Four years ago I was preparing for my family of three to go to Haiti on a mission trip. I was rallying the fundraising efforts and preparing to lead our missions team. God was moving in my heart. He was breaking down walls and rebuilding others that had been previously destroyed or damaged. God was doing big things in my life, and I knew that. I always trusted in Him.
I had decided to put my notice in at work because I was ready to be a stay-at-home momma. I loved working in youth ministry, but it was incredibly clear to me that God was calling my heart to a different path. You see, my sweet little two and a half year old was the bomb. He was such a little slice of Heaven and I felt deep within my soul that I was meant to be a full time mom.
Before my husband and I got married, I remember having conversations with people about Natural Family Planning, especially while teaching Theology of the Body to the teens I worked with. Most of the time, a joke would come up about how we would have ten children and be driving a bus. Well, we were married, and sure enough, four months later that little stick had two pink lines, y’all. But, what I was not prepared for, while trying to conceive a second child, was the reality of infertility. I had not truly opened my heart to the scriptures that showed how God would open and close wombs. I had not considered He would ever close my womb, until now.
I began thinking that maybe we were supposed to be a missionary family, called to foster or adopt, or just bloom right where we were planted. I was not sure, so I asked God to make His will clear to us during this mission trip to Haiti. I hoped that God would reveal if that was where He wanted our little family to serve, or somewhere similar. Even if He chose not to reveal a single thing, I was determined to find joy and purpose in my daily life.
And you know what? I did. I was completely at peace with having one child, instead of the bus full I had thought of for so long. I was glad that my husband and I were at peace with the joy found in our little home. I was far from perfect, but looking back, I did experience true joy in this little desert God had led me to. I clinged to Him in my moments of doubt and my faith grew so much. My whole perspective as a woman, sister, friend, daughter, and human changed.
It taught me to love in new ways and release any judgement I may have. It taught me to embrace silence and to trust, unceasingly.
The year I spent with a closed womb, while begging God to fill it, has forever changed me. Tears come to my eyes as I write this, because I am so incredibly grateful for this season of my life and look back to it often. My heart was stretched in ways I did not think possible and I am reminded of the steadfast love of Jesus.
Now our family has gone on to welcome not only a second, but also a third child into our home. I know how incredibly fortunate we are to have even one child, let alone three.
So today, I will trust. When I cannot seem to find the courage to lay down whatever struggle I am facing at the foot of the Cross, I will look back on this time and remember how God changed my heart and plans for the better. I will use this time and the fruits that came from it to remind myself to let go and allow God to run the show! He made all my creativity, so of course, I should trust He has more creative and perfect answers to whatever I am dealing with.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
Emily Ripperger is a former youth minister turned stay-at-home Mom of three little blessings. She is passionate about laughter, coffee, family, and the Church. You can read more at www.therootedmom.com and instagram is the best platform to find her on, www.instagram.com/therootedmom