine those chains being broken. This is what the Lord is capable of.
Yes, I am the least likely to testify that a faithful and all-knowing God took a hold of my barrenness and shaped it into what my life is today. I am the least likely to proclaim that motherhood is important, infertility is not a result of being a bad person, and that God is out to punish us all.
It is just the opposite. Listen closely.
The VERY thing that the Enemy used to devour my spirit, the Lord used to not only create a new life but also to fill it with exactly the opposite of what the Enemy desired.
The Lord took what ripped my heart out and turned it into a lifetime of devotion of working on the behalf of children. He took the biggest void in my life and blessed me.
What was meant to harm…meant to steal…meant to bound…was turned into a revelation of the all-consuming love of God. It turned into that incredible feeling of true freedom – know that you are exactly who the Lord intended for you to be and that you are living out His story of your life. Not only did it become a revelation, it evolved into a lifetime of doing the exact opposite of what the Enemy wanted.
Did you read that clearly? A complete opposite of what the Enemy wanted.
If you ask me about the presence and proof of God in my life, all I would have to do point you to where I was versus where I am now, and that would be sufficient. None of this happened by accident. It still catches my breath. It still feels so raw and real and beyond belief. For me, the proof of the Lord is revealed daily.
My story. My personal journey. My medical problems, surgeries and barrenness turned into a testimony of what a truly loving and forgiving God can do. My life is an example of redemption (over and over again), of the glory of God revealing Himself, and of answered prayer. This is my testimony and I refuse to hide it away.
Yes, I am the least likely to proclaim the beauty of adoption, to advocate for children and to pursue the heart of God. It is not by my works that I am a parent and an advocate for children in need. It is the Lord who is working through my barrenness. It is the Lord who has taken away my doubts about motherhood. It is the Lord who declared Himself in my life. It is He who has sustained me through working in child welfare as long as I have.
Friends, if you are going through something that is tragic, life-changing or appears to have stolen your future, I’ve been there. I understand. While I may not know your exact pain, I do understand how quickly life can change and how rapidly you can succumb to desperate thoughts.
Friends, in Jesus, nothing is impossible. We are made new. In Him, our futures are just getting started. Don’t give up. Your story – whatever it is – may be used to turn future generations to faith.
If you met me many years ago, I would have convinced you that I am the least likely to talk about spiritual warfare and the faithfulness of God. It is not that I didn’t believe in that stuff. I just didn’t want to feel it. I didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want to do the hard work to discover myself and the Lord in it. I wasn’t ready.
I am the least likely to share any of this, but… the Lord has this incredible habit of taking the least and using them to proclaim the full measure of His grace.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” -John 15:5-8