Desiring Change

Sometimes change comes in stages, it’s not always easy to let go of things or embrace new ones and, for sure, I have had to (and probably will continue to) marinate a while for this change.  I don’t really talk about it much but for a long time I have really, really wanted to have a daughter. It’s not something that is generally accepted as a valid feeling, most people write you off with a trite saying about being thankful or, even better, “Girls are much harder than boys. You’re lucky!” I have one friend,  also with three boys, who told me when I found out I was pregnant with number three, “It is okay to be sad.” A huge thank you to her because being sad doesn’t make me want to trade in what I have or mean that I am not a good mom. It just means that I’m sad.

After son number one, I was good, I still had time. After son number two I thought, ok it’s going to be lucky number three. After son number three things werent’ so optimistic, my odds are not looking so good and the realization that I might never get to have a mother-daughter relationship with my child comes into sharp focus. It also brings up ALOT of questions as to what my future looks like and it can make me feel like a crazy person. I have come out of a period where I, literally, think about having a daughter every single day and what that means for a next pregnancy and if we will try again or is this really it and what in the world will I do with four boys if we do and how to wrap my head around what God wants for our family and how that might not line up with my desires and how to let that go….the list feels endless and, at times, overwhelming. Then one day I read this:

“I hear people use the verse. ‘Delight thyself also in the LORD; & he shall give thee the desires of thine heart,’ (Ps 37:4) to justify the notion that if you go to church often, say a few prayers & quote preselected scriptures, that you can ‘live in prosperity & pretty much have it your way.’ Actually if you break the scripture down, what it really says is that if you delight to know Him then He will ‘give you the desires’, meaning the desires you have imagined may not be what He had in mind.” (Taken from La Vigne on facebook, Sept 12, 2011).

To put it plainly, it was very convicting. Partly because there is a very irrational side of myself that feels like God owes me a daughter, a yes to my prayer, because haven’t I put in my time with three boys? Aren’t I praying fervently enough? If I let go and give in to acceptance are you just going to give me another boy? (I gave you fair warning it was irrational!) I know that God owes me nothing, in fact, he has already given me an unmeasurable amount of grace, and still my flesh wrestles with earning His merit, especially in the arena of prayer.

A few weeks later I had this conversation with my 5-year-old: He says, “Mom, what happens when God does give us what we want?” I reply, “Well, then that would be a time to be thankful.” He asks, “What happens when God doesn’t give us what we want?” I answer, “Then it is probably time that we pray that God would change what our heart wants and ask God to make it match what he wants for us.”  Honestly, I couldn’t believe that something so profound and wise had actually come out of my mouth. I was giving him an answer that I wasn’t even applying in my own life. I had to turn away from him because I didn’t want him to see me cry, I didn’t want him to think that his question had upset me.

So where do I go from here? I know I can’t effect any kind of change on my own but God has graciously sent me many reminders that this change has to happen. I don’t know if my desire to have a daughter will change or my acceptance of what God has planned for our family will increase. I also know that the more time I spend in prayer, in the word, asking GOD to initiate and complete the change of my heart the more I feel at peace with each passing day. I am pretty sure that this is how a pickle feels and God is not going to let me out of the brine, so to speak, until I am fully changed and as hard as it is, I am so thankful that He will never give up on me.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Ceci McNeal on 26 October 11 at 11:01 am

    Ashley dearest, this writing brings tears to my eyes!! I really do feel the pain you are experiencing. I completely understand the battle going on in your mind and emotions. …I have had desires in another area of my life where it seems God has turned a deaf ear to the cries of my heart. He keeps turning my attention to His beautiful face and tells me to give it ALL over to Him. I will love Him and serve Him NO MATTER what else is going on around me that makes my heart hurt from the “stuff” that can cause excruciating emotional pain at times. In the end, if I will not allow the root of bitterness to take root, and allow Him to do the work in me that He desires, the rewards will be great – much greater than those original desires.


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