Longing for my children...
Have you ever longed for children? I have. I never, ever imagined NOT having children. I don't wish that kind of longing, waiting, hoping, trying on anyone. When Tom and I got our minds around the fact that we wouldn't be able to have our own babies, we turned to adoption. The problem was that abortion had been legalized and so putting your baby up for adoption no longer the first option for so many. In those days, the waiting list for a baby was 6 years AND if one of you turned 40 during that 6 year period, you could not get on a list. Since Tom and I couldn't get on "the list" we fixed our minds on private adoption. That meant telling everyone you knew to tell everyone they knew that Tom and Sally Hall wanted to adopt a baby!
One April day, our pastor got a call from another pastor and it seemed there was a young Christian couple, from Christian families who had made a mistake and were looking for a Christian home for their baby. OH, what a glorious day that was! Our dream of having children was going to come true and we would not have to suffer one more day of that longing, emptiness and shame....yes shame. The months that followed were filled with anticipation. Me, I give myself totally over to everything. Tom, bless his heart, tried to hold me back for my own good! He kept encouraging me not to decorate the baby's room and buy furniture because "anything could happen." Well, of course nothing was going to happen. This was a dream come true and life just couldn't be that cruel. Somewhere during the social services home study that had to be done, contacting of attorneys and all the other preparations necessary for adoption, we began to think of the baby as a girl. In fact - against Tom's better judgment - we named her....Hannah Jo. Well, from that moment on, I began to visualize Hannah' Jo's life and our life with Hannah Jo. About a month before she was to arrive, of course I broke down and bought her some clothes. I mean if she came early we'd have to have clothing for her and for the plane ride bringing her home! And, she would need a bed. Shortly after the few cute outfits were purchased and the bed ordered, we found out that the young couple didn't think they wanted to put their baby up for adoption anymore. But, there is always hope and until there is no hope.... The day that Hannah Jo was born all hope ended.
We looked into other options but it was all so painful. So, we put this dream in the hand of our God believing that if He wanted us to have a baby He could bring us a baby. The years that followed were difficult. It's not easy when your dreams are shattered. It is painful to have a mothers heart that longs for the children she will never have. Mother's Day was always especially painful and it is extremely awkward when all the mothers are asked to stand. Sometimes it would hurt so bad it would literally take my breath away.
Precept Ministries International plays a huge role in my healing. Because of this ministry, I learned how to study the Word of God for myself. And, in learning how to study the Word of God for myself, I developed a deep and intimate relationship with the God of the Word. I can know and understand God's heart. Isn't that amazing? And, I know God's heart for ME. So as feelings come, sadness creeps in, the lies of the enemy bombard - I can take up the truths of God's Word and use them to encourage and remind myself, and do battle with the enemy. It is a miracle of God that Mother's Day no longer bothers me and that most of the time Hannah Jo's birthday comes and goes and I don't even remember it!
A few years back several of the teens in my church were graduating and I attended. It was awesome to watch these teens. But, as I sat there my spirit became downcast within me and I began asking the Lord why - what was wrong with me. The Lord brought to my mind that Hannah Jo was somewhere graduating too. I sat there a little stunned. By the time I got home, I was really sad. The next morning, I got up and was talking to the Lord about it all. The one thing I just couldn't figure out was where all the emotion was coming from as I thought God had healed me. I remember saying to the Lord "I thought we were past this!" That day the Lord revealed SO much to me. I learned that you can be healed and yet still mourn the loss of something. You see, I guess I thought that if you were healed of something it meant you never got sad about it. SO not true! As I stood in my kitchen that morning this is how my conversation with the Lord went....
Okay Lord, so we couldn't' have our own children but - adoption! Surely there was one baby on the face of the earth that we could have adopted. We just wanted to adopt.
I heard the Lord speak into my heart
I know Sally, I have children I want to adopt too.
No longer did the pain take my breath away but the realization that God had just shared His heart with me took my breath away. As much as a human could, I understood the longing of God's heart. Yes! He does have children He wants to adopt into His family and His longing to do so is INTENSE. So intense, He sacrificed His Son - His one and only Son in order to adopt children. Truthfully - that's hard to get my mind around.
The day that God shared His heart with me became the day I realized on a much deeper level the importance and privilege I had of being a spiritual mother. To help God adopt children into His family and be used by God to grow up His children spiritually. WOW! This intense longing I have in my heart for the people God puts within my reach is from Him. He has given me a mother's heart for them and I am so grateful! I long and ache for them, I'm willing to fight for them - I'll do whatever it takes for them to possess what they have in Christ and to know experientially their Creator as Father.
While I truly believe I have experienced the longings of a mothers heart toward her children, I've not known what it was like to receive the love of a child. Until recently - this past January actually. During the past few years, I've had the joy of working for God together with 3 very precious women. I've loved them as spiritual daughters. I can't really tell you that I've done all that much spiritual mothering because I think I learned far more from them than they learned from me. But, God did give me opportunity to come along side of them, cheer them on and I believe the ability to see in them what He sees in them. On a special night in January, they loved on me. And, I felt something I have never felt. It was different than receiving the love of a husband, a parent, a sister or family member. The love they showered upon me reached some place in my heart that had never been reached. Is this what it feels like to receive the love of a child? God is amazing!
Do you know what it does to the heart of God when we loved on by Him? Do you know that we touch places in the heart of the Almighty that only you and I can touch? No one else can take that place in God's heart that is reserved for me and for you. All the children in all the world cannot fill that place. It doesn't mean that God loves me more or you less. It just means that each and every one of us has this special place in the very heart of God. God longs for you and God longs for me. I believe God expresses His heart so beautifully in Isaiah 30:18 when He's talking to His children. They are not just words but God's very heart! He says he longs and waits for us. Pause and think about that! Oh, I want to bless the very heart of God today by showering Him with my love. I want to touch the places in God's heart that only I can touch. Amazing....truly amazing.
"Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him." Isaiah 30:18