Even a normal, healthy desires can turn unhealthy if we allow it to run wild and dominate us. In this article, I share with you how in 2006, I surrendered my “baby lust” to God, and how He molded it into sheer beauty.
Verdant hills roll to the horizon; a river glistens in the sun. The breeze caresses my face as I look at my belly, which bulges under a wide dress. Smiling, I wrap my arms around myself and embrace the wonder of new life.
Beep, beep, beep!
Three minutes had passed. I half opened one eye, eager to know the result, but afraid of disappointment. A little pink line stared at me. Hoping to detect a second pink line, I opened my other eye as well. I blinked. Nothing. My womb was empty.
I grabbed the pregnancy test stick off the washstand and tossed it in the trashcan, along with my dream.
It wasn’t the first time I considered having a child, but I had always found a reason to tuck the idea away. Now I wasn’t in control. Baby clothes brought me to tears. Imaginary telephone conversations to announce my pregnancy to family and friends made me beam. Whenever my husband, Jan, and I sketched our future, I drew a little one into the picture. I planned a nursery. I even named my baby. The prospect of morning sickness, stretch marks, or labor pains didn’t ruin my reverie; rather it added a heroic touch.
As the months crept by, my jubilant anticipation gave way to fear and frustration. The craving intensified with each negative test result, clutching my heart so tight it hurt.
Jan was at peace. “If God wants us to have a baby, we will conceive. Otherwise, we will remain a family of two.”
I fought his words. “If God exists, surely He wouldn’t be so cruel as to stir up this devouring need and then deny me a child.”
Later that year, when I surrendered to God, I learned that He might have given me the desire, but He wouldn’t want it to run wild and dominate my life. I decided to let Him reign.
But then early menopause hit, and I had a hard time accepting that I would never feel life grow within me, give birth, or nurse my baby. Jesus received my tears and tended to my wounds.
When He promised me a child through a Bible verse, “Sing, O barren one, who did not bear…,” I was confused and terrified. “Lord, what if I heard You wrong? What if my scars rip open and the craving creeps out? Can I bear it?”
Yet I chose to trust Him.
Ever so gently, Jesus molded my desire into a longing to care for a child—any child, no matter in whose womb it had been conceived.
Instead of enduring nausea, a big belly, and contractions, we struggled with adoption information sessions, psychological assessments, and a huge pile of paperwork.
Two years later, when the adoption agency proposed a seven-year-old Ethiopian girl, we knew Aisha was to be our daughter. Mesmerized, we gazed at her pictures. “When can we bring her home?”
Cheerfully, the psychologist answered, “The Ethiopian court must study your dossier and approve you as Aisha’s adoptive parents. If everything goes according to plan, the process will be completed within six months.”
Waiting at least another half a year and facing the risk of being rejected—o Lord, I need your help.
While collecting and authenticating the last documents, I submitted the adoption procedure and my fears to Jesus. He was faithful. He armed me with confidence and patience to fight the lavish longing that was about to organize a coup in my heart and rule once more.
One autumn day, we found ourselves sitting on the edge of a rickety couch in an orphanage in Addis Ababa. There, amid dusty furniture and boxes piled up to the ceiling, I first pressed Aisha’s small body against my chest. There, I felt Jesus wrap His arms around us, embracing the wonder of new life—a new family.
The Bible verse, “Sing, O barren one, who did not bear…” is from Isaiah 54:1.
This article was first published in the FaithWriters’ Weekly Writing Challenge.