It was July 17, 2006. A lot of stuff was going through my mind that day, but most importantly was that the next day was Super Rock Star's birthday. It was a milestone birthday and just a few days earlier I had surprised him with a party at our home with so many of our good friends. For those of you that don't know Super Rock Star, I'll let you in on a little secret--birthdays are NOT his favorite. Oh sure, he likes the presents and cake and such--but growing another year older? Especially, a milestone year? Forget about it! He was NOT looking forward to the next day. I tease him all the time that he probably started having his first mid-life crisis at the age of 10. "Ten-- I'm in the double digits now. It's too late for me." I do give him a hard time, but I also understand so well now--getting older ain't that fun.
I remember I was driving home from work and I was talking out loud to God--which is pretty common for me--but that day it was for a very specific purpose. I was "late". And I don't mean late for an appointment. It was not the first time I had been late--I had taken many pregnancy tests before and all had turned out negative. I knew I had one leftover test at home and I was trying to muster the courage to face yet another let down.
But, let me take you back a few years. When Super Rock Star and I first got married, we both longed for children, but we really didn't start "trying" until about 4 years into our marriage. We started off the way so many young couples do--just having the expectation that it would just happen. When a couple of years passed and still no positive pregnancy test, we started to feel a little more desperate--reading pamphlets and talking to friends and family. "Just relax", they said, "stress always gets in the way." But, how can you NOT stress? Two years had passed since we started trying--something must be wrong. We visited our doctors, we took tests. The words "healthy" and "normal" buzzed through our heads. That should have given us some sort of encouragement, but instead it just brought further frustration. "If we're so healthy and normal, why are we not getting pregnant?" After a few more years of trying--I think we had both sort of given up on hoping for it. We stopped talking about it, I stopped telling him when I was late, I even hid the many pregnancy tests I took that all came out negative. We both retreated into our separate worlds of feeling unhappy, unfulfilled and isolated from the joy we knew so many others got to experience. It was a really dark and heavy time for us.
I know, full well, the deep agony of wanting a child so much and yet month after month, year after year--anxiously hoping and yet heartbroken over and over and over. Empty dreams, empty womb, empty home. I don't think--for those that long for children--there is any worse feeling of failure, shame and despair.
Of course I prayed about it. A lot. Well-meaning friends would often try to encourage me that I could be a "mother" type figure to all kids I came into contact with. It's a lovely idea and, for some, it may bring them great comfort, but for me--I just quite honestly wanted to scream--"YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND!!! THAT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!! IT'S JUST NOT FAIR!!!" I know. I know. Not very Christian of me. But, like I said, these were dark times. I often would ask God to either fulfill my desire or take away my desire, but to not leave me tormented with a longing that would forever go unfulfilled. It was about this time that I started running across the Bible story about Abraham and Sarah (you know the couple in the Bible that had to wait until they were in their NINETIES to have their first and only son). It came up seemingly everywhere I went--at church, at Bible study, in conversations with friends. I swear I saw it posted on a billboard at one point (o.k. that might be a SLIGHT exaggeration, but it was starting to feel that way). After about the 20th time of coming across this story in a six month time span, I rolled my eyes up to heaven said it right out loud: "That's NOT funny, Lord!"
Back to my drive home. My conversation with God went something like this (and when I say "conversation"--I was talking out loud to God and hearing His voice in my head):
Me: It's o.k. I know if I'm not, but I'm going to take the test just to put it out of my mind.
God: But, what if you are?
Me: Stop joking. It's o.k. Really. I mean...I get it. I'm a big mess. I can barely take care of our dog and cat. Having a baby is probably more than I can handle. You know me best. That's probably why we haven't been able to get pregnant. I just wasn't ready to face the facts. It's all because of me. Poor Tim. He deserves to be a daddy. I hate to think he won't get to be one because of me. I just want it so badly for him. For us.
God: Yes, I DO know you best. And I believe you ARE ready.
Me: Stop. Please. I can't take any more disappointment. I don't want to believe that I'm really having this conversation with You only to realize it's just my own mind telling me what I want to hear--letting my hopes be raised again only to have them dashed. Please know--I'll be okay either way. I know I will still love You, I will try my best to serve You and be and become whatever it is You want me to be--even if that does not include being a mother.
God: I know you are ready because I know now that you WILL seek me. When you don't know what you're doing--which will be often--I know you will ask me. And I will help you.
I whooped! I hollered!.....And then I had a moment of doubt. That test had been buried in the back of that cabinet for a while. Maybe it wasn't accurate. So, I jumped back into my car, dashed to the drug store and bought a pack with two tests in it (hey, we're looking for undeniable proof. right?) I came back home. Positive. Positive.
