When I read Jen’s text, asking if we could have lunch together, I was super excited. She had been married for over a year, and we had not seen each other since the wedding. Did she have some “news” to share?
Jen and her husband planned to start a family soon after they got married. Jen is 36 and already 12 years behind schedule. She is a planner. Likes to be in control. Her spread sheet had her getting married at 24 and having 4 kids by 30. Hmmm…how many of us have also tried to plan our lives on a spread sheet?
Yes, I was hopeful to hear some baby news.
Finally, after an hour of chatting, she opened up. It wasn’t quite the news I expected, however. There were some complications. Complications that seemed to close the door of the two having their own biological children. I didn’t want to show my disappointment, but my heart was crying for my sweet friend.
Quickly I was aware of a look in Jen’s eyes. There were no tears. There was a sparkle and glimmer of hope. She wasn’t distraught. Jen was filled with joy and “new” baby plans were unveiled.
Seems God had been preparing Jen and her husband for this situation. Placing couples in their lives who had turned to adoption after years of enduring empty wombs. The Lord had been leading them towards the open doors of adoption before they ever even realized how complicated the complications were.
Jen and her husband want to raise a family together. The door might be bolted shut from having a baby grow in her own womb, but their hearts are wide open to welcome a baby that grew inside another.
However parenthood comes, it is God’s miracle.
Shattered dreams? Initially, yes. But because of their faith in the Creator of new life, there is joy and hope for their future as parents.
When John and Sharon first started visiting our LifeGroup, I was immediately drawn to Sharon. They both had been divorced before meeting each other, like my husband and me, so we had that in common. But something about her joy and enthusiasm left me wanting to know more about her.
At one Lifegroup meeting she casually mentioned she had a son who was in prison. That’s all she said about him.
I asked Sharon to dinner, wanting to grow our friendship. Conversation flows very freely when two women get together and try to share their life story over a few hours at a dinner table.
Sharon spoke of her older son, his wife and children, with lots of details. When she mentioned the younger one in prison, she didn’t say much. I felt she wanted to share, but was hesitant. So, I just asked her. Why was he there?
Talk about shattered dreams. I doubt if any mom ever wants her 21 year old son to spend the next 37 years of his life in prison. A high-security Federal prison.
The story was tragic. We both cried. But through tears Sharon shared her story of hope. The hope that she has because of Jesus Christ. The hope He has given through His word. The good that has come from her son being in prison. The changes he has made. The responsibility he has taken for his actions.
On his way to prison, he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior and was baptized. If hitting rock bottom was what it took to get his attention, she is thankful that God gave Him new life. A promise of eternity in heaven.
Prison is a scary place. My friend could go crazy worrying every day about her son’s safety, but God has been at work in this young man’s life…and Sharon’s. Even placing him in a prison where another inmate has become his Christian mentor.
Because of Sharon’s unfailing faith, she is able to choose joy over fear. But it is a daily choice.
On her own, how can she cope? But Sharon can do all things through Christ, who gives her strength. (Philippians 4:13) She is able to rise above the circumstances and look to the heavenly realm, knowing her Father in Heaven is the One in control and loves her son more than she ever can.
Shattered dream? Initially, yes. But because of Sharon’s faith in the Giver of new life, there is joy and hope for her son’s future with Jesus.
Do you have a friend with a shattered dream. Maybe you have your own? Most likely all of us have many.
Shattered dreams belong to those who do not know Jesus Christ. God has concrete plans already established for our lives, not dreams.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
And we can’t omit Job as one who had some shattered dreams! Yet, after all he endured he could still proclaim in Job 1:21:
“The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”