I was reflecting today on how drastically my world has changed in the past 4 years. Namely that 4 years ago I wasn't even married! And had no children. I did a guest blogpost when i was pregnant with our first son 3 years ago on what was it like moving overseas to serve the Lord as a single... not knowing if i would ever meet a man, get married or have a family.
I wrote... "it was hard as I thought about children and wondered as I watched little ones run around our church if I would ever experience the joy of motherhood."
I still remember that day. I remember watching those kids run around our church - I was 30, I had lived in Poland 6 years, and I had just had my heart broken... the words of this worship song had never been closer to my heart...
Blessed be Your name.
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name.
You give and take away
My heart will chose to say
Blessed be Your name...
but amidst my doubts and questions. I knew that God was good. And that He was worth it.
I was convinced when i moved to Poland 11 years ago... and still am that He is better. Like Psalm 34:10 says, "The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing." Or like CH Spurgeon once said, “Remember this: had any other condition been better for you than the one in which you are, divine love would have put you there.”
For all my single friends, who likewise have left "home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God". I have lived your loneliness and longing. I know there are no easy answers. And I can honestly say looking back that I see God's wisdom & sovereignty in my singleness, and what an amazing gift it truly was, though at times it was hard to see as i was living it.
Tears come to my eyes as i reflect on how good the Lord has been to me (and actually i'm still a little in disbelief that in a few short weeks we'll be a family of 5!)
... not only did he bring a godly man into my life, that has a heart for the kingdom of God and to make Him known where He is not known. But a man that loves me and children and desires to be a father who brings his children up to know and love the Lord!
... the Lord has given us 3 kids in 3 years! When I'm tempted to be overwhelmed by that fact, i am again reminded of God's sovereignty in all things including His timing of growing our family. When I think of the many who struggle to have kids - i realize how precious the gift of our children's lives are. And when i think back to my single days - i remember what an amazing and good God we serve... that there were times i thought i may have none, and now our home is full!
"Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the LORD, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.”
This is my story... I know that none of us have the guarantee how our stories will be written. But i hope that somehow my story brings hope to you of how good and faithful our God is. And ultimately that there is nothing better than knowing the 'storywriter', SEEKING after Him with your whole heart and life - and yes, even risking serving God at the risk of 'not being married' in doing so.
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."
- Jim Elliot