Today is October 1, 2012.
On this day exactly one year ago, Paul and I decided we were ready to be parents.
A year has passed... and we are still without child.
A couple months ago, I started writing about what this process of waiting has been like for us. I waited until now to go public for a couple of reasons.
- Going public means we're sharing our journey to anyone and everyone... which I think we're ready for.
- If more people know, more people can pray.
- If and when God does give us children of our own, we want the people surrounding us to share in our joy and help give glory to God, the giver of all good gifts.
So, here we go...
I can remember the summer when baby announcements outnumbered wedding announcements on my refrigerator.
My friends started having babies and I began planning baby showers. Consequently, our fridge was looking really cute. What's not to love about newborns wrapped in fuzzy blankets wearing knit hats and headbands adorned with oversized flowers?
That was the summer (2011) I started wondering when Paul and I would be ready to start a family. I can remember teasing him about it at first, and then growing more accustomed to the idea. Gradually, our giggles morphed into hmms and haws and dreams.
It certainly was a gradual process, though.
You see, I love Paul a LOT. And the idea of sharing him with another didn't initially sit well with me. How could I love someone as much as I love him? The one I choose every day to share life with? The man who doesn't complain, is not easily angered, the man I feel the most "me" with? The man who makes me melt with spontaneous trips to Dairy Queen and Fro Yo to meet my ice cream cravings?
As I verbalized my musings aloud, I realized I sounded pretty selfish. I think about our Julys and how challenging it is when he spends more time with fireworks and camp supplies than with me. And the Fall Retreats in October when even though we're both at the same place at the same time, I miss our "us" time. I questioned if there was really room in my heart for another. To be Paul and Elizabeth plus one.
So, we both started praying. A little here and a little there. Asking God to quicken our hearts at the right time.
Summer hit with full force with not one, but two fireworks tents. I, again, struggled with sharing Paul with his job and his ministry. But we made it, and I had a powerful experience at camp, rediscovering my passions and gifts. I wrote about feeling a distinct sense of purpose, having confidence in my position as Paul's ministry partner and camp counselor.
I also had a powerful experience during worship one night where God spoke directly to my heart. During an extended worship time in the latter part of the week, I felt God stir in my heart the way Paul and I had asked. I don't remember hearing exact words, but in that moment, I felt God begin to prepare me for motherhood. Planting and confirming my desire to be a mom.
A mom to a child of my own. Instant joy and peace.
On our drive home from camp, physically exhausted from a draining, yet rewarding week, with the windows down and rocking our farmer's tans, Paul and I debriefed our highlights from the week. I shared how I felt God move in my heart.
And you know what he said?
God spoke to Paul the very same night about being a dad, that he spoke to me about being a mom.
We laughed in disbelief, marveling at the Lord's handiwork and timing.
Preparing our hearts to love our someday-child.
We didn't start "trying" right away, but we definitely started praying more seriously.
From that moment at camp, it's as though God gave me a brand new lens to view Paul through. I started to watch him a little more closely as he held our friend's babies, imagining him as the father of our children. We both became more eager to hold babies. I started seeing babies everywhere I went. This June, we became Uncle Paul and Aunt Elizabeth for the first time and I pictured him holding children of our own.
And I melted.
And I melted.