Monday, November 25, 2013

Being Thankful Even When it Hurts

Today's post is a contribution to The Thankful Project from fellow blogger, Mandy Kelly. Mandy has poured her heart out and written a beautiful, candid story. If you've ever suffered from infertility, not only will you relate to her story, I believe you will be ministered to and inspired!  Please check out her bio below. 

Everywhere I turn, they are there. I can’t seem to escape them. From my own family, to my Facebook wall, they haunted me. The desire within my heart almost had me sick to my stomach.
Babies. Beautiful, miracles from God. Ten tiny fingers and toes. Oh, how I long for a sweet infant of my own.
Yet, outside of a miracle from the Lord, I will not have any.
I have always wanted to be a Momma – and I love being Momma to my three blessings. My husband, whom I married just over a year ago, was a widow. He had three children who had lost their Momma. I get to be their Momma now. I have so much to be thankful for. Three beautiful children who call me the name I longed to hear. 
I have learned that the job and title of Mommy is given from God. It is nothing something you get when you get a positive pregnancy test, a hospital visit, or even adoption papers. It is a job that is given to you by the Lord. The Bible says that children are a reward from Him – they are our heritage (Psalm 127:3). It is my highest calling to be their Mom. 
Yet, this doesn’t mean I don’t long for children of my own. Yet, medical science says no. I pray the prayers of Hannah- asking that if the Lord will just give me a child in my womb, I promise them for Him. That I will them for His glory and for His service.
He gently whispers to do that with the ones He has entrusted me with.
He tells me that it is a high calling to raise another woman’s children. 
The cost of discipleship is high in this world. 
So, I am reminded to be thankful. Even when my heart is broken over what will never be- in all situations I am to be thankful.  He has taught me to be thankful for the beauty in His timing and in His plan. I know I will never replace the ache that that the children (especially my oldest who will remember her birth Mom) will have in their heart- but I get to show them how to be thankful.  We get to process this life together. 
So today, as I look at the pictures of the newborn babies, and as I hold my new niece, I am thankful. For my children’s health. For their personalities. For the ways that they are like me. For how her hand fits into mine. For evening cuddles and bedtime stories and prayers. I am thankful for devotions in the morning, and shepherding their young hearts. I am thankful for girl talks and reading the Bible with my oldest.  Most of all, I am thankful for the beautiful name Mommy- and so glad that I can wear it as mine. 

Mandy is passionate about two things: The Word of God and the Souls of Men (and Ladies!). She is a married to her best friend, and gets the privilege to love on their three blessings (who lost their biological momma a few years ago leaving her husband widowed). She loves that the Lord has let her life be an example of delighting in Him and watching Him mold her life to make her desires match His. She spent 9 years in an early childhood classroom, and 4 years in an “in house” seminary program at her home church. She loves everything about being married, and loves to bring God glory through her roles as Christ-follower, Wife and Mother (in that order!) She enjoys women’s ministry, cooking, crafting, and traveling the world. Her greatest desires are to have her marriage bring God ultimate glory, see her children walk in truth, to lead others to the feet of Jesus, and to lead women into deeper and intimate relationship with their Savior through study of the Word of God. Mandy blogs personally about Faith, Marriage, Parenting and More at Women of Worship (www.women-of-worship) and is on the leadership team of Good Morning Girls ( where she encourages women to get into the Word of God daily!