See Luminosity

My Idol

My Idol

Funny how Satan works. You think he’s going to tempt you with lust and greed and power (which I’m sure he does with plenty of people), and then he goes and uses something a lot craftier. Apparently Satan has pulled out the big guns, with me. Something that no one would think would lead to sin. But for me, it has.

Satan has tempted me with the idea of having another baby.

I didn’t realize it was this, until recently. I originally thought my tremendous desire for another child was a God-ordained longing. And certainly, children are a gift from the Lord (Psalm 127) and the desire for them is a desire given to us by Him. But as the months have passed since Dominic, I’ve begun realizing that my passion for a baby is more than just a normal God-given desire. I’ve been able to see that it is definitely a consequence of grief – a yearning to fill the vacancy left by Dominic’s loss.

But that’s not all. In the past couple of weeks, the Lord has revealed to me the ways that my need for a child has become a tool of Satan.

Deuteronomy 4:16 says, “So that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman…”

Or, like a baby.

What is an idol? Anything that takes the place of God in our lives. The desire for a baby has done just that, for months. I have been unable to keep my thoughts from all things baby, even for a moment. I’ve prayed constantly about whether and when we will have another, searched scripture for words from the Lord, and done research about our chances for having a healthy child. I’ve consulted experts, tracked my biological cycle, worried about how pumping would impact our possibilities, and worked to convince my husband that the time is right, even as he has been trying to work through his own grief from losing our son.

I am embarrassed to admit that I have spent more time wishing I had a baby than I have spent enjoying the two children God has already given me.

Exodus 32:8 says that the Israelites, who made an idol in the shape of a calf, “bowed down to it and sacrificed to it”. 2 Kings 17:41 talks about how the people “served” their idols. Psalm 24:4 says those who have pure hearts do not  “trust in an idol”, and Psalm 31:6 says “I hate those who cling to idols”. Psalm 106:36 writes that the idols “became a snare to them”.

I’ve done all of that. Sacrificed time and emotional energy to the idea of having another child. Served my idol by planning my life around it. Trusted my idol by believing my fulfillment would be found in it. Clung to it so hard that I’ve pushed my husband away, and allowed it to become so much of a snare that I have believed I will not be happy without it. The yearning to become pregnant again has completely consumed me.

Yes, having another child has become my idol.

The Lord revealed it to me through His recent assignments to me. As He has placed me in a position to support two other families who have lost children, He has simultaneously shown me the misplaced role my desire for a baby has taken. He has helped me see it by, ironically, its absence.

The past two weeks, my hyper-focus on a baby has been replaced with The Burden and The Assignment – missions the Lord has placed on my heart to help two other specific families whose babies have died. As the Lord has taken over my heart and mind with His purpose, the preoccupation with potential pregnancy has faded to the background. Its absence has been…a relief.

Instead of this overwhelming, interminable longing for a pregnancy, I have been filled with Him. I’ve seen Him work, felt Him move, watched Him orchestrate the dance of joy amidst sorrow. I have experienced His marvelous connections, intimate graces, and perfect timing. I have felt purpose and fulfillment. Without a baby. Without being pregnant. Without anything other than Him, working right where I am, right now.

And with that, the Lord has shown me how a good and healthy desire from Him has been twisted, somehow along this journey of grief, into an idol. I have felt free, these last couple of weeks, and didn’t even know I had been in bondage. Because Satan is just that good. If the BIG SINS don’t work to bring us down, he’s going to tailor-make something just for us. Just the right thing that will capture our minds and hearts and entrap us to cut off the Spirit’s working in us. And he got me. He got me good.

But no more.

Because God is stronger. And He showed me, with The Burden, and The Assignment – two very, very difficult things I didn’t want – how Satan has used even the good wish for a baby as the means to take the place of God in my life.

Only with the hard have I gotten His good.

I am a work in progress to be free of my idol. Yes, I still very much want a child. But I am not going to let it consume me. I am not going to spend every waking moment wondering and brooding and planning for a future child. I am going to trust in God’s grace and God’s timing and God’s purpose. If and when that means we have another biological child, I will praise the Lord with all of my being. If it means that we do not, I will thank Him for the beautiful girls I already have, and will search for His purpose and fulfillment in another direction.

It is grace, to be able to say this. True, perfect grace.

Because I have seen, through these past two weeks, that He will provide it – both purpose and fulfillment. And I can truly say that having Him is better than any idol I can possibly fashion.

Even the idol of a baby.

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