For long, burning years, I lived in drought.
My heart yearned, my soul ached, and I suffered, daily, through a thirst that man could not satiate. Lord, please take this desire from me. Give me contentment with where I am. I have three children; who am I to ask for more? Take this burden from me, or give me relief, Jesus.
From the spring of 2004 until the spring of 2008, I anguished. There were periods of blessed respite, times when I felt strong enough to embrace other people's babies, to rejoice at the news of new arrivals in this world, to attend a baby shower without breaking down into tears. I lived for those times. But the rest of my days were punctuated by realizations, anew, of the grief that never quite left me and the God who would neither lift my longing nor fill the cup I extended.
Those were hard, lean years that honed my faith into something that I never could have achieved otherwise. I am thankful, in retrospect, for every tear I shed, every bitterness I had to overcome, and every moment I had to acknowledge that God was God ... and I, most certainly, was not.
And now, of course, I find myself in a different place. If those four long years were ones marked by the desperate, dry drought, well ... the past two and a half have been marked by a different gift altogether. Monsoon.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. --Luke 6:38
I can see clearly now why the Lord seemed to ignore my pleas for peace in matters of family size; His plan, farther reaching than I could imagine, had to have a firm root in my heart in order for me to truly lay down my own desires and follow His leading. God didn't want me to desire a baby. God wanted me to build a family. And there is no room for self-seeking fulfillment in the building of a family. It's not about "being pregnant". It's not about "giving birth." It's about more than that--the death of self and the love of what God has built for His own glory.
I entered this monsoon season completely unsure of what God would bring my way. With the addition of Oliver to our home, I hit my knees in gratitude. I sang like Hannah. I praised the Lord, who had taken notice of me and turned my tears into laughter. For all I knew, Oliver was the last little one I would ever hold, and you know ... I was fine with that. One was enough. One more little person showed me that my longing was from the Lord, that it was not a vain ambition, but it was something that God had blessed and ordained.
Then there was Mani. I was over-the-moon thrilled, unable to put my elation into words. Finally, one morning a few days after he had come to us, I was reading the story of David accompanying the ark and came to the line where David is said to "dance before the Lord with all his might." And for the first time, I understood that kind of joy. God had heard me, and blessed me twice. What a mighty God we serve!
Who was I to ask or expect anything more from God? I rejoiced in my gifts, gave thanks, and prepared to move into a new season of life.
But God was not finished pressing down the measure.
Mr. Blandings met Bee, and knew she was our daughter.
Then this woman, whose heart had finally accepted that her body was no longer a vessel for bringing life into the world, found out that God had placed His hand of protection over her and a new little one.
From three to seven. Monsoon.
This morning, we received joyful news. Not only am I now at the relatively "safe" 32 week point, at which Seven's little lungs will require so much less assistance were he or she to be born now, but, adding to our joy, is the fact that Bee's visa is up for consideration again. Her interview went very well. So well, in fat, that the embassy has asked her to come back again. There is hope! God is working on our behalf.
He always is, of course. We just often can't or won't see it. During the drought, I cried out to God countless times. Where are you? Why aren't you answering?
He was there. He was answering. Just not in the way I wanted to hear.
Maybe it is the Lord's plan that, as Seven is born, we will welcome Bee home as well. Wouldn't it be amazing to have that full measure poured into my lap all at once? Two adoptions, done. One birth, gifted to you. And a visa, yes. All in a few weeks--not even months--time!
If the definition of a monsoon is a sudden glut of much-needed water, then I am, happily, swimming in it. We know that many people look on in horror as we laugh yet again at God's abundance in this area of our life. Please don't ask us to disparage His timing, His generosity, or His plan. Because we were parched, and now we drink deeply. We asked, and we have received. The Lord has seen fit to pour out His blessings, and we, His humble servants accept them with gratitude!