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Monday, March 2, 2015

What do I avoid praying for?

I had a great conversation recently about fear, admitting the things that we really hope to receive, and how we pray for them. I was asked what it was that I desired most but didn't pray about and without thinking about what my "right" answer should be, I blurted out, "a family". As soon as it came out, I laughed at my own ridiculousness. Seriously, that is the thing I am not praying for? As if God, and everyone who knows me, wouldn't already know that is the answer to that question. Or maybe it isn't as known as I think? So why in all of my time praying am I not asking for it? Maybe my fear of not getting it had gotten in the way of truthfulness or maybe I was scared that God would answer my prayer and then what. My heart is already known but there is great freedom, love, and peacefulness in actually requesting it so that it can be known in a greater way.

As I started to ask for the courage to admit what was on my heart, I began writing because I often find my truest thoughts in that space. A lot of my imagination for writing happens in letter format so I wasn't surprised when without analyzing or questioning, out came this little letter to a future child that I hope to have with a future husband. All unknown and fully honest. And this little letter brought tears to my eyes, not because it said anything profound, but because it came out of the most vulnerable part of my heart.

Even as I am about to hit the publish button, I cringe, hesitating to let you all into this vulnerable space. I decided to share it with all of you anyway, not only to share what is on my heart, but to encourage you to explore those spaces in yourself where you are suppressing requests or feeling fearful.

Dear little one,

I spent almost my whole life hoping that I would someday be entrusted with you. It is taking a long time to grow me and make me ready to be your mom, but we will get there, and I'll still be learning. I might be terrified, by the way, but will arise each day loving and pursuing you, knowing that God will provide what I need to be your mom.

I dream about the possibilities of who you might become and all of the things that I hope we teach you. There is a great big world out there full of people who live, eat, look, and think differently than we do at home. I hope we take you to places where you can learn to love and appreciate people who are like us and those that may seem different. I want you to really know people and be ignited by places and experiences that excite you. I hope that you love learning, discovering, creating, and playing. I hope that you enjoy fun and silly moments that seem small now but will one day be big. I pray that you will never fear for where you will sleep, know hunger, or lack education, but that you have a heart for those that do. I hope that you experience failure so that you learn perfection isn't the goal. On any given day, let the soundtrack to our life be laughter and humility. For the days that we do it all well, there will be many others that one or all of us in this family will miss the mark on loving each other well. At home, we will do love, prayer, service, kindness, apologies, forgiveness, learning, and then more love. I envision that the table will be the centerpiece of our home where we will share meals, life, devotions, and learning. I hope that you have a heart that makes the whole world feel like home. I pray that I trust not in my own expectations but rather in the purpose that has been designed for you, just like my parents did for me. In moments when you aren't sure if you even like us, we will still pursue you, because we are pursued that way. You may grow up to be many things, but I hope that we teach you most about pursuing God and knowing His love which is greater than anything your dad or I could ever give you.

Speaking of your dad, I'm writing you this before this is even close to being a reality, which is probably crazy, but your momma is a dreamer. Blame it on literature. I haven't even said yes to one of the biggest questions I will ever be asked. When I say yes to your dad, I know that my faith will have grown bigger than my trust in him. While I'm sure your dad will ask in a special way with a pretty ring, it matters most that we commit to pursuing a life together that is rooted in faith, love and service. We will be two people who are flawed, perfectly made and full of love for each other. I hope you see and learn from the choices that we make to remain in that love.

While I don't know when you will arrive or if I will ever actually be called mom by you, I'll trust in the plan that is for my life, knowing that it will not have loose ends and all of the chapters will be in the right order.