July 04, 2012

The Fire of Consecration

Tonight, I'm going to write about something that I rarely ever talk about outside of my immediate family. I'm going to talk about children.

Obviously, I want children. I mean, I want children a whole lot.

Even before I met Mark, when I was in my "I want to be a nun" phase, I couldn't quite square away the concept of celibacy simply because I couldn't stomach the idea of never having children. Once married, both of us really looked forward to it. I, however, have always had a lot of trouble with my reproductive system and hormonal balances. Due to all of this, the entire span of our marriage has been a roller coaster of hope, seeming certainty, false alarms, broken hearts, and repetition of this entire list. From the time that we were married (October 2009) until the beginning of this year, I did not once have a regular or healthy period. While that might seem like a bit too much information, hear me out... when you experience healthy functions for years, and suddenly, there is an unexplained absence, it is very frustrating. It is scary. It is disheartening.

For a long time, I struggled with God. I wept in bitterness of heart, just like Hannah in 1 Samuel 1. I curled up on the floor of our apartment, run out of tears or words to pray. Nothing changed God's mind. But, of course it didn't.

In December, I shoved all of it to the back of my mind. I took a pregnancy test, knowing it would be negative, and knowing that there was nothing I could do to make it positive. I researched and selected an herbal supplement for regulating menstrual cycles, and I decided that I wasn't going to hope anymore. If it happened, it happened, and I wanted so badly not to care. At the beginning of this year, my cycle slowly began to return to regular. For six months, it came every month, right on time. Until June.

I will not lie. I was convinced that I was pregnant. There's really only one confirmation, though... And, I started my period five hours after the test came back negative. That was last Saturday.

Since then, I've cried quite a lot. I've also learned a few things.

1) No matter how much you try, it is impossible to ignore a desire that God has built into you. I can't fake not wanting a child any more than I can fake hating coffee. It is something God gave me... the desire to be a mother... and the only way that I can deal with the hearksickness that comes from my hopes being defered is to submit everything by prayer and petition to God, so that He may guard my heart. (Philippians 4:4-7)

2) I've been listening an audio Bible this week, and the story of Noah caught my attention.Sometimes, I really feel like I am "stuck in an ark" with this whole baby business. From my eyes, that is a horrible thing. It is a horrible thing to want to walk on solid, dry ground, and only be able to sit in a stinky boat with no land in sight. But when you look at what God said about it-- His reasoning for flooding, for stranding Noah and his family out in that ark for so long, it makes a lot more sense. God said that He was using the flood waters (keep in mind that water is a symbol of the Holy Spirit) to cleanse from the earth all flesh. All flesh. Could it be-- that this trapped feeling I have so often is actually God putting me in a spot where I cannot move-- cannot change my circumstances to match my desires-- because He is using His Spirit to clease from me all of my own flesh? If so, then God's promise lingers at the end... and therein lies my third lesson...

3) I am learning that our relationship with Jesus has very little to do with the past, and it only has to do with the future when that future includes Him. We are to trust Him in the present-- to love Him and relate to Him and obey Him NOW... we are to forget what is behind, and tomorrow will worry about itself... what does that leave? It leaves now. It leaves me, Jesus, and Mark... growing and learning and loving.

With all of that said, I want to express some of my desire... I want to be a future mom, even though nothing now points to that.

I am not barren, because God is the opener and closer of wombs. I am currently seeking to be cleansed (consecrated... Isabella) by an All Consuming Fire (fire of the Lord.... Josiah) that removes everything that is shakeable.

I think Mark and I have agreed on a couple of officially awesome baby names. I can't wait to meet you, Josiah and Isabella... but for now, I'm just going to sit in this ark and wait on the Lord.


Kim said...

It did take bravery and honesty to post this. I'm sorry you guys have been having such a hard time, but I'm glad you found comfort in looking forward.

I know people have varying opinions on this, but have you talked about adopting? I don't know many couples so full of love that they could welcome and love a child from someone else, but I'm confident you could.

Jessica Sanford said...

We have, actually...but it would have to be a situation where we absolutely knew it was supposed to happen. Caring for orphans is one of the biggest parts of our life's calling.

I really have no doubt that Mark and I will have kids someday, and it wouldn't surprise me if we also adopted. I just don't think it's time yet. It's the waiting and watching so many women around me having kids that can get to me. Writing helps, though. :-)

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