I was talking to a friend a while back about her disappointment with the Lord, in the way her first child came into the world. Walking away from that conversation the Lord reminded me of my own story of disappointment, and how I’ve never shared it with anyone. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while then you know I’m all about vulnerability, and sharing our experiences, because if we don’t, we all end up isolated, thinking we’re the only one struggling.
My disappointment didn’t come from they way my daughter entered the world, it came from everything that happened after that. Since the time Matt and I were dating we always knew we would have 2 daughters, which we do, but the way in which we had 2 daughters was never my plan.
When Matt and I decided to start trying for our first child I had a really hard time getting pregnant. It was an incredibly painful process both physically (I had issues with my ovaries) and emotionally. A few times people mentioned we should consider adopting, but that wasn’t what we wanted.
When I finally got pregnant with Malea we were overjoyed and of course when the doctor told us she was a girl, we were not surprised, just thankful for God’s faithfulness. I had a good pregnancy, no complications and I had an awesome water birth. After giving birth the nurse told me we should have lots of kids because my body was “made for giving birth”.
It was what happened after all of that, that lead to my disappointment and heartache. Becoming a first time mom wasn’t all sunshine and roses for me, like it is for so many, in fact it was the complete opposite.
I found myself in the darkness of postpartum depression and a spiral downward that I couldn’t seem to stop. It was about 6 weeks before my mom recognized what was going on and told me I needed to get help.
I remember sitting in my rocking chair, holding Malea, and feeling like I was dying inside. I recognized in those early months that God was going to have to change my husband’s heart because I knew we were never going to be able to have a second daughter.
It wasn’t what I wanted but it was my reality. Talking to my husband about not having a second child, was one of the harder conversations I’ve had to have with him because I knew I was destroying the dreams we’d had for our family. But I also knew I was living in a version of Hell that I could never go back to, a place so dark, so lonely, so terrifying that if I ever ventured back, I knew it would swallow me up.
I was devastated, angry and heartbroken.
To this day when Malea asks me for a little brother or sister it rips my heart out because I know she would have been the most amazing big sister. When I see her with my friends’ younger kids I feel guilty for not being able to give her the sister I had always dreamed of. And the worst is when she asks me “why” and the only answer I can give her “is because mommy got really sick after having you”.
It feels like the worst answer ever, the biggest cop-out, but I knew, and I still know, that if I hadn’t made the decision I did, that I wouldn’t be the mom I am for her today.
In processing all of this the last couple days I asked myself why I’d never shared this with anyone, why I’d never talked about my disappointment and why I haven’t told people about the pain I still work through every time Malea asks me for a sibling. The best answer I could think of was, “I don’t know.”
When I realized early on that God had changed up our story I began to process my pain with Him. I knew I had to give it to Him because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t survive.
When my sister got pregnant with her second, and my sister-in-law with her second, and all of my friends with their seconds, thirds, etc. it was a reminder of what I would never have, that my story was different. A reminder that I couldn’t give my daughter a sister, and each time I had to mourn that loss. Even as recently as six months ago I caught myself thinking, maybe it would be different now, maybe we should try again.
But the Lord, in His goodness, continually reminds me that He’s the one writing my story and that I need to give my story back to Him. I need to remember to trust Him, instead of questioning “why?”.
You are faithful to fulfill every promise you’ve made. You manifest yourself as Kindness in all you do! When you open your generous hand, it’s full of blessings, satisfying the longings of every living thing. You are fair and righteous in everything you do, and your love is wrapped into all your works. You draw near to those who call out to you, listening ever closely, especially when their hearts are true.” Psalm 145:13b, 16-17 (tPt)
I think one of the reasons I’ve never shared this story is because it’s so personal and it feels like this intimate conversation I’ve had with the Lord off and on for the last 8 1/2 years, but after my conversation with my friend, the Lord told me it was time. Time to share our intimate conversation, my pain, my disappointment and His goodness.
And here’s what I’ve learned from my 8 1/2 year conversation with the Lord – I’ve discovered how trusting the Lord with my story has changed everything. I’ve seen first hand that even through our pain, He is good, but I’ve also learned that if we don’t let go of our pain and give it to Him, then we will never move past it and we will never experience the fullness of His glory.
If your faith remains strong, even while surrounded by life’s difficulties, you will continue to experience the untold blessings of God! True happiness comes as you pass the test with faith, and receive the victorious crown of life promised to every lover of God!” James 1:12 (tPt)
Our family, my story, none of it has turned out the way I thought it would. My desire was to give birth to 2 little girls, to raise them together, the way I was with my sisters. But God had a different plan, a plan that involved rescuing one of His daughters (read about our adoption HERE). His plan has taken so much more faith, so much more courage, SO many more tears, but His plan has also given me a life I never imagined possible because I have to continually give my heart and my story back to Him. I’ve had to let go of what I thought I wanted/needed, SO many times, to trust Him to write His story on my life.
Through your mighty power I can walk through any devastation and you will keep me alive, reviving me. You keep every promise you’ve ever made to me! Sine your love for me is so constant and endless, I ask you Lord, to finish every good thing that you’ve begun in me! You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way, and in kindness you follow behind me to spare me from the harm of my past. With your hand of love upon my life, you impart a Father’s blessing to me. This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible! Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength.” Psalm 138:7-8, 139:5-6 (tPt)
Linda Miller says
Thank you Anna for sharing this very private part of your life. It is hard to share subjects like that, one because some people always feel like they want to help you and say things that are not always helpful, about what you can do about it. We are so hard on ourselves and when we share we become even harder. It’s hard to see that God just wants us to be open and share, He will handle the rest.
Sending you love…Linda