Before I got married (and the "before" marriage time of my life greatly exceeds the "after" portion, and will for a very long time), people would always tell me that marriage doesn't fix your life or stop all of the struggles. I appreciated their warnings, and I agreed with them then, and I agree with them now. From my grand perspective of 3.5 months in, marriage is great and I'm very happy. But I'm also still me, and I still am wrestling with the Lord about things, just different things than when I was single.
Actually, I should amend that statement. One of the struggles I had before marriage was longing to be a mom. Since I can remember, I've loved babies and children. I would question the Lord about why He had given me this strong desire with no way to fulfill it.
Now I'm married. Have the husband, check. Allowed to have sex, check. Able to provide for a baby, check. Both of us still wanting a baby, check. The box we can't check? The one that says "under 40, all systems go". At least on my side.
I knew the chances were slim. I've educated myself on the numbers and percentages and possibilities. Paul and I have discussed the medical lengths to which we are prepared to go. Yet the doctor visit where the numbers are MY numbers, and the news is "Anything can happen. But it's not likely." Well, then it becomes real. And sad. And I end up back with God, wrestling and crying and struggling.
I know that God can do anything. It's not impossible for us to get pregnant. We are open to adoption. However, that, too, is harder when you are older, at least internationally. We're too old for babies. We're too old, period, in most countries. Many have a required amount of years for a couple to be married. Adopting through the child welfare system has its issues. Adopting privately is expensive. We only get older as the process drags on. Yet, again, none of those obstacles are too much for God.
What has felt too much and impossible is opening my heart to hope and earnestly asking God for what I want and trusting Him to do what is best. I have argued and cried and expressed the feelings of "It's not fair," and "Why does it have to be this hard?" and "Is this too much to ask?" All of that is real, but it masks the deeper feelings of "How do we figure out adoption?" "How long will this take?" "Should we pursue this at all?" and, ultimately, "Can I trust you to be enough no matter what happens?"
Consistently through my relationship with the Lord, the only way I can get to the real stuff is to go through the process of the surface feelings until finally, the deeper issues emerge. I wish had a nice list of three steps to make it go faster, or the five ways to feel peace with God immediately. I don't. All I know is that this morning, while praying, He finally gave me the courage to simply ask for what I wanted.
In Daniel, there is the account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They were young men who were exiles in Babylon. They were Hebrews who believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzer, made a decree that all people should worship a golden image, and if they refused, they would be thrown into a fiery furnace. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused. The king gave them a second chance. They said,