After our second miscarriage, a co-worker of Phil’s gave us a copy of the book, “When Empty Arms Become a Heavy Burden” by Sandra Glahn and William Cutrer. This thoughtful exploration of the multiple facets of infertility gently guided us down paths of discussion we’d avoided up to that point.
There are so many things to come to grips with when faced with infertility: a sense of loss, failure, brokenness, and unfulfilled longings all spring readily to mind. It is a journey neither of us wanted or expected, yet here we are.
As the months slipped by between miscarriages, I found myself eagerly devouring stories of adoption thinking surely, if God chose to withhold biological children, He would fulfill our desire for a family that way. But, in the midst of reading the book, we explored a private adoption only to have that door shut in our face too. And as the authors wisely pointed out, we were forced to come to grips with the fact that adoption is a holy calling, not a consolation prize for those who can’t bear their own children.
We haven’t closed our hearts to the option, but we both clearly heard God’s “no,” at least for now.
As our book study wound to a close, my prayers reluctantly began to change. Rather than continuing to beg God to fulfill this dream, He gave me grace to allow Him to gently pry my fingers off of it as He asked me to release it to Him. And I was able to pray, “God, if You’re taking this away, I will accept Your will. But, You’ve got to give me a new dream because I don’t even know what else to ask for.”
It was at that point that I felt God laid on my heart the idea to “walk through the door that is open.”
In my mind’s eye I pictured myself standing before a closed door. Banging. Crying. Pleading for the closed door to open. Right next to the closed door was an open door. One that presented me with a different path than the one I’d envisioned for myself. No banging necessary. The door swung wide with invitation.
So the choice was this: I could root myself in front of the door that was closed, resenting or mourning the fact that God was clearly saying “no” to what I wanted. Or, I could accept that He knows what is best for me and walk through the door that was open. Step by daily step, I am choosing the open door.
Psalm 25:10 tells us that all the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness for those who are following Him. So, even in this, we know we’re on a lovingly planned journey with a purpose, albeit one we can’t see fully yet. What about you? Will you linger in front of the closed door or embrace what lies beyond the one that is open?