Three years ago, on Mother’s Day, I was hiding. Hiding from the news I had just received only weeks earlier. Hiding from the people I might see with smiles on their faces as they held tiny hands. That day in May, I was hiding from the feeds of joy and happiness prominently displayed on social media because I was feeling anything but hopeful.
Weeks earlier, my husband Jeremy and I had received dreaded news — our journey with fertility doctors had ended. Medically speaking, they explained we had a 0% chance of conceiving a child.
We were devastated and at the same time, we were reminded: When the longing of your heart goes unrealized, when expectations are crushed, when patience in the waiting reaches its expiration date: this is the moment that faith is tested (James 1:2-3).
Way Maker became the whisper of my breathless prayers. Way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper, light in the darkness. This is who you are God. This is who I know you to be. This is who I need you to be for me. Prayer after prayer, I moved through life moment by moment.
At my lowest, I allowed myself to believe I was unworthy. Maybe God could be those things for other people, but not for me. At my best, I could host a baby shower for a friend and find unmerited grace to celebrate with genuine joy.
In the happiness and the sorrow, God met me in the moments.
In His kindness, He reminded me that an unchanging God had the power to change my title. He’d done it before — a broken girl was restored through grace, a single woman became a wife to the most loving man, a dead soul was made alive — could He do it again? Would I be so bold as to believe that my title would someday be Mama?
But our God delights in unexpected miracles.
Way Maker. Fast forward a year, a hard year, and you’ll find us celebrating the completion of our adoption home study. God had gently pieced together our broken hearts and gave us a new vision for our family. He had called us to adoption and we entered a new season of waiting.
That same week across the city, a first-year college student would find out she was pregnant. Scared and heartbroken, she would cling to a verse she found on the key ring she’d been carrying for years, a gift from her mother which read, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV.
Miracle Worker. Mother’s Day that year, I didn’t hide. My circumstance hadn’t changed, but my heart was starting to. Jeremy bought me flowers and held me as I cried tears of hope in the waiting to be matched, not yet knowing our miracle had already been conceived.
The beautiful girl we would meet months later would become family. We would walk with her through the last few months of pregnancy. I would join her at doctor’s appointments and hear my son’s heartbeat. No, I wasn’t carrying him physically, but God was weaving him together as a part of me.
We would finally paint the nursery, a declaration in our hearts that we would one day lay our son down to sleep in this room.
On the wall above his crib, we painted a verse we had held to like a life raft, only finding out later it was the same verse that college girl had been praying night after night.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV.
The day before Advent in 2019, our son was born. Theodore: “Gift from God.”
Promise Keeper. Today I can confidently promise that Paul wasn’t crazy when he penned the words, “but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Romans 5:3-5 NIV
Hope does not disappoint us.
Today Theo is 17-months old and ruling our house like a tiny tornado of adorable and mischievous destruction. Last week I discovered I had washed his clothes with a dirty diaper that had somehow made its way into the hamper. Three cycles later, I could only laugh and thank God for the gift of a mess to clean up. Even miracles can be messy.
Not all stories end in a fairy tale — the world’s version of hope. I have friends waiting for a spouse, only to be discouraged when the blind date goes south. Friends who are waiting for week sixteen, only to find out they have babies they’ll meet in heaven. There are friends on their third round with IVF, praying this time their dream will come true, and friends waiting to be matched in adoption, and often endless cycle of excitement and disappointment, hope and grief.
Light in the Darkness. Last year, two days after my first Mother’s Day, we joined a Zoom call with a judge and promised to love, protect, and raise our son. Our adoption was final. This season of waiting had finally come to a close.
Now, every seven years Theo’s “gotcha day” will fall on Mother’s Day. A day that was once marked by mourning has become a day of rejoicing. I know there will be more hard days and you may be walking through some of your own.
If you’re waiting today, if you’re hiding today, if you’re disappointed today, I’m not going to tell you that “you’re not alone” or even promise your waiting will come to an end. But I can promise you that the God of heaven and earth — the God of hope that does not disappoint — He will be with you in it. (Psalm 27:5)
My God, that is who you are.
If you liked this article, you may also enjoy Joy and Grief and Motherhood