On Tuesday of last week I was tempted again.
It’s so silly and so ridiculous, I know. Something will happen, something a little different than normal, and every hopeful piece of my heart will jump and skitter with excitement, and my prayers will become a repetitive, “Oh, Lord, have mercy on me…” and then when reality sinks in a few days or weeks later and I realize, no matter how much I hope for it, I’m still not pregnant, then the temptation comes.
This crazy temptation to start thinking of all the ways we could use some form of birth control.
Because, obviously, it’d be easier to not have any hope at all. Hope-deferred is terrible. It’s pain that leaves you emotionally crippled. Of course it would be easier to never have to taste it. I could resign myself to a fate that I’ve established and pretend that’s what I want.
After all, we’ve adopted two children. We have a family. Loads of people in the world only want two children. I can pretend I’m one of them. I can pretend that I never desired a half-dozen kids. I can just take this and plan my whole life out in one easy-to-read map, where I dedicate everything to the future I can see.
But something quieted me more quickly this time around. It didn’t take days, or weeks, for truth to settle my survival-instincts of avoiding-all-pain-and-crushed-hopes. It was something that has been swirling in my thoughts and prayers for months now.
A friend recently traveled to Turkey and made several videos where he interviewed two single missionary women there, to give us all a chance to know them better that we might be praying for them and the work they were doing.
He asked about their call to missions, how God showed them this was the place for them to do His work.
And one girl, she’s talking and explaining, telling us how she didn’t know where God was calling her or what he was calling her to do, but she told Him, “God, I just want to put my ‘yes’ on the table.”
As I watched the video, watched her face, watched the words form–everything slowed for me. I grabbed my phone and typed the sentence into my note-taking app quickly, before I could forget it. But I didn’t have to worry, those words would practically etch themselves into my mind.
See, I’ve always been a person who is willing to do most anything—but I want it to be SURE and I want to know ahead of time. I want to be able to plan and decide how I’m going to react and what I’m going to choose before the moment arrives.
Back when I was single I didn’t want to be “single for now”. I wanted to be able to say, “Yes, I’m called to be single forever.” and then act accordingly. I wanted to plan out this exciting single-life where I traveled and did missionary work and helped raise other people’s babies.
But God didn’t allow me do that. He brought me to a place where I was willing to be single, but also willing to marry if He brought the right man my way. I couldn’t know when or how, just that I was willing.
And once I managed to drag myself to that spot, that altar-of-willingness, He freed me into this beautiful single-life where I traveled and did missionary work and helped raise other people’s babies… until I met this man who made me want marriage and togetherness in a way I never had before.
Then, after that lesson, He taught me about the altar-of-willingness again. This time when it came to infertility and lost-babies.
Yet, now I keep finding myself crawling off the altar.
My prayers turned into an attempt at manipulation. God, just say “yes” or “never”! If I could just KNOW that I’ll never have a baby, I could just plan my life in peace. So, “yes” or “never”, God. Those are the choices.
And all the while, God has been saying to me, “Tasha, I want your ‘yes’.”
He wants me to say “yes” to whatever, whenever, however.
He wants me to say “yes” to more babies, or no babies, or more adoptions, or none.
He wants me to say “yes” to mission work right here, or overseas, in my home, or on my street.
He wants me to say “yes” to extra money, or not-enough money, or just-barely-enough money.
He wants me to say “yes” to HIM. Not just to circumstances, or plans, or hopes, or dreams. To Him alone. The God who said “yes” to me. “Yes” to Calvary, “yes” to redemption, “yes” to being family with me.
In fact, to all of us, God is saying the same thing. “I want your ‘yes’.”
Once we put our “yes” on the table, He’ll work to clarify things. He’ll refine us, and His plans for us, and it will be deep, and life-altering, and so beautifully good.
Romans 8:28 says, “We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.”
You, dear one, are called to say yes to God. Right now. Before you even know what He’ll ask of you. And you can do it, just as I can, because we know that He is faithful.
May we all learn, every day, to wake up and put our “yes” on the table. To choose to trust in the God who gave us His “yes” from the very beginning of time.
God, I’m choosing it again, right now. I put my “yes” on the table. Whatever. Wherever. However.