It was a perfect kind of afternoon in our home. One that doesn't come often enough for me to tire of it. Instead, these afternoons happen just often enough for me to rest in them and cherish them deeply.
The eldest of our fair-headed children was busy at the table prepping for an artwork showdown she planned to have at school the following day. My face, in the most literal sense, looked like the blank emoticon face that you'd type in a text to a friend when you have absolutely no idea what to say. I had no idea how to respond to it. I might could have spoken to her about being gentle and kind, but for the most part I knew their artwork showdown was harmless.. and I had things to tend to.
The smaller ones busied themselves making play-doh masterpieces. My nervous twitch didn't even come out when they started mixing colors. It was a glorious moment of triumph for me.
I busied myself baking a few treats to take to a baby shower for some friends of ours. Our friends received the most precious little girl into their home about 2 weeks ago. We wanted to support them in their adoption journey of this beautiful little thing, to encourage them in it, and to celebrate her being in their home.
Amidst the measuring and pouring of ingredients, my ears were filled with the laughter of three chipper little voices. And I wondered what it might sound like if a fourth little chipper voice chimed in?
As the aroma of baked sweets filled my home, the sorrow crept in slowly and was kept at bay. Please don't get me wrong, I found such joy serving our friends in this way- loving them that evening and celebrating in this new little life that has been entrusted in their care. But my heart longed for a new little face that might fill our home one day.
I imagine it must be what a woman whose womb still sits empty feels like going to yet another baby shower for a friend. Or what another woman might feel as she attends a loved-one's wedding without a husband to call her own.
These are all good things. They are all things that are okay to desire and want... a baby to love on and pour out the Gospel Truth to. A husband to share in life's joys and sorrows; a husband to journey with.
But what I've found good for me to do in these moments is to not sit still. The waiting can be agonizing. We can't know with absolute certainty that the Lord will gift us with these desires of our hearts, even if they are very good things that can be used for His glory. It is so tempting to close the doors, to sit, and to internalize all those feelings that come with the waiting. And while we all need those moments, it can be a dangerous place to live in this constant isolation.
But what if we got over ourselves just a bit? What if I can use my time of waiting to encourage and love others well through it? I'm certainly not letting my dreams go. I'm not losing hope. And I'm definitely not giving up. I'll keep my dreams nestled right close to my heart, as I pour out on my friends who are going through things in their lives, too.
I want to encourage you to do the same. Waiting and longing for something can be so agonizing sometimes. It can be painful. But I encourage you not to lose heart. I want to encourage you not to waste a single minute of the waiting. We can do great things, even in the midst of our waiting, to the glory of God.