For nearly all of my life, I have wanted to be a wife and mom. For at least ten years, I have waited sometimes with hope, sometimes completely without hope, and sometimes somewhere in between for these desires of my heart to be met. I tried dating services, some free, some more expensive than I’d care to remember, friends set me up on blind dates, family members set me up on blind dates, I stopped going out on dates, I started going out on dates again. I cried on friends shoulders, I lost all hope, I prayed, I kept myself so busy that I didn’t have to think about it.
I watched friends and old roommates get married and have one baby, then two, some even three. I watched my sister get married and have her first baby, my beautiful niece, whom I adore. I buried myself in my work. I devoted my life to God and fought for surrender to his plan for my life. I got connected with families with babies so I could be an involved auntie. I developed friendships with some amazing people, without whom I would not still be faithful. A husband and children were still very much desires of my heart. I waited.
I have a good friend who always told me, when I was feeling hopeless, that God could change anything in a second. In my melancholy, I always argued that He wouldn’t do that for me. I believed that it could happen for other people, but not for myself. Now I chuckle at the prophesy of her words. God DID change everything in “a second”. In May 2012 I decided I wanted to be a foster mom. In July 2012 I was certified, and days later I had my first foster baby. Three weeks later, I had an amazing boyfriend. What a whirlwind of blessings!
I teach a personal development class at school, and one of the concepts we focus on is “change”. One of the things that I’ve learned about change, through research and experience is that good or bad, planned or unplanned, self initiated or not, all change can be stressful, and usually is. Being a new mom is stressful. It’s beautiful and amazing and wonderful and such a gift, but it is stressful. I don’t think I know a new mom who would disagree with that.
Being a new single mom to an infant (who is not my own and comes with a “team” of adults we both have to connect with) while teaching full time and nurturing a new relationship is incredibly challenging. I have another friend who describes the above circumstances, my circumstances, as “a pressure cooker”. It really kind of is. It’s the perfect storm. So why do it? Because babies have been my heart since I was a child. There is something about their innocence and their complete vulnerability and newness that I am so attracted to and always have been. I love babies. I’ve often wished that there was a job where I could hold babies all day long. Babies are important to me, especially these babies, the ones who are born into circumstances that they did not ask for, circumstances that range from less than ideal to horrific. That’s why I started this journey back in June. What a gift to be able to give as a single woman who is passionate about these precious little souls. What I was not expecting God to do was to give me an incredible boyfriend right as this journey started.
When all of this began to unfold in August, I kept sharing with people that God’s plans are always so much better than our own and that I never would have written my story this way, but that I am so grateful the God is a better writer than me. I am holding onto that now, because some of my desires and plans are being delayed due to God’s plans for my life and for His plans for this baby’s life. It is easy to get discouraged about this because it feels like I’m so close to receiving the desires of my heart, yet I’m so far.
When I get discouraged, I am remembering that I am commanded to obey God and surrender to His plans for my life. Surrender doesn’t just mean that I give in to God’s will for my life; it means that I am TRUSTING Him. That I am trusting that He is going to take care of me in a wonderful way. (Jeremiah 29:11) In that obedience and surrender, I am also hanging on to my gratitude, remembering that God has been answering my prayers and giving me the desires of my heart, to be a mom, and to be in a relationship. I am called to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12), and how interesting that even in the blessings that I feel pain as well. But I know that this discipline from God is going to produce a harvest of righteousness and peace if I allow myself to be trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11)
As I wait on God to reveal His plans for me, my boyfriend, and Baby Incredible, I hang on to this: “Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.” Hebrews 10:36 NLT