maternity leave 3.0

?I’ve known Kara for years & years, as she shares below… Lately, this sweet lady has been blogging about her journey to motherhood, via adoption. Eloquent & transparent, her posts are straight from her heart and often draw me to tears. I cannot wait to see her become a mama, and I am thankful to be sharing in the journey alongside her friends, family, & readers! Kara was kind enough to write a guest post for me while I take a mini-maternity leave.
I’m Kara from Matt and Kara Adopt. I am honored to be a guest poster on Letters to Ames! I’ve been blessed to know Rachael since we were kids. We met through a Christian summer camp called Camp Lurecrest– although when we first met I was on staff and she was a middle school camper!
One summer a few counselors and I put on skits for the campers. It was a four person act called “Give Me Your Heart”. It consisted of two actors, a boy and a girl, and two crew members behind the scenes, also a boy and a girl. The actors did the acting, but no words were spoken by them – the behind the scenes crew were the actor’s “voice” – speaking through wireless microphones behind the curtain.
The skit goes like this: the girl (played by me) is skipping along singing “la la la” while the boy is minding his own business. Suddenly he spots her and instantly falls in love. She loves the attention and starts to flirt, giggling and squeezing his arm as the boy prances and postures and then she says to him in the most lovey-dovey voice ever, “Give me your heart”, Without hesitation, the boy immediately gives his “heart” – a red paper version taped to his shirt – to the girl.
The girl giggles, holds it in her hands, and then in a furry, throws it the ground, stomps on it and skips away, leaving the boy crushed and devastated. This scene repeats itself – the girl manipulating the boy with her charms, the boy having faith that this time she’ll take care of his heart, but the girl continues to act carelessly with the gift she is given. Finally, the boy wises up and gives his heart to Jesus, and convinces the girl to give her heart to Him as well. The skit ends as they skip off into the sunset together, both singing “la la la”.
Obviously, the skit was meant to make a point to young, impressionable minds and is a comedic backdrop to a much more serious message, which is to guard your heart. And you would have thought that after an entire summer of acting for hundreds of campers that I would have learned my lesson.
Sadly, I did not.
At the time, I was a young woman with a soft spot for lazy, immature, wayward artist types, poor poets and acoustic guitarists. I gave my heart away too easily and too often. Over time, I grew up, matured, realized my self-worth and stopped allowing boys to so easily steal and destroy something that was not theirs to have in the first place.
Many years after that, I met my husband who has cared so tenderly for my heart; but alas, sometimes lessons have to repeat themselves. I started to give my heart away to something else entirely – this time it was a hope, a dream of mine, one that is godly and good. It was my dream of motherhood.
My husband and I started trying for children about two years into our marriage. We just celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary this March. In those four years in between, we have undergone countless tests, medical procedures and even a surgery for me to try to fix what our doctor has deemed “unexplained infertility”. In those four years of hope and devastation, my red paper heart was continually given away to that dream of motherhood; and month after month it was ripped up and crushed underfoot.
We all have idols in our lives, gods that demand our attention, time and money. My idol, whether I wanted to admit it or not, was a baby. Finally, after years of heartache in this struggle of infertility, God woke me up. Slowly, I started giving my heart to Him daily, giving over my dreams and my hopes, trusting in His goodness.
I wish I could wrap up this story in a nice neat bow for you and tell you that after I learned my lesson, God blessed with me a child. To date, we are still not parents, either through pregnancy or adoption. But that is not the point of this story.
The point is that we all have something in our lives that we give our hearts over to daily. My question to you, and to myself, is: What are you giving your heart to daily? And more importantly: Do they deserve it?
I’m not perfect; I still struggle with this. I give my heart over to the hope of motherhood too often; I give my heart over to my husband, my friends, even my job. But on the days I give my heart to God, I trust he will take care of it, my delicate red paper heart.
Thanks for showing Letters to Ames some love, even while we’re taking a break!
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