Thursday, May 12, 2011

A baby and a blanket..

A baby and a blanket

I pulled her off the bookshelf,

This sweet “real-life” baby of mine

I’d ‘adopted’ her from Guatemala

A ‘mother’ when I was but nine.

I could dress her in clothes from garage sales

And take her on walks on the trail

They would ask, “Oh, she’s your sister?”

Just a doll, and my heart let out a wail.

She’s been sitting on a powder-pink blanket,

Just right for a toddler to hold.

Each stitch I’d sewed for my sister,

But my dreams were much too bold.

So I packed them away for a daughter,

Trusting someday there will be,

A sweet baby girl to swaddle,

In that pink blanket made by 13-year old me.

While filled with bittersweet memories of dreams unfulfilled,

This trip down memory lane had a purpose.

For through the sorrow I see such growth, such glory,

In the Lord and His ever-lasting goodness.


Since coming home from school, I've rearranged my room and decided to take some of my old decorations down. I had too many pictures of Claudia up, old crafts that I still had displayed, my first toe shoes still hanging on the wall. All sweet memories of the past, yet I felt like it was time for my room to grow up with me. I didn't expect it to be so hard to take some of those things off the walls. A frame of Claudia and I with the words "hope" and "dream" on it. Oh how those definitions have changed in the past few years. My girlhood dreams of having a sister and adopting went unfulfilled. All bitterness is gone, yet the sting of those years is still fresh. Those nights that I laid in bed asking God why dust was collecting on my top bunk instead of a little sister sleeping there. The nights that I wondered why we couldn't just adopt one orphan.

All of those memories flooded back as I took that baby doll and quilt off the shelf. That doll was as close to a real baby as I could make her. I played for hours and hours with Mariana (the doll's name). When I got her for my birthday, I wrote a story about how her parents were killed in a mudslide in Guatemala and how I got to adopt her. So funny when I look back on it, yet so beautiful to see the Lord working in my young heart already. I went to garage sales and paid for baby clothes with quarters. She had several outfits, diaper bag, and stroller. I was a mama to that little baby and was proud of it. My heart still longed for a real baby sister though, and I nagged and nagged and prayed and prayed. I met Claudia, who I was sure would be my sister. I sewed a pink and purple quilt but a child never came. I thought the Lord didn't hear.

John 12:24 says, "Truly, truly, I say to you,(A) unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." I experienced some of the most painful yet beautiful times with the Lord as I surrendered this longing of my heart to Him. It was a slow process, and I can think of several particular moments where He really worked on my heart as I gave a little more up to Him. The seed had to die. The dream of my family adopting had to die so that the Lord could grow that passion in me to bear fruit. The Lord plants desires in our hearts that He might further the kingdom through them. I have no doubt that He gave me this burden for the orphan, even at the age of 8. But just as He molds our hearts, He must mold our vision. His intent was not for me to be a big sister to the orphan. I still don't entirely know what my role is for the orphan. But now (by God's grace alone!) I hold that "seed" with hands wide open. He may do with it what He pleases. Lord willing, it will be through advocating for the orphan, working at an adoption agency, and adopting my own precious ones. But it is HIS seed, HIS purpose for my life. Mariana and that simple blanket were all just a part of growing the plant. It is the most powerful experience to see the Lord do this in Your heart. All glory goes to Him, and He is so faithful.

So it was with a heavy heart that I folded up that blanket. I prayed that someday I'll see a little girl from another country dragging it around my house, worn from lots of snuggling in a rocking chair with her mama (me). :) That would make my heart so happy. I wait with eager expectation to see where the Lord takes this journey. I was reminded tonight that my roots are settled in His mercy and grace, and I am ready to spread the branches out and serve. And all thanks to a baby and a blanket.


Sharon said...

So sweet to hear Molly! As I am here with William and his family I am realizing just how strong my desire is to adopt my own little one! It's so great to see what God is doing in your life, and I can't wait to celebrate with you when your dream comes true!

Annie said...

That was so beautiful...and it's amazing how closely it parallels my own story so far! I know God has a purpose for giving us hearts and visions to serve orphans, even if it will never be as their big sisters. I don't understand it completely, but as you said so well, He is still good and can grow beautiful fruit for the fatherless in our lives when we surrender our little seeds to Him. Can't wait to see what He will do with all of us in the future!