Hmmmm what do I want? What do I want? Standing in front of a display fridge with delicious treats spread out before me… A donut? Hmm I don’t know, a butter tart? Cheesecake? Yikes, can I justify that? Oh what’s that over there? Oh something healthy ew. That’s probably what I should have…. But I deserve a treat, something sweeter.
How many of you can relate? I hope all of you, (if not, embarrassing for me) I’m always thinking about what I want. What I want for lunch, what I want to do today, tomorrow, this weekend? Where will we go on vacation next? Who do I want to talk to, call, hang out with? Want want want want want.
Recently Brandon and I went on an over night getaway alone to spend some time together. With all this uninterrupted time we got to talking about our next adoption and all of our options. Should we do domestic private like we did last time? Or try something different? We realized that we don’t have to do the same thing the second time and that all options are back on the table. So we talked about everything and we came to the conclusion that we are tired of talking about what we want. In the end we don’t know what’s best for us. We want more children, and we have a lot of love to give and we are going to open ourselves up to what God wants for us.
Rant alert: something that bothers me on Facebook is when people set their status as something like: looking for options for dinner tonight aaaaaaand go! Like the whole Facebook world is just chomping at the bit to give you suggestions.
I feel like a lot of the time this is how we approach God. Here’s what I want God. Aaaaaaaand go! And pray pray pray till we get it.
Do you ever ask him what he wants for you? In the bible Jesus says
my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:30
I definitely did not feel that way while we were struggling with infertility and waiting to adopt. Nothing was easy about it and it did not feel light! I wanted a baby and I wanted it now. But maybe his yoke is easy and his burden is light IF we trust him, we seek him, we want what HE wants for our life! I was so anxious with our first adoption. I wanted it to happen quick and did everything I could to make sure we weren’t holding anything up. But guess what? It happened when God had planned it to happen. Just like it was going to all along. Just like everything ever did! And many people said “Gods timing” to me and I didn’t like those people very much, so I understand if you don’t like me very much right now. Because maybe I’m telling you that you have to wait longer, or that what you want is maybe (maybe) not what God has for you. But this might mean that you are making it harder on yourself than it has to be! You can rest in him, and trust him. That healthy thing in the display case, is better for you. Even though it’s not what you think you want.
Before that last verse in Matthew Jesus says
Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Do you believe that you can go to him and he will give you rest? You can! But you have to trust him. With your life, with you plans and with your heart.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,for I have put my trust in you.Show me the way I should go,for to you I entrust my life.
For me right now this means trusting him with our next adoption. Not laying out specific criteria of what we are looking for in a child. But opening our hearts and our home and trusting that God has a perfect plan for our family. For you it may mean accepting something that has already happened to you, like an unwanted pregnancy or a child with special needs or infertility.
Through Instagram networking I found this lovely t-shirt company called littlest warrior. They make awesome shirts that tell messages of love and acceptance, but there was one shirt design that I didn’t quite understand. So I looked up their website to see if they explain it. The t-shirt design was inspired by the story below and the message is that sometimes we are so set on what we want, that we can’t even open our eyes to see what else might be out there for us, something we never even thought about.
Welcome to Holland by Emily Perl Kingsley.
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……
When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”
“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”
But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.
This story was inspired by a parent who had to unexpectedly learn to raise a child with special needs. But we can all relate to an experience in our life where we wanted Italy but we got Holland.
I’m sorry if this all sounds harsh. It feels harsh writing it. But I just love and care for you all who are suffering right now waiting, and hurting and working so hard towards your goals. Not that that is a bad thing, a lot of things that are meant to happen are hard, so hard that we must lean on God. A common saying is that God only gives us what we can handle. But I don’t believe that, I believe that he gives us things that we absolutely can’t handle without him. He designed us to need him. But how often do you ask God, “what do you have for me?” “Am I working towards my goals? Or Gods plan for my life” “am I fighting with him, or against him?”