I'll take it.
Now I just have to figure out what to do next. Apply to the nursing program and wait the two years to get in, while praying to see if that's what God really wants for me? Or struggle through one more crazy difficult five unit class with a toddler and newborn then apply to the dietitian/nutrition program in another town and figure out how to make it work?
I don't know. But right now, I can breathe again, and I like the way it feels.
My uterus has been occupied for six months now, but I found out two days into my microbiology class, and I haven't really had time to process it all. And as I walked out of my final last week, I looked down at the shadow cast from my round belly, opposite the larger shadow of an overstuffed backpack, and I finally understood the recent side-eye glances shot my way these last couple of weeks.
I'm six months pregnant.
And that beautiful verse drifted through my tired and saturated mind; and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren (Luke 1:36).
It stopped me in my tracks and shifted my focus to where I was just six months ago. Fresh out of a failed FET cycle and the hustle of the holidays, our plans of growing our family were empty; we had hit a wall and were at a standstill. Stuck somewhere between being unwilling to give up on hope of more children and the need to move on, we knew we wouldn't be pursuing any more treatments, and resorted to half-heartedly praying again for God to shift our hearts to adoption-but we just weren't ready to make that next move yet.
I had finally stepped lightly into a place of contentment with our one child, but I still had a strong desire for more that I just couldn't shake, and I remember trying to talk to God about it through the confusion. During those two months I spoke with Him often, in sporadic, disorganized conversations telling Him I believed He could give us more, but I didn't know if or how I should ask. I wanted to be content in all things, but I also didn't want to give up on the desires that I knew He placed in my heart.
I didn't know what I wanted. And I was confused as to what He wanted for me. Was the door closed, and He was waiting for me to accept it as such? Was the growing desire and uneasiness at the thought of letting go in my heart my own pride, or was it put there by Him? Was I just over thinking this like I do everything else?
So I did what I always do, and I made plans. I was confused, unsure, and tired of waiting, so I gave in and began to remap out my future, working with what I had. And what I had was a beautiful nineteen month old, an almost finished education that could lead me into the health field, and the opportunity to move forward. So I decided to take the one class I was missing, sign up for the nursing program, and after the assumed three year wait list, change my career path just in time for my littlest love to enter preschool.
Except it wasn't done. Just like always, God had other plans. And two days into my new plan, God showed me His.
Well, part of it at least.
Another little girl. One more sweet blessing, more undeserved Grace. Another answer to prayer done on His perfect timeline, not my own.
And now I set here, in awe of my shadow. The one that shows a growing belly opposite an overstuffed backpack. Once again unsure of which way to go, what step to take next. This newest love, our precious tiny human #2 growing in my uterus changes my plans quite a bit, but I'm not sure how yet.
And I'm in awe of God's faithfulness, His love for me. He planted this desire for children in my heart years ago, and the road to them was absolutely perfect. He allowed me to grow, shifting and shaping my heart along the way. And though it was painful at times, He knew it was just what I needed.
And I'm just starting to realize that along the way-though my faith in Him was growing-it was still flawed. The many cycles and treatments that it took to achieve our first miracle was something I knew He controlled, but I still relied on the science behind them as well. And it wasn't until our failed FET, the ending of our very last try, that I finally had to let go completely.
There was no more rope to hold on to.
With the final decision of no further treatments in our future, it was the very first time that I had to lean 100% on Him for answers and guidance. No back up plan, no frozen embryos, no more IVF, it was finally time for complete surrender on our journey.
And so I told Him that I wanted more. Or at least I thought I did. But I wanted to be happy with one if that's what He wanted for us. And I told Him that I believed with all my heart that He could give us more naturally, but that I wasn't sure if He wanted me to ask for that, or if He wanted me to move on. I told Him I was confused, and that I trusted Him, and that I was thankful for what I had but that I was pretty sure my heart wasn't ready to let go and I still wanted more. I said everything I could think to say, and trusted that He knew my hearts desire despite my feeble attempt to verbalize it.
And I left it at that.
And with the unexplainable, intense love that He has for His children, He took my broken, confused, selfish and unorganized prayer and looked passed it, straight to the desires of my heart. He knew what I wanted even when I didn't know how or if I should even ask for it.
And in His perfect plan, He allowed me to reach that place where I had absolutely no control-a place where I had no choice but to let my heart cry out to Him because my words failed me miserably-before He gave me what only He could give.
A new life growing inside. One that only He can receive the glory for.
And now, once again, I'm unsure. Confused of my future and where I should go from here, but still anxious to make the next move, just as impatient as ever.
But this time, there's a peace. If I didn't see it before, I see it now. God works things out His own way, in His own time, and even when it doesn't make sense to us, we have to trust that His way is perfect. There really is no point in rushing, pushing, planning, and stressing, because God will open up doors and make things work when He wants them too, not when I want them too.
And as I look back on my life, even just in these past six months, I can't help but know that it will work out, someway. Probably not my way, but His way has always proved to be better anyway.
So this time, I'll pray again. I'll do my best to talk to Him about what I'm feeling, and I'll express my deep desire for wisdom and guidance as to which way to go. But this time I won't stress as much over the details, because I know He knows my heart, and He'll answer when He's ready.
And in the meantime, I'll enjoy this time that I have to carry my second daughter. I'll prepare my heart for mothering two little girls, and thank God every day that His ways aren't my ways, and that His plans aren't mine.
They are so much better.
“God never withholds from His child that which His love and wisdom call good. God’s refusals are always merciful — “severe mercies” at times but mercies all the same. God never denies us our hearts desire except to give us something better.”