I was GIDDY. I couldn't think straight or form an articulate thought or word other than "Thank You! Thank You! Thank You Lord Jesus!!" I must have picked the phone up and put it down a dozen times (kids, this is back before we all had cell phones stuffed in our back pockets--we had phones attached to walls. I know. Crazy.). I wanted to tell Super Rock Star IMMEDIATELY. But, I also wanted to make it a good surprise gift for him. If I had any doubts about the birthday gifts I was giving him that year (which I always do)--I knew I had a good one for this year!! He, as I mentioned before, was feeling a little down about his birthday. Add that to the dashed hopes about parenthood and some other heavy stuff going on in our lives--well, let's just say I knew his birthday was not expected to be celebrated much.
Anyway, we have a Christian book store close by and so I went there on a whim hoping to find some sort of memento to mark this oh so special occasion. They miraculously still had quite a few Father's Day gifts leftover from the previous month. I found this really cool pocket watch that said "World's Best Dad" on it. I also found some cute little baby socks--a pink pair and a blue pair. I came home, found a small gold box and placed one of the positive pregnancy tests on the bottom and the pocket watch and one of each color sock on top. I set the box on the table and waited for him to come home.
A short while later he came through the door. I could tell right away that he was in a bad mood--shoulder's slumped, grim face, and just a complete downcast look on his face. He noticed the small box on our table and reluctantly asked "What's this?" "It's for you", I said. "Jen, my birthday isn't until tomorrow--can't I just wait and open my gift then?" "I think you'll want to open this one now", I say. Heavy sigh from him. He reluctantly grabs the box and takes the lid off. And, he looks VERY confused. I'm not kidding. It took a full minute for him to register the contents of what was in the box and what they meant. But, as he realized it--he looked at me with a big smile and asked "Are you serious?" As I nodded vigorously--we both started crying and hugging and jumping up and down. And then. The EXACT same doubt that had hit me after taking the first test--hit him. "Are you sure? How many tests did you take?" Even when I told him I had taken 3 tests, we went to the store and bought another double pack. Positive. Positive. Yes, folks, we were that floored by this whole thing. I love it though. And I love that God did not seem even a little bothered by the fact that we wanted so much confirmation for such a long-awaited blessing. In fact, He seemed to be celebrating with us. The heavy cloud of despair that had been hanging over us for so long was lifted instantaneously.
On March 21, 2007--just a little over 8 months after that day--at 2:07 in the afternoon, I got to hear the most precious sound ever as Morgan Douglas Glenn made his squalling entrance into this world. Making me a Momma for the first time.
In 2 Kings 20:5 it says "I have heard your prayers, I have seen your tears, surely I will heal you". In Psalm 34:18 it says that "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit". In Psalm 30:11 it says "You turned my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness". My Great God chose that day nearly 10 years ago to give me the best gift I have EVER received. He gave me a new job description, a new title, a new role in this life and it is DEFINITELY the one I am the most proud of. God has given me a precious assignment and it is one I hope I will NEVER take for granted.
I longed for so many years to hear the pitter patter of little feet. These days it has turned into a thunderous roar as my two boys are getting bigger and bigger every year. As with all things we long for--we never really understand all the aspects of it--we imagine things in only the best way. A baby cooing in our arms rather than the colicky one that keeps us up all night with their screams. Holding our toddler by his tiny hand as we stroll through the zoo marveling at all of the wonderful creations rather than the head strong tantrum-throwing two-year-old that you find yourself locked in a battle of wills with. The elementary school years full of creative craft-adorned classrooms, hard working and learning well rather than the belligerent tear-infested mess of mean kids, school desks stuffed full of chaos, lost homework and weary looking teachers. I believe I was a much better parent before I actually became one.
Super Rock Star and I often marvel at our two little wonders. We try to remember what our lives were like before we became parents and for the life of us we can't figure it out. I honestly don't know what we did for entertainment. I have never laughed more and smiled so big as I have these past ten years. For every difficult moment there is an equal if not greater successful moment. For every tantrum and cross word spoken there are enumerable hugs and kisses and loves. For every teary-eyed sad moment there is the sound of the sweetest giggles I have every heard. I never get tired of seeing the look of pride in my husband's eyes when I catch him just enjoying them. We often lock eyes in those moments. It's like our remembrance of just how blessed we are. To say they are our pride and joy is a VAST understatement. We fully grasp the great gifts we have been given and neither of us ever wants to squander the enormous responsibility that we have been given to raise these beautiful boys into the men God created them to be.
Happy Mother's Day to all of you out there that have been privileged and blessed to be a part of this wonderful thing called Motherhood--the "seasoned" mothers, the "new" mothers, and the "soon-to-be" mothers. We are so lucky to get to have such an honor. And for my precious "longing-to-be" mother's--you have my deepest care-- as I know your ache so well. But, more importantly, God knows your ache. He sees your tears. He cares so much about your longing. I will pray for you the same prayer that I prayed for myself all those years ago --that God would fulfill your longing or remove your longing. I pray He will give you your hearts desire very soon.
God bless you all!