For the first time, I can't do it. I can't make my child happy...here's the story:
During our sermon last Sunday, our pastor, Mike Glenn, stepped on our toes in talking about getting families to pray together. So, beginning Sunday night (again) we started praying together as a family. Every night so far, when Jenna has prayed, she has said something along these lines, "Dear God, thank you for this day and please, PLEASE give me a baby sister. Mommy and Daddy both have to work and I really want to play with someone. So, please, PLEASE give me a baby sister." Ouch.
The first night, it bothered me, but I figured it was just a passing thought...you know how kids are. But night after night, she's said the same thing. And so I began to think about it. Jenna has friends at school. In fact, we are told by her teachers that she is friends with all the kids and doesn't gravitate to any one or two. I thought that was good...she's just an all around friendly kid. But then, when there are parties, several of the kids spend the night with other kids and their parents are going on vacation with the others etc. We are normally not in any of those groups. At church it's the same way. She's friendly with all the kids, but there's not one she always gravitates to. Same way in the neighborhood.
But when it comes to those places, she is what I call "desperate for friends". She BEGS us at church and at home to go to other kids' houses, play with them, spend the night. Like I remember a time not so long ago where I stopped by a friend from Sunday School's house to look at some clothes she was going to put in consignment. She has a little girl a few years older than Jenna. While we were there only a 1/2 hour at the most, she was instantly all about the little girl. They played while I looked and for a day or two after we visited, she talked constantly about going back to see the girl, spending the night with her, asking her over, going to her house etc. She just became obsessed with seeing her again. And that's the way it goes.
And then comes this prayer...this constant prayer. Every night. For a sister. Or a brother. I think she'd take either one at this point. And like most parents, there's not anything I wouldn't get, buy, find or fetch for my child. I would go to the ends of the earth for her. There's not anything I wouldn't do to make her happy.
Except this. I can't give her this. I can't even come close. And I have no idea what to do.
I've come far enough to know that this hasn't happened for us because it's just not the Lord's will. But how do you explain that to a child? How do you explain that a God who loves us, answers our prayers and wants the best for us could answer "no" to her request? Shoot-I'm not sure *I* understand God's will with this much less trying to explain it to her.
I think of myself when I was her age and even older. Living in a neighborhood with no kids my age, I had no siblings, all my friends from school lived "far away" in Antioch, so it was "too far to drive" to go to their houses most of the time. And here, I've re-created this same life, same longing, in my child.
There's no way I can express how it breaks my heart to hear my child ask for something that I can't give her. The thought has crossed my mind to adopt a child just to give her someone to play with! This isn't so much about my wanting a child anymore...it's about not being able to give the child I DO have something she wants...I can't give her this.
But God can.
I know that God can answer any prayer.
And He might answer hers yet.