I painted a bedroom in my house this weekend. Riveting opener, I know.
When we moved into this place in May, we knew it was with intentions of growing our family, so we left the bedroom upstairs next to ours empty. It’s acted mostly as a storage space for the last 5 months. I keep the door shut, partially because it’s a mess in there and partially because if I don’t look at it, maybe I don’t have to think about it for what it really is:
The empty space that we long for God to fill.
The whole process has been vulnerable, really — the mountains of paperwork that almost felt like they were mocking me all summer, the emotionally exposing home study, the fund raising that uproots every ounce of fear and insecurity in my being — and those are just the major ones.
The empty bedroom in my house, though — that is the thing that scares me the most.
My in-laws were in town two weeks ago, and while they were here we went to look at nursery furniture. The second I stepped into Pottery Barn Kids that day, my stomach was in my throat. I walked around somewhat in a daze, wondering what in the world I was even supposed to be feeling.
I wrestled with God in my heart that day about how I wish I could feel celebratory, but I just feel guarded. It seems like everyone else celebrates their way through growing their families, and we have done nothing but ache and question. It’s sobering, when you’ve fought some losing fights and not received the miracle you were asking for.
I wish I felt more celebratory about it at this stage of the process. I’ve had so many people walk up to me at church in the last couple of weeks since our big fund raising push to congratulate me, and my response feels so empty.
I always smile and say thank you, and tell them how excited we are, and those words are true. But sometimes what I wish I could say instead is, “Thanks. I’m really scared, and my heart still aches for my babies in Heaven, and some days I’m not even really sure I believe that God will give us a family on this side of Heaven. But we’re going to keep asking Him to, and we’re really thankful for all the people in our life that are asking Him with us.”
So as we get ready to be matched with a birth mom and eventually bring home a baby, the logical next thing to do is begin to prepare that empty room I’ve been ignoring for months.
It feels so risky to make room. Foolish, even. Yet I know no other way than to believe that the promise in Psalm 25 is true, “No one who hopes in the Lord will ever be put to shame.”
I wonder what Noah felt like, building that ark with no rain in sight. Yet if he hadn’t, there would have never been an opportunity to see the promise after the flood. Sometimes obedience is a foolish risk.
So, foolish as it feels, we decided to start making room.
We went to Home Depot (a labor of love in itself, because I kind of hate that place) and bought some white paint, and all weekend, I painted what will soon be a nursery.
I thought about how it seemed prophetic, while I was spackling parts of the walls before painting, filling holes and smoothing edges, that maybe something of this process is being mirrored in my spirit.
I prayed and I worshiped as I painted those walls over and over (because white paint on green walls equals more coats than anyone has actual patience for), sometimes crying, sometimes smiling in wonder of the little life that will grow in that room. I prayed over this baby, whoever they are, wherever they are, and the sweet woman who’s carrying a life that she will choose to entrust to us.
At one point I looked down at my paint-covered hands, and I couldn’t help remembering the way they looked on that night two months ago, covered in the blood of another lost life. Now here they were, washed in white with the risky hope of redemption, and that felt prophetic too.
We don’t get to know when or how God’s promises for our lives will be fulfilled. And the more I grow up, the more I believe that’s probably His grace.
Our job is to hope with open hands — or in my case, and open bedroom. Knowing at the end of it all, our hope is not in an outcome. He is our hope. Firm and secure, as an anchor for our souls. Steadfast. Unshaken. Immovable.
And you know what I’ve learned about making room?
He always fills my hollow spaces with bigger Hope.