I have been doing a lot of reflecting, this week. The kind that has you weeping and praising God at the same time. Some friends asked Ben to lead worship at their gathering on Friday night and he sang a song that I hadn’t heard in ages. Darrell Evans’, Your Love is Extravagant. If you’ve never listened to the quiet lyrics, you must. One line has been rolling in my mind all weekend….I feel I’m moving to the rhythms of your grace…If I had to sum up 5 years of struggle, heartache, and life lessons into one word, it would be grace. I did a lengthy study on this little word, last fall, after God has whispered it to my heart. The printed definition is “the freely given, unmerited, favor and love of God.” That’s grace. And I’ve been swimming in it all year.
As we quickly approach the anniversary to the day we decided to open the door to adoption (April 27, 2008) my mind has been reeling with all that has taken place in one year. I leafed through the last journal I kept before I started my blog and found this written on today’s date, one year ago:
“And she made a vow, saying, “O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life."
~ I Samuel 1:11
I’m sure the name of Hannah is lifted up on every barren woman’s tongue, but for me it runs a little deeper…ever since I was a little girl, Samuel was my favorite Bible figure. I’m a girl that loves to worship and I loved that Samuel chose to sleep in the very presence of God….that he audibly heard from the Lord at a young age…and that their closeness allowed his words to hold power (the Bible says not one “fell” from his lips). I grew up wanting to be him. Hannah was never a prominent figure in my rendition of his life. That is, of course, until I found myself in her situation. For two years straight, I would pray her above prayer…sometimes humbly…sometimes screaming with lunacy.
I decided to go back and read her story again. And today, I found something jaw-dropping. Something I never picked up on before. Verse 5: and the Lord had closed her womb.
For the last two years I have struggled BIG time with the whole womb-being-closed thing. I finally made amends in my heart and my official stance was/is: God did not make me barren. He couldn’t have; it’s not in his character. I live in a fallen world, full of heartache and sin, and my womb has come under that curse. I, of course, did everything I knew, to pray that thing open. But it never happened. When we chose adoption, I altered my mantra slightly to add: Even though I wasn’t born to have babies, I was born to be a mother. God needs us playing on the adoption team. And I’m more than okay with that. I’m thrilled that he’s using us.
Tonight my head is spinning. He closed Hannah’s womb? Why? I didn’t know he had it in him…and then the real reason for my questions…Lord. Did you close my womb so that I could mother Rebekah’s baby?
I have prayed Hannah’s prayer so many times I can recite it by memory. For a long time, I inserted the word “daughter” for son [smile] but somewhere in the last couple of years, I went back to the original. I always intended for my son to be birthed from my belly. No where in Hannah’s story does it say she adopted someone else’s son….Her story is actually packaged real nice. She left the temple, Eli blessed her, her husband slept with her and “the LORD remembered her…in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son.”
Although our paths don’t match, I know our anguished hearts and mother’s love do. I'm not sure how I feel about crediting God for closing my womb, but I do know that I've fallen in his love and that his hand on my son's life has been unmistakable.
It's just another rhythm of his grace. I prayed for a son...the same words that ancient Hannah prayed. She got her son and I'm soon to have mine. Both under supernatural circumstances...both destined for greatness.