He walked out the back door, carrying a little brown basket.
“I’m going to go swing with Ryan, okay Mom?”
Ryan was the miniature doll he borrowed from Grandma’s house; the doll that was tumbling around in the brown basket he carried, my little Cub, as he ran across the backyard to the swing set.
A wave of sadness swept over me as he carefully placed Ryan in the swing. He was asking the plastic doll how high he wanted to go and gently pushing the swing.
It’s not fair, I thought as I watched him. He would make the best big brother.
Why does it have to be so hard?
Impossible for us to get pregnant.
So hard for us to grow our family.
I was standing there, watching my son with pity. Would he always be an only child? Never know what it was like to grow up with siblings? I turned to go back to the sink full of dishes and I saw those two words scrawled across my blackboard.
God the Restorer. Our Restorer.
To restore means to “renovate – so as to return to its original condition”.
To bring back.
I was barely 22 years old when I received two diagnoses that would forever change my life. I remember walking out of that appointment, feeling like I was walking through a milky haze.
This isn’t me. This isn’t me. This isn’t me.
They were the only three words I could think, even after my tears had dried up.
I wanted to refuse it. Refuse that it was possible that I would never have my own babies. Refuse that it was possible that I would have to worry about bone density and menopausal symptoms and hormonal issues that women shouldn’t have to think about until they’re late forties or early fifties.
Refuse that this was going to be my journey.
We are all fractured by life.
We are different and we are all the same.
All of us needing to be brought back.
Brought back and restored.
When I was a kid, Psalm 23 was one of the first passages of Scripture that I memorized.
I learned those words in the King James Version, with all the idiosyncrasies of Old English, because that was the version of my Bible – the same worn copy I still read from.
I shall not want, because He restoreth my soul.
It never said that we wouldn’t want because we wouldn’t face need.
We do not want, because we have what we need.
And what we need is not the absence of brokenness, but the power of a restoring God.
We do not want, because the Lord is our Shepherd.
We do not want, because our God is a restoring God.
For nine years, I have prayed that God would defy the medical impossibilities and give us a biological child.
For nine years, I have been in want.
For nine years, I have had all that I needed.
And goodness and mercy have followed me, all the days of my nine years –
in thousands of ways that He has blessed and given and restored.
Five years of sweet wild turbulence, raising this boy.
He has denied my petition.
But, He has restored.
And I would take His restoration over an answer to the prayers that I have cried, a million times over and over again.
His restoration to our brokenness will not always feel or seem fair.
We can ask why until the stars fall, and it’s okay.
But in the end, trust this –