Now, before my friends and family start worrying about the future of the O’Briens, maybe I should back up.
When I came to college, I was determined to meet “the one.” I was on the lookout for the man God created for me. The man who would be my partner for life. The only one in the entire universe that I could be happy with. The one who had been formed and molded in his mother’s womb in order to someday be my husband.
But, after a few failed relationships I came crashing into the truth that there was one problem…
This man. This “one”…
Well, he didn’t exist.
I was dating Brandon at the time that I finally came to this realization. A few weeks after a very honest conversation with a professor, I said yes to Brandon’s proposal. And a breezy 11 months later (long engagements are the absolute WORST), we were married.
10 years later, I have never been more in love with my husband. I plan to be married to him for the rest of my life. I love the life we have created. I love our family. I love my partner.
But, I don’t believe that God created him just for me. I don’t think he is the one my whole life was leading to.
Brandon is just a man. He’s a very good man. A smart man. A creative and resourceful and caring and encouraging man. He’s loyal and honest and tender and compassionate. He is absolutely hilarious.
But he’s just a man.
I firmly believe that Brandon could have been happy with any woman he chose.
I believe I could have been happy with any man that I chose.
(assuming, of course, that they were equally committed to their faith)
We aren’t together because the universe wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re together, because we chose one another. We love God deeply, we are committed to serving Him our entire lives, and we see in one another the possibility of doing that together.
We fell in love and we love doing life together. God is active in our midst, in our home, in our family. But it’s not because this is the only way it could have been. No, it’s because this is just what God does. He takes two imperfect people who are committed to one another and he makes a family.
Okay, so now that I have that out of the way, I have something else I need to get off my chest.
I do not believe that my children were created in order to be my children.
We weren’t destined for one another.
And I can’t even count how many times people have said this to me.
Here’s my beef…
I do not believe that my God caused my children and their birth families pain in order to give me a child. Similarly, I don’t believe that God gave me infertility in order to teach me a lesson.
Instead, I believe that God brought something beautiful out of the pain. What a world marred by sin meant for bad, God used for good.
What a body devastated by brokenness couldn’t do…God did in a way that only he could do.
And here’s my point in all of this. I believe the beauty of our God is that He brings beauty out of ashes. He brings victory out of failure. He brings wholeness out of brokenness.
Our family is whole. But not because we were always intended for one another from the beginning.
No, I think this whole thing could have worked out very differently and still just as sweet.
Our family is whole because that’s what God does.
Beautifully said. Thanks. Alva
Amen, Amy. What a loving, creative God we have.
Hi, my parents (Randy and Kristin Whitaker) attended your dad’s church while in Germany (and I met him when my brother and I flew there after my dad had emergency open heart surgery, so thankful for the care his church family took of him and my mom). They keep pointing me to your blog because we also adopted (sibling group, out of foster care) and share your faith. Your words on your husband echo my beliefs about my husband, and we are word-for-word on point for why God did what he did in our infertility and adoption stories. Redemption. It is always about and always pointing to redemption. I pray that our children will understand their Father’s love in a tender and caring way because of the redemption he brought to their broken lives (and ours, as well), for their sake and for his glory. I know that I can never think on and thank him enough for showing me such a fine glimpse of what redemptive love looks like, this side of Heaven. Thanks for being open, honest and a brave adoptive mama. 🙂
Thank you, Carrie. Your comment means so much. Weaving that story of brokenness and redemption is such a tender task, isn’t it? Such an honor as adoptive parents. It’s intimidating but so so beautiful.
Beautiful, Amy. Good stuff. Thanks for putting it so well.