Once a week Eliot and I head off to "school". We're actually going to our church's women's teaching ministry where I have real adult conversations and Eliot goes to play with his friends and learn about Bible stories. It's been a great fit for us. This semester we're studying the Psalms of the Bible. Each week has focused on a certain theme throughout that book of the Bible and some history behind it. It's been educational to say the least. We're blessed to have such a ministry available to us.
One theme is titled 'The Psalms of Lament' and these are focused on the particular chapters that deal with David (or whatever author) being discontent with God's response to a plea, feeling deserted or ignored or punished by God but through the process of honesty, coming to a stronger trust than ever in God's plan.
A couple weeks before that lesson, one of the leaders called to ask if I (along with a few others) would be willing to write a psalm of lament in my own words about our adoption journey, knowing it was such a beast. I agreed but as I thought about it, the infertility was fresh and painful. If I was truly going to be honest with this commitment, my direction needed to focus on where I'm at right now. My heart was raw over this and I could think of LOTS of things to write about my disappointment on this issue. The adoption journey seems happy now since there's a little Mayan squeezing my neck. So, I sat down one afternoon and started typing. I feel a little exposed putting it out there, but for what it's worth, here's what came out:
How long, O Lord, How long?
Hear my heart’s cry, acknowledge my constant stream of tears even though I am too weary to cry
How long will you keep me on this road, in this valley?
Lord, my arms are full but my couch is empty.
Do you plant a desire in the depths of my heart only to dangle it just out of reach?
With a simple decision between two, a life is created
for those surrounding me.
ALL around me, All the time
Yet we’ve prayed, wept, clung, wrestled, bled,
wondered, trusted, mourned, dreamt, pleaded, failed, offered, paid, grieved, encouraged, hoped and praised.
I thought by now you would have reached down and brought glory to your kingdom through our fertility, that you would have stepped in and answered the prayers of so many over so many years, but our couch is still empty.
Do you hear Hannah’s cry in me?
Do you feel Jacob’s wrestling from me?
Do you see Sarah’s doubt in my laughter?
I am armed for a fight but unsure of who my opponent is since You are the Giver of Life.
How do you choose when to bless and when to ask us for patience?
How do I find your unfailing love in this? It’s bigger and deeper but I can’t find it.
Can I humble myself and praise you in the mire or give in to the confusion and disappointment?
My broken heart is failing me and I feel as though I need to remind you that You don’t know what you’re doing with my life.
I want you to see this my way, not yours.
Lord, I am so tired, so weary, so thirsty.
The pain is real, it is never distant,
But... you aren’t either.
You are holding me tightly though I push against you.
Though there is no physical sign to hope in, yet my hope is in You.
Day and night I am surrounded by your blessings.
Your mercies are new every morning, your promises and your ways always on my heart.
No matter what the journey brings, You are my prize
You are my reward.
You are forever gracious and good.
You are good, Lord, you are good.
You weep when I weep.
You hold me together when I feel broken.
You pour your living water over my cracked and peeling dreams,
dreams that are as close to your heart as mine.
You remind me that even in a fallen world, you will be praised.
When my lips fail me, your spirit holds up my arms in worship.
Even though I can’t find it, I trust in your unfailing love.
I will wait for you Lord.
In this valley, I will trust.