Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Picture

So I was having a conversation with my best friend back home, Sara.  She and I have been kind of in the same car of a similar roller coaster lately.  Our lives have always sort of been "cosmically connected", but it has felt, in the last 15-18 months, like God has us tethered together.  We are both going through a season of waiting in our lives.  She's waiting on the perfect job opportunity for her husband Jared so that she will be able to stay home with their nearly 11 month old little girl Emma.  I am waiting for God to answer mine and Jonathan's prayers for a baby.  We talk often about how unfair it is that these things just haven't come easy.  We talk about how painful waiting is.  How glorious it will be when it does happen.  And how tightly we are both gripping that hope that God will see through to completion these things that He has started in us.  I have to remind myself (really convince myself some days) that God follows through with His promises.  And I BELIEVE whole heartedly that He has promised these things to us.  In Psalm 21:1-7, David is rejoicing.  For God has granted his requests.  David stayed true to his faith, stayed in constant prayer, and clung tightly to the hope that God would come through for him.  And He did!  David says, "You have granted (me my) heart's desire and have not withheld the requests of (my) lips."  We know that David wrestled with God.  He spent years of his life in a season of wait.  Trying desperately to absorb what God was trying to teach him during those seasons...learning the nature of God along the way.  And when God came through for him, He came through in a big way!

I got some great advice from my sweet Sara in regards to this painful season of wait.  She said, "Write it down.  Remind yourself every day.  Write it because it's your heart's cry!"  And it is.  This picture I'm going to paint here really is my heart.  Wide open.  I think about it every day.  I dream about it really.  It's a snapshot of my hopes and dreams for my future family.  What I want for me and Jonathan.  What I want for Bernice and Charlie, and Patrick and Nicole, and Mom and Dad, and Amanda and James and Carolyn.  What I want for our grandparents.  What I want our lives to look like.  It's what my heart is literally aching for.  I feel like it's so close, but also so far away.  And writing it down could either make it that much sweeter when it does happen, or equally devastating when it doesn't.  But I don't care.  I've been wounded enough along this road that if it does end in disappointment in 8 months, I'll just brush myself off and paint a new picture.  Keep right on hoping and believing that if He has continued to foster this deep seeded desire in me, He will see it through to completion...

It's July 4th, 2014.  Jonathan and I have just returned from living in the Caribbean for nearly 2 years while he completes the first half of medical school.  Coming back to the states has at once been a bit of a culture shock, and also intensely gratifying.  It's SO good to be home!  We still have a long road ahead of us, but we are more than halfway done with medical school and he'll be off to start clinicals in just a few weeks.  We are spending this holiday in Granbury, Texas.  My parents have recently completed the building of their retirement home in Pecan Plantation, a fly in gated community.  Me, Jonathan, Mom, and Dad are all sitting on their back porch watching the dogs play in the backyard.  Enjoying the hot summer sun just chatting about life and the future.  Not long after, my sister Amanda and her husband pull up.  They come in carrying sweet baby Carolyn and their newest addition.  They let their dogs into the yard to join the party and they hand me Carolyn so I can kiss her sweet little cheeks.  Soon, Bernice and Charlie are there with Patrick and Nicole in tow.  They come into the yard and commence hugging everyone's necks.  They sit down on the patio with us and join the conversation.  The gang's all here and it feels incredible to have everyone together at one time.  We have missed family time so much these past 2 years.  Then up the drive comes Sara and Jared and Emma.  They pile out of the car and just barely get the doors shut before Jonathan and I are wrapping them up in hugs.  I can't believe how big Emma is!  She's nearly 2 years old and she's walking and babbling and being silly just like her daddy.  They follow us into the yard and we all sit together on the patio.  We talk and laugh and watch Emma and Carolyn play together in the yard.  I sit back in my chair, Jonathan kisses my cheek and puts his arm around me.  He reaches over, pats my pregnant belly, and smiles.  And I feel that little flutter of tiny arms and legs inside me and I smile too...

How I literally LONG for the reality of that picture.  It is my heart's desire.  My heart's cry!  I want my grandparents to hold my children.  I want our parents to gasp in shock and excitement when they hear us say we are pregnant.  I want to be in that snapshot just relishing in the fact that Jonathan and I fought the good fight and finished the course...and we're starting a new one!  I want to be reminded that my God loves me uncontrollably and unconditionally.  I want I NEED Him to grant this desire of my heart.  The desire to be a mommy is me at my core.  A wise friend of mine, Elise, made a very astute observation the other day over Cokes at The Tomato.  She said, "Rachel, if it wasn't something God wanted for you, don't you think He would have provided ways for your heart to move on from that want?  Instead He has placed you here where you are surrounded by children and babies every day!  He's continuing that desire in your heart, strengthening it, making it more and more real..."  It's true.  Every single day of my life here I am snuggling babies, kissing little freckled cheeks, drying tears and patching up boo boos, hugging children and letting them know they are loved.  I champion for them, feed them, make them laugh, teach them.  It's like a trial run!  It's at once soothing and also unnerving.  Because as the hole in my heart and the emptiness in my womb are lessened briefly by the smell of the crown of a baby's head, those voids are also brought closer and closer to the surface.  They become more raw, more tender, sometimes they become even more painful.  I become more vulnerable.  I am forced to remember that those precious babies are going home with someone else.  My own precious babies are still yet to come...and who knows when they'll get here...

We have considered adoption (after all it's insanely cheap comparatively and relatively simple here in Domincia), but after much prayer and consideration, we both just feel like it's not right.  We are getting the big fat WAIT from God.  He's got a different plan.  How I wish He would reveal just a tiny glimpse of what He's got in mind!  In the meantime, I'm just clinging to the hope that that snapshot is that glimpse.  I've got a death grip on it really.  I want it to be true so badly that at times while writing this post I've had to suck in a ragged, painful breath of air to soothe the pain in my heart for a minute.  Have you ever wanted something that badly?  Do you long for something right now?  Is there a hole in your heart, a void in your chest, that desperately needs filling?  What is YOUR heart's cry?

My heart WAILS...for motherhood.  My soul longs for it.  My arms ache for it.  And one sweet day my God will finish what He has started in me.  And the title of that post will be I Always Knew He Would...

Wait With Me,


  1. This has me ugly crying. Thank you for sharing and being so honest and authentic. Sara is right, write it all down. I love going back and and reading my past desires and requests I put before the Lord. Even the ones that were answered with a "no" or looked different than I expected each one ended so much better than I could have ever imagined it. You will be in my prayers daily!

  2. Rachel, He is faithful! Be encouraged and know that He will fill the desires of your heart. Praying for you and cannot wait to see the Journey God has set before you play out!

  3. Words that encourage me when I feel down and can't seem to understand God's plan, why the delay? Words from a song by Dietrick Haddon. God is able to do just what He said He would do. He's gonna fulfill every promise to you. Don't give up on God, 'cos He won't give up on you. HE'S ABLE!!! I'm holding on, I'm holding on, we all have something we're waiting for but He WILL come through! Be encouraged:)


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