Tuesday, July 14, 2015

a better story

There's a lot of action in my heart these days.  And it's been pretty humbling to walk through. A part of my journey here in South Asia…a big part…has been recognizing that I'm just not as good as I thought I was.  I'm not as unshakeable as I would like to believe. I'm not as strong as I pretend in my head.  I'm not as loving as the gospel I follow.

Watching this little baby grow, this baby I wouldn't trade for any other sweet one in the whole world, is undoing me a bit. Only time will tell. And only the Father knows.  But as our life here progresses and the overwhelming roll of this traveling style we live deepens, I'm beginning to think this might be my last baby.  Another year or two and my perspective could shift, but my hands are feeling pretty full.

I hesitate to write this because I know how it will sound.  It will sound as ungrateful and outrageous and completely postpartum as it is.  But I will write it, because I have found that honesty brings light to dark places.  So here it is.

I wish somehow, without giving up any single shred of one of my boys…my boys that I adore, I wish I had a daughter.

I wouldn't trade any of them in for a girl, not in exchange for a thousand perfect girls. But I want to write honestly that it feels like a loss to me to have no sweet, bow-adorned beauty poking around in my household.  As I watch the years pass, the hope of it fades. No sisters to grow kindred together like I did with my sister.  No tea parties and princess dresses. Just a lot of wrestling and tumbling. And mom-repressed talk about male body parts. I feel kind of outnumbered.

I am, in a sense, mourning what will not be in years to come. I hope my sons will marry.  I pray that they will.  And if they do, they should leave and cleave.  But girls don't always seem to leave and cleave with as much finality and breaking as men.  You know the old saying, right, "A son is a son until he marries, but daughter is daughter for life." Someone stop me.  No wedding to put together and brunches to attend. Just a rehearsal dinner to plan and a beige dress to buy.  No daughter to watch expand into a mother, in a way that changes the core.  Will I even get to be at the hospital when my grandchildren are born? I mean, if I don't have nice daughter-in-laws will anyone take care of me when I'm old? Agh.  Welcome to my mind.

As if a daughter is a license to all those things, right?

I've come to realize that at the heart of this for me there are two primary things at work.  One is a desire to control.  I want to write my own story. Or at least present a working outline to be filled in. But whether I have a house full of boys or girls or none….I don't get to write the story. If I'm honest, some of the most beautiful stories I know are filled with loss and heartache and barren places. Stories that lead to a deeper hope than a smiling family photograph.

I can't control these boys any more than I could control a houseful of girls. They will have their own stories to live. They have free wills and capable minds. I get to teach them and train them up.

And let them go.

I have around a 13 year window before anyone leaves for college.  And it might just take me that long to work through this.  

The second issue at work is my old friend, discontent. I've noticed him around before.

Contentment is never about circumstances.  It's about heart.

The road away from discontent is always lined with gratitude. I have a lot to be grateful for, if I am brave enough to joyfully receive it rather than try to control it.  Discontent sees what is not, content gratefully sees what is.

God is enough. His gifts are good, but they'll never fill me up. No baby will make me happy. No dreams fulfilled or unfulfilled will nourish at the root. Good gifts turn into dry, dusty wells when I go to them for water. The living water flows from One Source. His story is better. It is deeper and richer than any story I could write.

And the only way to live it is by faith.

Christ in me, the hope of glory. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a gift you have for expressing your thoughts and experiences. Your honest analysis of the situation is spot-on from every angle, and I pray the Lord would overwhelm and astound you with blessings even as he has withheld the blessing you seek. - Kristie Randolph