Delight in the Lord, and He will grant you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4)
This verse was given to me on the eve of my wedding day. As I looked back on the journey so far, I saw a broken hearted trail of insecurities and lies; I saw struggle with self-hatred; being thrust into adulthood as a 20 year-old single mother; mistakes made trying to find my worth; then, finding God and grace and redemption, being led to my fiancé and there, to that moment, on the eve of my wedding.
In my darkest of moments, I remember being curled up on the bathroom floor, crying. I remember a pain that seemed to radiate from my very soul, a pain of emptiness and belief that I was innately bad, unworthy, undesirable. That there was something wrong with me, something I could never change. I remember feeling like I could never have “it”. That happiness just wasn't for me. That the life I dreamed of wasn't for someone like me.
And when my fiance and I had our first look, I saw him and he held me and I cried. In that moment, all of the hurt and redemption and ups and downs in my journey washed over me. And I knew all would not be perfect, but I knew that God had truly granted me the desires of my heart. I saw him and he kissed me (I don't think we were supposed to kiss? Oops!) and the emotions and the journey ran over me.
The desire of my heart wasn't necessarily a husband (all though that was true, too!). It was the answer to the question I had been asking myself for as long as I could remember: What is wrong with me? And in my journey of hitting the lowest of lows to this high of highs, I could feel God’s presence and love and overwhelmed with the truth: That I am not unlovable, but in fact, I am so loved, so desired; that I am set free from the fears and insecurities and mistakes that previously burdened me and held me back.
That was the desire of my heart, to know that I was free. I was free from my heartaches and the lies I believed about myself. I was free to experience life, and life to the fullest.
And here I am, nearly four years later, reminded of this beautiful promise, that God grants us the desires of our hearts.
The part that I so easily forget, though is the first part - delight in the Lord.
When we delight in the Lord, we spend time with Him. We praise Him. We rest in His truth and seek His will in our daily life. And when we do these things, its not “and then” He grants us the desires of our hearts. No, often times, it is our hearts that align with His plan for our life as we delight in Him.
And so as we counted down the days to our gender determination ultrasound, this verse kept replaying in the back of my mind. I remembered our wedding day and the reminder that God kept his promise and gave me the desire of my heart: His peace and love and strength, His freedom and redemption.
How did that all play into this? I could not deny that my desire for a daughter was so deep, much deeper than a desire for florals and pinks and dresses. This desire for a mother-daughter bond is woven so intimately with everything I’ve ever wanted for as long as I could remember. But was it God’s plan for our family? What if I was supposed to get that experience through mentoring a young girl, through a daughter-in-law, through a friend’s daughter? I prayed relentlessly for peace and a joyful heart for whatever God’s plan was for our family.
And then we found out - this fourth babe, this fourth blessing growing inside of me, is a girl. A daughter.
I keep crying here and there, multiple times a day, in the week and half since finding out. Little things keep making it more real - ordering a floral bonnet, picking cute leggings, pinning nursery ideas, announcing on social media. But today, it hit me. Driving to pick up my oldest, it hit me so hard how loved I am. That God redeems even the darkest of stories, that He cares for even the littlest of details in our lives. He knew what my heart needed. He knew how I needed to be prepared for this. He readied my heart as I delighted in the truth that His plan, whatever it may be, is better than the story I could write for myself.
I was reminded that God saw that girl, defeated and lost and hopeless, crying on the bathroom floor. He knew the desires of her heart, even though she didn't. And He had a perfect plan. It was a plan that, in the midst of it all, made no sense. There was heart ache and struggle and plenty of regrets. But each led to this moment, where there is nothing more true than how deep, how wide, how perfect His love is. He knew my daughter before I ever could; He knew she would be a reminder of His promises in our lives.
He gave us a name before we knew we were having a daughter, and little did we know that her name would be so perfect. Her first name means “God has answered”, and her middle names mean “Grace” and “follower of Christ”. Her middle name is also for my sister-in-law and for my best friend, the two women who have been with my husband and I through it all, the thick and thin.
Lyanna Rae Christine, you are an answer to my deepest prayer, a reminder of God’s grace. I am honored to be your mother.