I have always wanted a daughter. To be honest, I hoped for two. I didn't have a sister growing up and I thought it would be a neat experience to be a firsthand part of a sister-dynamic. But I didn't get sisters, I got 3 boys. And I love those boys in heart-spasm, overloading-kisses, embarassing-mom kind of way. I can't even believe they are mine, and so cute and funny and endearing and wild and nuts, and I get to have them. This desire for a daughter has nothing to do with them.
I believe that my desire for a daughter is a beautiful thing. There's no shame in it. The desire to mother a little sweet pea up into womanhood isn't wrong. But I let it get really ugly.
I treasured the idea of a daughter. I loved that desire so much that when I found out I was having a third boy, and would probably never get my daughter, I got possessive about it. I decided to put it in a little closet in my heart, tucked away from the light of the Gospel. I didn't want God's sovereignty to touch it. Then I visited my desire--a lot. I sat in that windowless closet with my beloved dreams and refused God's light.
I know that God is sovereign. I know that He is good. And I know that He loves me. But I just didn't want to know those things about being daughterless. Because I thought that if let the light of the Gospel into that dark little closet, God might try to make me be ok with my loss, and I didn't want to be ok.
I was wrong about the whole closet thing though. There are no closets in our hearts. We don't get to push the Gospel out of one area and keep it everywhere else. The Holy Spirit permeates us. If we start pushing him out of one place where we don't want to be healed, we start losing his fruit everywhere else.
When I wrote that post about giving up my daughter desire for Lent, it was because I knew I HAD to do something. I had pushed the Gospel away and my heart had gotten dark. I couldn't live like that anymore, because I knew the goodness of a Gospel-drenched life.
So I gave it up, mentally kicking and screaming, but unable to resist the siren-call of the Holy Spirit any longer. Now a year later, I'm so glad God refused to leave me in that darkness.
I still long for a daughter. Honestly, there are usually tears once-a-month, occasionally a full waterfall tear-fest, but more often a few drops during worship. I'm not even a crier, but this is a deep grief for me. But now when the tears come, I'm not alone. I once scoured the internet for women who would understand me, but I was avoiding the God who searches and knows everything in me. I pushed him out when all He longed to do was swoop me into his arms and comfort my sorrow. Through the good news of the Gospel--that Jesus came to bind up the brokenhearted and set the captives free, that can make my old pain into a new creation--my grief has a purpose.
Now when I cry over the loss of my dream, the Holy Spirit groans before God on my behalf and Jesus intercedes at his right hand. They aren't petitioning for me to receive my daughter, but that I would receive more of God through my loss. Because a daughter doesn't give me life, Jesus already did that. Because a daughter isn't the only way God can fulfill my calling to minister to women. Because a daughter won't guarantee that I'll never feel lonely or left out. Because not having a daughter doesn't mean I won't have a best friend. Because the purpose of my life isn't motherhood. And because my desire for a daughter can still serve a purpose, even if I never get one. Not having a daughter keeps me pursuing more of God, and that is the best gift my soul can receive.
So I may always be sad, but I won't ever be alone. This grief doesn't have to be meaningless. May it serve its slow sanctification, for my good and for his glory.
"Sovereign" by Chris Tomlin
In your everlasting arms
All the pieces of my life
From beginning to the end
I can trust you
In your never failing love
You work everything for good
God whatever comes my way
I will trust you