Sunday, December 17, 2006. Not another sermon about Mary. Each year there was a the sermon that talked about how young Mary was comparing her to "insert current pop princess here." My heart broke a bit each time. It started breaking in the years before I met Adam and the idea of holding a baby of my own was just a dream. It broke through the many years of dating, not knowing if I would marry Adam and start a family with him. And after we were married, there was a couple years of peace, but soon the longing started. And here we were, Sunday, December 17, 2006. A year of trying to have a baby. The doctor told me, "Sure you could get pregnant.....and I could become the Pope....but I'm not Catholic...." I left the sermon that day hot tears brimming over. The ache was too much.
A winter evening with the youth group at a ski cabin hours away. He started praying over the teens in the way that young Pentecostal youth ministers do. I stand with them, praying that they will be open to receive this weekend when he starts speaking to me. And he starts quoting 2 Timothy and talking about the child that I will give birth to. I'm holding back sobs and I can feel that baby in my arms. And there will be a spiritual legacy and I'm not to let someone just say that there will be spiritual children. There will be many and they will be mine. And this is the hope that I hold on so tightly to when we choose not to take medication when the doctor says we can't have a baby.
Sunday, December 24, 2006. Leaving the Christmas Eve evening service. I remember how the Christmas tree in the entrance glowed with such a soft and warm light. I can see the families snapping pictures in front of it. Tonight I am at peace, but just want to go home.
It's the end of January. A Tuesday night, the 28th, 2007, and I remember how cold it was in that room. I'm at church helping Adam with the class he is running. And there is this moment. This moment of knowing. Marissa runs to Walmart for me and brings me the bag. The next morning, in the safety of my home,I go into the bathroom. Minutes later I come out and all I can say is "Holy crap," while crying happy tears.
It's been said that two of the most important and pivotal words in the Bible are "But God." I don't know if I am ready to make that theological leap, but I do know the feeling of hope that comes when God reaches down, touches earth, and the problems and impossibilities of our world dissipate under the power of His touch. I have seen Him breathe life into dust.
Elizabeth was unable to conceive....but God.....
I was unable to conceive....but God.....
I am having my hair done and my hairdresser asks me to tell her again the story of how we became pregnant the first time. She tells me the IVF didn't take and she is running out of options. And I tread so lightly because I see her hurt and disappointment. And I speak of hope. And the words come out of her mouth, "But God."
It is a December evening, six years later, and we are sitting in our living room with our three beautiful girls. And we speak of what might be and start to dream of the opportunities presented to us. But in just a few minutes time we are hit with news that is ripping our plans from us and leaving us feeling devastated. There doesn't seem to be a way around it and it doesn't make sense. These circumstances laid before us, the price of doing the right thing, being responsible, and hoping to make a difference. It all seems so bleak.
If it weren't for the three girls, sleeping in their rooms, I might just give up. But God gave me what He promised.
And all I can hope for, here in the darkness of unmet expectations and brokenness is, "But God....." And I dare not pray my prayers aloud, and I wait, I hope, for the dust to be born back to flesh.
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