Lately I've been really lamenting the emptiness that comes with infertility. My husband and I have been married 8 years this September, yet becoming parents has been an enigma. We get all the same advice and instruction people seem compelled to disperse in jest and it's reached a point of utter frustration and even failure to my heart. I hadn't even realized how much of my heart was overtaken by this grief, until attending a women's study at my church, where parenting and childbirth are subjects occassionally discussed. It's very difficult not to get overtaken by grief and loss and a sense of "unfairness" at an unfulfilled desire of my heart. I try to rely on God's ultimate purpose for my husband and me. Sometimes I can and sometimes....I don't. Sometimes it's easy to be around "families" with children and sometimes I can't. This weekend the heart strings were tugged in so many ways through children, yet on some level I was able to confront the demons and gain some victory over the emotion of it all AND learn something in the process.
In all the "names" and roles of God...this past weekend...for me, He was the "Teacher". This weekend I had family in from out of town and out of state. My niece and nephew were in town and my brother and sister and their spouses were all here. My niece stayed at our house because of the "overcrowding" at my parent's house.
My niece is 15 and very much a child of her culture. She either has a cell phone or I-Pod attached to her head at all times, or she is soaking herself with incoming information while "surfing" the net.
My nephew is 9 and the most avid sports NUT I've ever had the pleasure of speaking with. I don't know how or when it happened, I just know he is now so passionate about Basketball and Football he can tell you pretty much any stat on any pro or college team in the US.
My pastor's daughter is 4, and is one of the most outgoing, friendly, sweet-spirited child on the planet. I had the pleasure of visiting with her during the Superbowl party at my church last night.
God was able to use each of these children, His children....to teach me and show me something different in each case. With the pastor's daughter I saw and felt the freedom that comes in innocence. I have only visited with her a couple of times, yet she came up to where I was and sat down right next to me and leaned her head on me. The visual image is so stirring because this is such a SANGUINE child, with blonde, curly hair and a smile that goes on for days. You can look all the way into her heart and see pureness and an outpouring of love offered up to anyone who is willing to accept it. She chose me! I was in heaven. It rivaled the feeling of being chosen first in team sports in school. Hold that thought...
My nephew has always had a passion for learning and growing and excelling in all he does. What's happened at 9, in my vision, is a singular focus. His passion for sports has now overtaken his free-time, and even spilled over into his school work. While in church on Sunday, my nephew didn't sing the songs, and didn't even really pay attention to the message. That may seem normal, at 9, but as I have observed his childhood, this is "odd" for him. He was at 3,4,5,6,7 and even 8, an incredible worshipper. He was someone who not only listened to the message but could replay it for others. He could draw conclusions from it about his life. He would make prophetic statements about his world. At 9 he no longer does that. He is growing up. Hold that thought...
My niece, the 15 year old, spent so much of her time this weekend "plugged in" that I virtually had to force her to do homework or to come help at a workday at church. She has a servants heart, but she is also 15 and I can remember the shift to inward focus around 12 or 13, when the teenage angst sets in. So, she is right there on the brink of adulthood pondering her existence (in the way only a 15 year old girl can) and journaling this experience through poems and music. She is growing up.
Now...I remember the message Jesus gave us about coming to Him as a child and I've always taken that fairly literally. I felt it was important to hold onto the spirit of a child, open to everyone and everything, relying on our earthly and spiritual FATHER, to discern for us good and evil until we were older. To be as a 4 year old, that can come and sit by the strangest, stranger and share not only conversation, but whatever else they may have on their possession. what I learned, from the "TEACHER" is that unless I am willing to come to Him in this openness and innocence, I will miss His message.
I heard Jesus tell me to see the 4, 9, and 15 year old and to view and learn from this maturing in order to prevent the loss of spirit. The world will tell us to put blinders on our spiritual eyes, in the name of maturing. Jesus tells us to see with the spiritual eyes of a child. The world will tell us to "grow up", and will even go so far as to define what "grown up" should look like. Jesus is the only one that can mature us in a way that doesn't defeat or destroy us and still maintain the innocence placed in us when we first came to Him.
This weekend, the TEACHER taught me how innocence is lost.