Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires. (Psalm 37:4 NLT)
A month ago Wednesday, we welcomed our beautiful daughter, Naomi Elisabeth into this world and our family. We’ve prayed for each of our children and she was most definitely the answer to many prayers. We needed some more estrogen around here! OK, all joking aside, I’ve always wanted sons and I’ve always wanted a daughter. I love my boys and the connection they have with their dad, each other, and me. I love their sweet and protective natures. I’ve also yearned for the different connection a mother and daughter share and for my husband to have a daddy’s little girl.
I’ve had Psalm 37:4 on my mind a lot lately. I’m sleep deprived and slightly distracted (because, eek, I have three kids now!), so there’s a chance my thoughts will not translate well…
Following God isn’t something Christians do for a reward. We have our reward after this life regardless of what we do here and, often, it’s the most faithful people who face the most awful situations. It’s what’s in our heart that matters. Love covers a multitude of sins and nothing we do matters if we don’t have love. We’ll face heartbreak and hardship regardless of how “good” we are as God’s children because, I believe, this world and this life aren’t the end-all and be-all of our existence. Our struggles and blessings here shape us to become part of the story that speaks of God’s glory and only God knows what we really need.
One question I’ve heard over and over for years is: why do bad things happen to good people? I’m not sure I can give an answer that will make sense to someone who doesn’t believe what I do. God is my father. He made me and knew my name before I was born, as he does yours. He loves us more than anyone else does. He gave us our strengths and weaknesses and he wants us to have what’s good. It will look and feel different than what we think we need and want, but it will be good for us and for His plan. It’s bigger than you and me and yet, it will be exactly what we need to become the best versions of ourselves.
I’ve had my share of struggles and I’ve had an abundance of blessings. I’ve made many mistakes and I’ve followed my own less-than-godly desires too many times. There have been a million and one things I’ve thought I wanted over the years, but the greatest desire of my heart? I’m pretty sure that’s motherhood.
When I was little, I couldn’t wait to grow up and have babies. Strangely enough, I’ve never really been a “baby person”. I have, however, always mothered whomever I sensed needed me and I always new I’d love my children with all my heart. No matter how much I thought I wanted worldly success after college, I always knew, I would ultimately give up career for my family. At my core, what my heart wanted the most (and what I had no idea would challenge and shape me the most) was to become a mother by whatever means; whether biological or adopted. I believe God placed that yearning in my heart early on.
What a challenge it has been. I had no idea how much sacrifice would be involved. I had no idea how hard it would be for me to come to terms with my new life after kids. I’ve heard it more times than I can count, but I never really believed it I guess. I knew it wouldn’t be all about me, but that’s a lot easier said than done.
I think that’s the reason this verse has stuck with me. It’s a reminder that God’s answered my prayers even though I didn’t deserve it. It’s a reminder that no matter how frustrated I am that I’m up all night with a baby or my boys are fighting again or my two year old refuses to stay in his room at night, they are the greatest blessings of my life. In all honesty, my kids frustrate me on a daily basis. The boys whine and scream about things that I don’t understand. They insist on doing things themselves only to decide they need help when it’s the least convenient (I wonder where they got that from? I never do that! hehe). They play on top of each other and fight constantly because, what’s personal space? My baby basically won’t sleep anywhere but on top of me, which I simultaneously do and don’t love. No matter how much sacrifice this life demands, it’s so much more fulfilling than life without them. My life as a mom, who barely gets a quiet moment to think, is worth more than any amount of notoriety or material things.
So, no matter how crazy things get around here, I pray I always remember God is listening, my life is so special, and my children are such amazing gifts.