SHE HEARD is the first for-purchase devotional published by Deliberate Women. Over the next eight weeks, we'll be reading reflections written by our readers of the eight Biblical women featured in SHE HEARD. Up today: HANNAH
“No, God anything but this. Please Lord, don’t take her away.”
Tears of anguish rolled down my face as I sat on the floor of Kmart that day. The very thing I had prayed for – the child I had longed for – was slowly slipping from my hands. The words on the other end of the phone that day were not the ones I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear “She is all yours. Birthmom has signed all the papers and your sweet baby girl is ready for you to come and get her.” Instead, the words I heard were “I am so sorry. They just don’t know that they can go through with this. They know it is best- but their hearts are torn. It isn’t you- but they are not sure they are going to go through with their adoption plan.”
Just the day before, I felt like I had every one of my heart's desires. I had met that beautiful baby girl and looked deep into her brown eyes. I touched her soft, brown curls and caressed her sweet cheeks. One day later, it was all over, almost as quickly as it had begun.
I can relate to the story of Hannah in such a real way. Like Hannah, I have a barren womb. I long told hold a child of my very own. Like Hannah, I have promised the Lord something that goes along with the desire of my heart.
My promise to God- is that He gets the glory.
No, I haven’t promised to give my child over to the priest so that they can live with them – but I have promised Him that I would give Him the glory in every aspect of this adoption story. I have promised Him that I would share His love and His truth every opportunity I got. I have promised to raise this child to love Him, and to honor Him – to the best of my ability.
I have promised God glory.
But, glory doesn’t always come from happily ever after. Actually, if I have learned anything over the last two years, and two failed adoptions- it is that God often gets the glory where it hurts the most.
Because in our weakness, He is strong.
If I wasn’t weak – He wouldn’t get the glory.
Yet, even in these hard moments- and even in Hannah’s hard moments- we can walk by faith. We can choose to take our ordinary, every day lives, and sow seeds of worship. We give live sacrifices of praise to God.
As I continue to read Hannah’s story though, I am reminded of the women who every day make hard choices: Choices to love their children enough to let someone else raise them; to want what is best for them above and beyond what we want or think is best- because ultimately, God is in control. These women, they may not all be thinking about God and what He wants- but He is using them to weave stories of grace and glory throughout our world.
One month later, I still don’t know why my life was weaved with that birth mom – but I do know this: God has gotten the glory. Even when it is hard, even when it hurts beyond belief – we have allowed the Lord to shine through this moment. Sure, we have asked a lot of questions and cried a lot of tears. Yet, I can say this with the most assurance: My faith and love for the Lord is stronger now – now that I have seen that little girl, since I have met her strong mama, and since I have lost her – than it would have ever been without her. I have shared the gospel in ways and with people I would have never had the opportunity if it were not for my infertility and my adoption losses.
God has heard me- just as He heard Hannah. God has answered my prayer. More than once. These sweet babies, and their mamas, have been weaved in my story forever. I don’t always know why – or what is to come in their lives, but I know God needed me to enter their lives- even if just for a moment on the timeline of eternity.
Hannah had faith to trust her child to someone else. To let go – even of the most precious of possessions.
God has asked me to love children that I don’t get to raise. To trust Him that He has this. For His glory. One day, I know He will give me a child to hold, one that will stay in my house. It will be a story that could only have been written in Heaven above. Yet, it won’t just be bringing home the baby that will bring God the glory. It will be the glory He received through the moments of my deepest grief. He will get the glory through the way He has proven Himself faithful – and as I remain faithful to Him. He will get the ultimate glory.
I promised Him. He is a good, good, Father – and to Him all glory belongs.
Mandy Kelly grew up in what many would consider your “typical christian home”. She had a mom, a dad, and two siblings. Yet, what people didn’t always know was that she struggled with feelings of being unwanted. She didn’t know her biological father growing up, and although she had a Daddy who chose to love her unconditionally, she still struggled. However, at the age of thirteen, Mandy surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ, accepting God as her Abba Father. From there, she's never looked back. She forgave the man who had never known how to love her- and moved forward.
She had struggles along the way – and you can read more about those over at her blog testimony page– She truly feels like she has lived a life of grace. She's had real struggles. She knows what it is like to be single and waiting- She didn’t get married until almost 30 – and she watched everyone around her speed past her. Before she married, she was diagnosed with Infertility– and lived in silence for almost 5 years before sharing that struggle. She married a widow – and became a bonus mom to three kids. She has loved, and lost. She has been in ministry and been burned.
Yet the one thing that got her through so many of her struggles was Worship. Not just the corporate worship on Sunday – but real, authentic worship. She learned that worship was more than the songs that you sang in church – but worship was a way of life.
Find Mandy at her blog Worshipful Living
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