I don’t know, I guess you could describe me as a pretty emotional guy. I’ve always been really passionate about things. It’s a good and bad thing. It gets me in trouble sometimes. Anyways, I say all of this because for me (compared to a lot of men) crying isn’t that out of the ordinary. I could list ten times in the past five years that I’ve sobbed.
Anyone that has been through the adoption process and/or struggled to get pregnant knows the emotional side of the journey. Even if the infertility piece isn’t an issue, adoption isn’t a bunch of butterflies and rainbows. It’s a hard, tearful road. You know about the waiting, the fundraising, the frustration, the questions. We’ve talked about all of those things.
I try to be the strong husband figure. My wife needs that. She needs a shoulder to cry on when the going gets tough. And I’m happy to be that… I hope I can be that for her in those times. I know I’m not always.
But for all those times I’ve posed as strong and said the right things, it doesn’t change the reality that my heart aches to be a daddy just as much. It’s a longing that I’ve had since I was a kid myself really. I’ve always loved kids and always just assumed that having children was a given. Little did I know that it would be a little harder than that.
I laid in bed the other night. I was thinking about a couple of the cutest little girls you have ever met. Two girls my wife has had the privilege of nannying. M & M. I thought about giving them piggyback rides and cooking food on make believe stoves. About sprinklers and hoses and ziplines in the backyard in Lake Mills, Wi. I thought about superheroes, hide and seek, and shoveling in Wayzata with little spunky M. Library trips, McDonalds play place adventures, swing sets, and times at the lake.
…don’t be afraid to cry- to sob- to ask God why- to tell him the desire of your heart- to voice your weakness and dependence on him in the midst of your suffering.
And I’ll be honest, I found myself– head in pillow, all alone, lump in throat, with tears streaming down my face. It’s hard to write this. It’s really messy. It would be way easier to write about something else. But I feel like I need to be vulnerable. For myself and for anyone else who feels like they need to be the strong one. The husbands out there that are being that shoulder, the strong embrace, the tear wipers. Keep doing what you are doing. Your spouse needs that.
But also, don’t be afraid to cry- to sob- to ask God why- to tell him the desire of your heart- to voice your weakness and dependence on him in the midst of your suffering. That’s not only a good place to be– it’s a beautiful place to be. I found in that moment, as my face was buried in my pillow that I had nothing else in my heart and mind but a desire and a God. A longing and a giving Savior. I want to be a papa. I want it so, so badly. And I can’t always be the strong one. You can’t either. But the good news of the Gospel is that you don’t have to be the strong one. You can be real with God– totally transparent in your weakness, because He wants to be strong for you. In fact, He already was eternally strong for you. And as I pondered that the lump started to recede, the tears dried, and my lungs filled and emptied a little more steadily, and I fell asleep.
I have an Abba Father who is strong for me, who cradles me, who places his gentle arm on my shoulder precisely for those moments when I’m not strong, when I’m weak, when all I can do is say, “God, I want a baby. Please make me a papa.” And the comfort is not found in the fulfillment of my desire at that exact time or place, but in the confidence I have, by the grace of God, in the loving secure embrace of my Father.
The night I cried myself to sleep was for the strong ones, because we need the comfort of Christ as well, because really, though we might play the role of strong one, we are weak ones too. So shed those tears when the going is tough. It’s okay, it’s beautiful. Because it’s in those moments of utmost vulnerability we experience the sweet loving embracing of our own daddy.