There I stood in my kitchen, holding our foster daughter’s surprise present behind my back. I watched as she jumped up and down with excitement for what awaited her, all the while begging for me to hurry. So after a few minutes of teasing (because isn’t that what you are supposed to do?), I finally brought the Dumbo stuffed animal she had wanted from around my back and watched as she giggled and twirled in pure happiness. With the both of us grinning from ear to ear, I walked…no…strutted out of the kitchen feeling like a boss. By her reaction, you would have thought I had just won her a trip to Disney World. And me? Person of the Year. But let me tell you, my superhero status quickly vanished when less than ten minutes later, she comes marching back into the living room with an attitude. I look over as she cocks one hip up to the side and says, “Is this all? Where’s his mommy? And where’s his feather?!”
UH?! His feather?!?!
Shocked and unable to even formulate a sentence, I finally spouted out, “What do mean is this all?!” And as she cocked her hip up further in the air and stared up at me with her greedy eyes (eyes that I promise had gone from a beautiful shade of brown to a nasty shade of green), I proceeded to say, “Don’t you know there are children all around the world who don’t have…” And before I could even finish my sentence, I saw myself in this four-year-old little girl.
Sometimes in some form or fashion, I am asking, “Is this all?” And let me go ahead and pull away from my mask and get ugly honest for a second. Because shamefully, I far too often cock my hip to the side and stomp my foot in disgust as I point out what others have that I don’t. Especially when it comes to those having babies upon babies. Because really? Really, God?! You let them have a baby?! They don’t even want one! They don’t even have the resources to care for one! Heck, they don’t even deserve this kind of blessing! But I do! Because I have kept my nose clean! I have been a good Christian! I pray. I believe in Your promises. I defend Your name! I even attend Wednesday night service! And do I need to remind You that I pay for the meal behind me in the drive-thru every.single.time? Do you not see it? I deserve the blessing of a baby too! So why do I have to suffer from infertility?
I know! I know! But I told you I would be ugly honest, and I’m about to get even uglier. Because in my suffering and desperation, I have come to realize that at times I have wanted more of my Father’s gifts more than I actually want my Father. Looking back, there have been many times throughout this infertility journey that I have treated God as my assistant in getting to motherhood. He has merely been my means to my end. My genie in a bottle. I think that if I say this magic word, do this good deed, pray these prayers, or go to “x” amount of services, then He will find me deserving. And my prayer time? I wouldn’t say that I am “listening” but rather “listing.” Much like a child would write a wishlist to Santa. And I’m not always sitting in my prayer closet with my Bible in hand for His presence, but rather His presents. Nor am I always there to look for His face, but rather His hand.
Friend, (can I call you friend since I just spilled my guts?), maybe you can relate to this too. If you were to pull back the mask and examine your life, would you also see yourself in me? Would you see yourself demanding and foot-stomping with a judgmental finger-pointing at others who have what you want? Or believe that because you do certain “tasks,” you are more deserving than “that person” who doesn’t? I know they are hard questions to ask. And hard answers to face. But if you are honest and answered, yes, I want you to know you are not alone. I get it. But better yet, God gets it too. And He isn’t mad at you. Or me. He knows our human nature, and He loves us anyway. But at the same time, He wants us to seek Him for who He is, not just for what He can give. He wants us to trust that He is the giver of good gifts (James 1:17) and that He not only knows what to give and how to give it but when to give it to us as well.
This is why today I am putting down my pointing finger and taking off my “Is this all?!” and “Where is my baby?!” stomping shoes and saying this prayer…
Lord, I humbly come before you today with tears in my eyes as I tell you I am sorry. I am sorry that I sometimes fail to see that every day I am alive is a precious gift from You. And that within each day I am given, You have jam-packed it full of Your amazing blessings. Blessings that I so often overlook because I’m too busy looking for the next gift from You. Lord, I ask that you give me grace. And that You help me in those moments when I see someone have something that my heart so strongly desires. Help me never forget that You will always supply me with what I need when I need it most. And never let me lose sight of Your promise that the desires You have purposefully planted inside the soft fertile soil of my heart will one day, in Your perfect timing, be fulfilled. It’s in Your precious name, I pray.
Sweet friend, would you please take 2 minutes out of your day to watch this awesome video?
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