Step right up! I have here the secret to happiness, the key to give you everything you want! Preposterous you say? Well for only 3 easy payments of $56.98…
Ok, just kidding. But I am serious about getting everything you want.
One of my first posts since joining this blog was entitled “What do you want?” It was about the attitudes and thoughts swirling around in my head about the then unknown gender of our child due this Christmas. We have since found out that we are having a girl, and I felt compelled to write a follow-up article. So here I am to tell you how to get what you want.
I won’t go over everything from the last post, but I will remind you that my wife and I prayed, struggled, and labored to seek God’s will for our lives and not our own. The consensus of those around us was that we obviously should be hoping for a girl. We fought against this mentality with the truth that we don’t know what’s best for our family… God does.
It took the technician a while to find the “gender clues”, mostly because this baby appears to be very calm and docile (praise the Lord!). Once she was able to find the sex, Michelle and I were in a kind of surreal bewilderment period that lasted about an hour. We went right to Walmart after the appointment and bought a load of pink apparel, but the whole outing was a bit stressful since we had the boys along with us. We got snacks at McDonalds and I suggested that we park the car and eat and process what we had just found out. Once we got a chance to sit and think about it, the excitement and giggling started.
Now there are little pink and purple dresses hanging around the house like decorations. I am slowly going broke, but I’m okay with that! We are giddy to meet Megan Elizabeth, and I am personally ready to go to the hospital tomorrow to get this thing going. Michelle is willing to wait until December.
Everyone around us is very excited, but I found myself conflicted with how to discuss the gender revelation with others. I made such a point about how we wanted whatever God wanted, I sort of felt that if I was too visibly excited I would appear to have not completely bought in to what I was preaching. Which brings me to the key verse I’ve had on my mind the last couple of days.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
This is a popular verse for those who push a prosperity gospel. One acquaintance of my wife’s used this verse to argue that God would give us a girl if we wanted one. But what does this verse mean? It is evident from many examples in scripture (Job and Jeremiah, most notably) and normal experience that godly people don’t always get what they want. I think a parallel verse in the NT helps shed some light on what’s going on here:
“for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13
We see that when we “will” and “work” for His good pleasure, it is not our own good works, but the result of God working in our hearts. Similarly, the psalmist is saying that if we delight in the Lord and commit our way to Him (v. 5), God will replace our desires with His desires. So when I say you can get what you want, I mean your heart will be filled with desires from God.
When I considered my spiritual journey in this pregnancy, I realized that I had toiled to put any desires of my own out of my heart, and focused on delighting in whatever the Lord had for me. When God saw fit to reveal to us we were having a girl, I believe He gave me a desire for a girl that I didn’t have before. I am confident in saying that because normally when I wander down the toy aisle, I am drawn to Legos and Transformers, but recently I just want to look at cuddly pink dolls. *Sigh*.
In that same vein, I also believe that if God’s plan were for us to have another boy, He would have given me a desire for another boy.
It is so freeing to live this way because when you’re excited about God’s will, there is no shame or second-guessing. Many times I’ve gotten excited about things that were purely in line with my will or plan, only to find disappointment and frustration. If you want true happiness and satisfaction in your life, let God have sovereignty over your desires.
And that’s why I can say God gave me what I wanted.
P.S. I have to make a reference to one of my favorite songs which speaks to this total submission of the heart – “Give It All Away” by Aaron Shust. I love that song though I can’t say I’ve attained it’s ideal yet. Maybe one day.