Tuesday, December 31, 2013

On the way to whom I'm becoming...

All my life, I have known in my heart that I was to be a wife and mother.  It wasn't so much of a dream as it was a destiny.  And, each year (especially in the past 15 or so) that passed that I wasn't either one, I felt like I was treading water waiting for my true life to start. One of my favorite verses is Psalm 37:4, "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart".  I do not believe that God is a vending machine.  So, this verse means one of 2 things.  Either the Lord is going to give me what I desire, or He is going to change my desires.

This year, the year that I turned 40, I was more reflective and pensive than usual.  In order to distract myself from my birthday that ended in zero, I took a whole week's vacation from work to spend with some of my favorite people on earth, who are unfortunately now 1000+ miles away.  I had a great time with them, just doing life with their sweet family of 3 kids (6, 3.5 and 1.5) that call me Aunt Sarah.  The children are very well behaved, but they have sin natures just like all of us.  The six year old and three year old are sisters, and they were going through a season of frequent spats.  Their parents, while certainly not perfect, are some of the best I know.  They are raising their children as I would have raised mine. (I have actually read some of the parenting books they have.)  They have family devotions every night, Mama and Daddy consistently point the little ones to Jesus and the children are lovingly but firmly disciplined.  This includes spanking when it is warranted and it is done appropriately - the child is taken to the bathroom or a private place, the reason for the spanking is given, afterwards there is reinforcement of love and the need for reconciliation with the person(s) the child wronged and the child and person(s) hug.

It was very slowly, because the Lord knows I couldn't handle processing this all at once, that something began to work its way to the surface of my mind/heart.  I realized that maybe, I don't want to be the mother of a child, because I don't think I can handle the willful disobedience that every child will exhibit due to their sin nature.  I realized that every time - my whole life - that I have pictured myself as a mother - it has been of a baby, a child with only positive responses to my love.  I know that an older child's disobedience would be different if it were my child, but I think prior to this week with my friends and their kids I might have written off this less than pleasant behavior by the children as poor parenting.  But I certainly couldn't this time, and that's when this seed of potential truth/change of desires began to unfold.

There are many reasons (simple facts and 2 I will mention here) that I can point to as to why I know the Lord has not provided a child for me yet.  Firstly and most importantly is my knee-jerk reaction to disobedience or challenge of my authority by children for whom I've babysat has been threatening and other verbal and psychologically abusive behavior. I am certainly not proud of that, and I thank God from saving me from doing permanent life-long damage to a child.

The second reason is practical.  Due to my health issues and work schedule, I am not physically able to take care of a child of any age by myself. While I believe it is biblically acceptable and know that it is legally permissible to adopt as a single woman, I personally could not do that.  I do not have any men in my life that could act as father figures, and I believe God's design for child-rearing is for there to be a father as well as a mother.  Since I am not married, then I believe this is another indicator that motherhood may not be in the future.

For the first time ever, I am actually almost OK with peeking into what's behind the curtain of not being a mother or wife.  And, as someone that knows me very well pointed out - what if, instead of waiting to become someone/something I'm not (yet), I am already now on the track to whom I'm becoming? Meaning, my destination (not just temporary status) might be a single woman?  How freeing would that be?

I think, though I'm not positive, that would mean that my desires are really starting to change.  And I can feel, just a tiny bit, how much freedom would be in abiding in that place.

So, as we step into another year, I'm going to continue to follow this road of Psalm 37:4.  The Lord has been so faithful to provide for my needs, and as omnipotent and omniscient Almighty God, He is in control and He knows what He is doing.  He has my best in mind and I can trust Him.  He is more than enough.

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