#StainedGlassDec guest post by Wynne Elder
I met Wynne at a conference in August of 2013. It was kind of a last minute deal for me, and I wasn’t sure what to expect or what God had in store for my weekend. A few mini conversations and a couple of meals shared later, a deep connection was made and I knew I was walking away with a friend I’d carry deeply for the long haul. What I didn’t know, though, was that the year and a half to follow would begin my journey of walking through infertility. Oh, but I’m so grateful that God knew. I’m so thankful that at just the time I needed to know someone who had gone before me on this treacherous journey, God dropped her right into my life in the most unlikely of ways. Wynne is a deep well and a beautifully surrendered soul. Enjoy this little piece of her story.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than you thoughts” Isaiah 55:8-9
If I could, I would sit down with you for coffee and share with you my story. The one that starts when I was a girl, and goes into how I grew up, and what my hopes, dreams and expectations for my life were. Mostly, I hoped to live the good ole “American dream” modeled for me by pretty much everyone I knew. Go to college, get an education, get married, start a family, go on nice vacations, and you know… live happily ever after.
Life did not go as planned after the “get married” part of the script. This year we celebrate 8 years of marriage + it’s crazy to look back and see our lives the past few years have been totally wrecked. Gloriously ruined as we like to call it. Every dream or expectation for my life has been shattered — but in their place are new dreams. New passions from the Lord. A new relationship with Him that I would not know if things went “my way.”
I always dreamed of running a Christian summer camp. It was my “calling” – my major in college, my passion, my dream job. Then one day, God revealed that instead of this “summer camp” I dreamed of and readied myself for – he had something else, another camp. This “camp” would 2 years later be revealed as my son, Camp.
Formerly an orphan living in Ethiopia, this little boy would now be the picture of the new dreams and passions God put on my heart. To love the orphan + to be a family to those who have none… and bringing him and his sister home? It redeemed all the pain of waiting for them. Made my [at that point] 3 year battle with infertility make sense. It sure as heck wasn’t something I would have chosen or planned, but it was His plan, and it was [and is] beautiful.
You see, the road to parenthood… was and still is a broken one for us. Just like the Lord put a desire in my heart to be passionate about summer camps, He overnight gave me a desire (before “my timing”) to be a mama! That was in 2009. What I didn’t expect was at 30 to still be waiting on God’s promise and healing and to carry life inside my womb.
So many things have gone wrong the past 5.5 years. Miscarriage, loss, heartbreak, lost adoption referal, financial issues, loss of friendships, pain…. but something beautiful has happened in all this pain.
The sweet Lord has drawn me to him in ways I never had experienced before. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart”. Through the waiting, I’ve been desperate for Him. He is all I have. This place of desperation and crying out to the Lord has been magnified in my waiting. Adoption + biological baby waiting.
He’s showing me what it means to be His daughter. He’s taught me more about his love, redemption, freedom, and my own adoption as his daughter than I could have known before.
His plans are so much better. He knows, when we don’t. I stand at the door of a big move across the state, and so much looms in the air. What’s next? When will my healing come? I still don’t have answers to those questions, but I do know that God is good and he is for MY joy and HIS glory! God can do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine [Ephesians 3:20] and He has done that in our lives.
He is drawing me near to him, in my desperation, to seek Him alone. To have hope in him alone. Hope means expecting God to come through, expecting him to do what he’s capable of. I’ve lived so long not believing I’m worthy of his love or plans for my life – but I’m asking him daily to show me his love for me as his beloved daughter. To reveal himself as healer and as father.
And now, well I’m just bracing myself for what’s to come. Grab your popcorn, and watch the story unfold. His plans may not be my plans, but they are for my joy and they are better than anything I could dream up on my own.
Vulnerable, authentic and free are words that best describe who Wynne is. Wildly in love with Jesus and asking for His grace everyday is her song. Life with two toddlers is no walk in the park, but her little Ethiopians make her come alive. Married to her best friend for 8 years, Wynne and Stephen seek to live a great story every day.They are pushing into all God has for them, loving people, and saying YES to the crazy, awesome, & exciting story He’s writing. Things that stir Wynne’s affections for Chirst: traveling, new cities, coffee and a sunny day on the lake.