“I have learned that faith means trusting in advance what will only makes sense in reverse”
This is a quote by Philip Yancey, and when I read it, it really stuck with me and had me thinking. It is one of those “If I knew then what I know now” type thoughts. As young children and even through adolescence our naïve and innocent selves have an idea of how our life will go. “When I grow up…” or “When I have kids…” or “Someday I’m going to…” are the way most of our sentences start. We are worry free and confident that all will go as planned and we trust that. We have an immature faith that hasn’t been tested or grown.
As we grow and mature and learn life’s lessons we are tested in our faith. Our pastor this week said it is ok to have a struggle between faith and doubt. I believe that is a natural thing to experience especially when your life plan doesn’t go as you had it planned in your young mind.
I look back on my journey to becoming a mother and my faith. They parallel one another. As a young girl I knew someday I would be married and have kids. I also went to church every Sunday. We went to confession and made our first communion…all the traditional Catholic practices. When we went to church it was the whole family, no wearing jeans, no standing in the back with our friends…we sat in the first or second row and we were forced to pay attention. Back then I didn’t feel like it was anything more than a mundane routine that was expected of us. I felt as tho the sermon was a boring lecture. As I got older and went off to college I didn’t go to church. I drifted away from any faith, religion or prayer. It was also the time I was 18 and a scared pregnant teen. I chose adoption, but that changed when the birth father changed his mind and fought to have custody. I was hurt angry and saddened my baby wouldn’t have the life I had envisioned and planned for him.
Years would go by and I didn’t give church much thought. Mike and I got married in a hotel by our wonderful neighbor friend who was a pastor. Once we decided we were ready to start a family we thought finding a church might be a good idea. We weren’t sure where tho. We both grew up catholic and we didn’t care so much about a specific religion, but finding a church that felt right to us. We tried a few – nothing felt like home. At this time we were struggling with infertility and receiving the punch to the gut news that I could not conceive. I was convinced God was punishing me for choosing adoption years earlier. I was loosing faith in him. I was angry at God and the world.
As we switched ironically switched our focus on adoption and being blessed with two beautiful daughters, I had the moment. The moment that maybe, just maybe God knew what he was doing. I sat in the yard one summer afternoon with the warmth of the sun on my face when it hit me….God was showing me how beautiful it was to be on the receiving end of adoption. Not punishing me for choosing adoption with my son, but blessing me with the beauty of it all. It really was an amazing feeling. This was also around the time we found a church that felt like home as soon as we walked through the doors. We went every week – loved every sermon – went home after feeling like I had the strength and good vibes to get through another week!
As I was happy and fulfilled in a church that I loved I started to believe more and more that God does know and we need to just trust. This is when I found my birth son. I knew his name because of the circumstances and his father raising him. I believe God knew it was the right time in my life for us to meet. Finding him, meeting him and having our relationship grow in a positive way without resentment or anger was a gift, from God. What I find ironic now is that my son’s father had a strong belief and trust in God back then and continues today. Him and his wife gave Joshua all the things I had wanted for him when I had my adoption plan. wow.
I have learned that doubting is part of a process we go through when we need answers to the hard stuff. We might not get those answers until we have gone through it and can reflect back. I look back on my journey to becoming a mom and feel full of love and amazement. It wasn’t an easy road to journey on, but looking back on it as a whole…it makes sense now. I have learned you need to let go of the control and trust that someone bigger and greater leads your journey. You need to trust in God and your faith.