Lately I've been thinking a lot about the little guy we almost adopted this last summer. I thought I had moved on, but about a month ago I received a plethora of pregnancy announcements (which really haven't bothered me all that much lately), and these opened up old wounds. During our life group Bible study a few weeks ago, I confessed to the women in my group that I hadn't really taken time to grieve this. It all fell through the first week of school, one of the busiest weeks for a teacher. I know some people probably think it's ridiculous that I'm still affected by this loss of a child that wasn't even really ours. I can't say I know what losing a child is like, but this hole I feel is pretty terrible.
This week we had to travel unexpectedly to Columbus for my aunt's funeral. She was only 55 and was healthy; she died in her sleep. It's always hard to say goodbye to someone you're not ready to say goodbye to...I can't imagine how difficult it's been for the families of the 26 killed in Newtown, CT. Nevertheless...on the way to Columbus, Nate and I finally had a chance to have a long talk about adoption, our family, and what to do next.
We talked about how hard it's been for me to get over our failed placement, and how hard it's been for Nate to grow older and still remain childless. We talked about praying and how we both feel uncomfortable asking God for children even though we know God knows our desires. We talked about considering fostering children. And we cried a little as we talked.
This morning I spent some time studying the Bible. I finally got around to reading a Bible study a friend sent me called, "When God Says 'No'...Pray." There have been very few times I've actually asked God to make us parents, but that request has been in my heart for nearly seven years (as long as Nate and I have been married). Ever since we've started our adoption journey a year and a half ago, a few people have said things like, "You'll become parents; God will give you that desire." But lately I'm left wondering (again) if maybe God has shut that door. Maybe God has said no this prayer of ours.
The study I read mentioned a dream that went unfulfilled for David, an incredible servant of God who, though he had a few slip-ups here and there, remains one of the faith greats in the Bible. David dreamed of building an incredible temple for God, but God told him no. David didn't respond with weeping, a bout of depression, or anger. Instead, his response was worship (1 Chronicles 29:10-19) realizing that all comes from God--even our unfulfilled dreams.
Sometimes I wonder why I haven't walked away from God. Early in our struggle with infertility, I considered it. This morning I read the end of John 6, and in it many people desert Jesus because He spoke hard truths. At one point Jesus turned to the 12 he called to follow Him and asked, "'Are you also going to leave?'" But Peter bluntly replies, "'Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God'" (John 6:66-69). I haven't walked away from God because I know what it's like to be without Him. It's a hopeless, empty feeling that left me always searching and groping but never finding. I haven't walked away from God because I believe in the promise God's given us.
In times of desperation, in times of sorrow, in times of questioning, in times of unmet desires, we have to believe that God is at work. I'm not as good as David; I don't always respond with worship, but maybe someday later in my life I will.