Ever since I was a little girl I knew that when I grew up, I wanted to be a mom. I always imagined my adult life with kids. So after a year of marriage, it was time to start our family and I had it all planned out. Unfortunately, God had other plans. His ways were not my ways. Weeks of trying turned into months and months passed the year mark, and then two, and then three. The doctors could give us no answers; just more hormones and invasive procedures. Our options were running out. Even our great health insurance had limits on the number of drug and treatment cycles and we had reached them. The month of May was the end of the road. When that cycle didn’t result in a pregnancy, we were left with nothing but a cupboard of empty drug vials, devastation and hopelessness. It was rock bottom. Why would God have put such a huge desire in my heart if He wasn’t going to let me be a mom? Believe me, I asked. I begged. I pleaded and when those didn’t work, I got mad and was brutally honest with Him. Matt was grateful He didn’t strike me dead on those occasions. It was real, it was raw, and it wasn’t pretty. He didn’t answer me with any reassuring revelation or overwhelming peace or even a strike a lightning. Nothing. After that, we just stopped talking about it. It was just too painful.
Sometime in June, Matt attended a 2-weekend worship conference. There he reconnected with a friend who used to attend our church. She was a wise Christian woman. The type of women who when she spoke, you listened, partly because she was also a southern black woman who didn’t mess around. She asked how we were, and Matt filled her in on our struggles. She promised to pray for us and he was grateful. The next weekend she sought him out and marched right up and with full authority told him “I have a word from the Lord for you.” She then proceeded to tell him that we were to read and meditate on two pieces of scripture for 7 days and “then you’ll get pregnant.” Now my husband is a wise man, so he did the smartest thing at that moment and chose not to tell his distraught wife that reading was going to get her pregnant.
But by mid-July, I was restless. Doing nothing was getting us nowhere and I’m a doer. In my mind we had 2 options. We either figured out how to pay for Invitro or we start the adoption process. While waiting for a movie to start, I brought up my need to be proactive again. It was then that Matt shared what our friend had said. Really? Read? It seemed ridiculous but I was desperate enough, I was willing to do anything. I’d stand on my head for a week if that’s what it took. That night we began to read. The first scripture was 2 Kings 5.
5 Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the LORD had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.
2 Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife.
3 She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”
4 Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. 5 “By all means, go,” the king of Aram replied. “I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents[b] of silver, six thousand shekels[c] of gold and ten sets of clothing. 6 The letter that he took to the king of Israel read: “With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy.”
7 As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, “Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!”
8 When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: “Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.”
9 So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”
11 But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy.
12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.
13 Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!”
14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.
15 Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.” Now Naaman was mad that Elijah wouldn’t even come out to meet him and then was mad when he was told to dip in the Jordan. I could understand that. But it was his servant’s response that stuck out to me. “if the prophet had told you to some great things would you not have done it? How much more then, when he tells you [to wash].” I had told God I would go across the globe if that’s where He had a child for me. I’d foster, I’d go through all the procedures, I’d stand on my head. Instead, He said to simply read for 1 week. The second passage we were to read was Psalm 51. This one confused me. This is the psalm of David after he was caught with Bathsheba. As far as I knew this was not our problem. Matt had probably remembered the wrong chapter, still we read it anyway. Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, this was getting monotonous. About the 5th day reading verse 5 jumped out at me. “let the bones you have crushed, rejoice.” I had broken one bone in my life and I can guarantee there was no rejoicing at any part of it. What an odd statement. I asked Matt about it. His answer came straight from God. He explained that sometimes you see a picture of a shepherd and he has a little lamb on his shoulders. When lambs were little, they would often wander off. So the shepherd would break one of their legs and then carry the lamb while it healed as a way to teach it to stay close to the shepherd. Could it be that God had allowed me to be broken month after month for year after year to teach me to stay close to Him? We were not wrong. This was the exact chapter and verses He wanted us to read. We continued reading and praying through day 7 not knowing what His plan was but knowing He was close and for the moment, that was enough. The very next morning (day 8) the pregnancy test was positive! It was truly a miracle. Months of morning sickness, crazy cravings and an aching back were nothing compared to the joy we now had overflowing.
On April 24th, we welcomed our 8lb 11oz healthy baby boy, Lucas Matthew. Lucas means ‘bringer of light’ and he certainly is. God had brought us light from our deepest darkness. When it was announced at our small church that he had arrived, another friend looked up Luke 8:11. It’s in the parable of the sower and Jesus explains in vs 11 “Now the parable is this: the seed is the Word of God.” Wow. That verse has been framed in Lucas’ room ever since. I have no idea what God has in store for Lucas but I know with certainty that His hand is upon him in a special way. On this, his 17th birthday I am once again reminded of God’s faithfulness and His desire to give all His children amazing gifts; if we only stay close to Him. I pray that this story, our story, will encourage you wherever you are. Maybe you’re at rock bottom, throwing a temper tantrum at God because life is not going as you planned. Its ok. He’s a big God and He can take it. But He’s not going to get in a shouting match with you. When you’re done venting, remember to start listening. He’ll begin to start speaking when you’re finally really ready to listen. Or maybe you’re like Naaman and you have unfulfilled expectations and desires. You want to make an impact for the kingdom, but you’re stuck changing diapers and wiping noses or sitting behind a desk pushing papers. Sometimes the greatest things you can do for Him, are the simplest. Simple obedience to the seemingly small things God has called you to can often be the most powerful testimonies of His goodness. Or maybe you’re just a pile of crushed bones. You can’t image being able to rejoice over anything. It’s at these painful moments that He just wants to carry you on his shoulders while you heal. Let Him. Use the time to learn to hear your shepherd’s voice and follow Him.
I think we all have our own ‘Lucas story’ to tell in life. A time when God asks you to walk a road you don’t want to walk. To go through something too big or too hard to handle on your own. A time when He asks you to be obedient to the illogical or the simply mundane. Its these times in life He’s wanting to show His children just how big of a God He is. Because it’s not really your story anyway; it HIS story. His story of faithfulness, of patience, of blessing, of miracles. So go tell the world His story in your life to someone today.