I know all parents think their kids are amazing. Although I don’t indulge her by ascribing to her the title, "Princess", nor do I clothe her in the mornings with cheery little t-shirts that say, "Spoiled"; I must say, that I do think she’s a pretty cool kid.
Now, don’t get me wrong, she often can vex her momma and daddy with her anger, stubbornness, and attitude (what kid doesn’t?). However, she has this tenderness and insight that can only be attributed to the grace of God. Since having Audrey, she’s caused me at times to really be introspective. I’m called upon so often to explain some difficult things to her. And often she makes me really think about God, the condition of my heart, my beliefs, and my responses. Frequently when she doesn’t heed my instruction, obey with a happy heart or trust my care, I think about how often I am the same way with my heavenly Father. And mercy sakes, I think of all the times I vexed my own parents. So many things, I wish I could take back….
Audrey’s always been gifted with words. Seriously. Now understand, that comes at the cost of having very few physical/coordination skills. Ha! She’d much rather give a speech about bikes, discuss with you all the types of bikes in the world, describe what her bike looks like, list for you all her friends that have a bike, etc -than actually sit on the seat, put her feet on the pedals and go into motion!
When Audrey was close to turning three she could perfectly articulate some complex thoughts. She kept running down the hallway one afternoon while I was trying to sort laundry. I asked her to stop running. Within a minute or so she started running for a split second, stopped herself, and with the most pained expressions began to pour out the struggle that was raging in her heart and mind. "Momma, I don’t know what to do. I want to run because I like running. I want to obey because I know I should obey. So I don’t know which I should do. Ughhhh, I’m going into my room to pray about this!" –Doug and I just looked at each other as if in need of some seriously-quick divine intervention.
Oh, I could give you countless examples. We’ve always tried to give her the big explanations to life’s biggest questions. This is partly because she’s an only child and I have the time to do so. But it’s partly because I want her to see God in everything. I want her to be a thinker and not just act or speak without seriously thinking. And so we talk, and talk, and talk.
Recently, the adoption has got her little mind going a mile a minute. She desperately desires to understand the whole process. But answering her has been tricky. Tricky for so many reasons. Goodness, most adults don’t really understand all the ins and outs of hows and whys of in vitro fertilization, freezing embryos, adoption, etc. And this is a controversial topic. So many adults have a strong opinion abut these matters despite not even having a moral compass by which to guide their thinking and convictions. And lastly, it is difficult to explain when I want to intentionally keep her naïve about the birds and the bees, you know?
It’s again by God’s grace that He instantly gives me the right words to answer her. She sometimes will ask these massive questions in the middle of a meal and I just spit out a massive answer with the right amount of tact and finesse. And I’ll look over at Doug, mouth wide open and he’ll say, "how’d you do that?" God. It’s God!
One afternoon, her mind just couldn’t hold all the questions any more. She hopped on my bed and BLAHHH, it all spilled out in a giant torrent of questions, concerns, fears, hopes, and convictions. I wish so many unbelievers would think the way my daughter does. It seems, in this one instance, she possessed more insight, wisdom, and compassion than most do in their entire lives!
Doug and I have been trying to preserve her innocence as long as possible. Although we don’t think she needs to hear all about the more complex or sinful parts of life in order to stay away from it, we try to shed just enough light onto these more mature topics, so that she may understand the power of her Creator, the wisdom of God’s Word, and the love and protection of her parents!
So Audrey really wants to understand how this whole embryo donation/transfer/adoption/implantation process works. She finds it very disturbing that babies are frozen. Of course, more disturbing to her is that people don’t want their babies. It’s hard to explain to her that although God is the one who creates life, technology has made it possible for people to create gobs of embryos. She wants to know why God doesn’t just create the amount of lives that parents want. But yet I see her resting in the sovereignty of Christ and realizing that science and sinful men are the ones that mess everything up!
She can’t hardly bare to think that there are folks throwing away babies. I tried to explain to her that so many people just think that when an embryo is so small, that they aren’t even human lives. That notion was just ludicrous to her! She said, "Momma, we all started out that small. Even the people who say those babies aren’t people, had to once be that small. Somebody had to let them live so they could grow up and say those things."
I tried to further explain to her that even though a person could kill a 2 month old baby and go to jail or have the death sentence, our society says if you want to kill a baby still in it’s momma’s tummy, that it’s acceptable. She inhaled this massive gulp of air, widen her eyes larger than I’d ever seen, brought her hands to her mouth and struggled to process the info. Thankfully, her science lessons were fresh on her mind, and she used that knowledge to bring such a sobering, insightful analogy. "Momma, people look at a caterpillar, all ugly and tiny in it’s larva stage. Just because it’s tiny or just because it moves into the cocoon and just sleeps, it’s not dead. We don’t say it’s not real until it’s a butterfly. And if a bug is still considered alive, we should definitely think an alive baby is real even though it’s still in it’s mom’s tummy and will look different when it comes out."
Because of Audrey’s overwhelming anticipation of a brother or sister, we felt it prudent to discuss with her that this whole process wasn’t necessarily granting us a 100% guaranteed baby. I tried to explain to her the stress that would be on such a little baby and it might not be able to survive the thaw and that it might not survive in my tummy. It was going to be hard work for that baby to find the comfy spot it needed to rest inside me and it might just die. This is rough for her. She just can hardly bare the thought of the babies dying.
But the freezing thing, as I said before, is just so hard for her to process. My goodness, it’s hard for me to process. She understands that if a baby dies before it’s able to make the choice to trust God, the baby would go to heaven and have a new body to worship his Maker. And when she thinks about the frozen babies, who have no one to teach them about God, then she feels this overwhelming, critical responsibility to allow these children to hear the gospel and trust Christ. She feels an urgency to thaw all the babies and bring them into our home. But she says it doesn’t seem fair for them to just be frozen. She says that the babies should be thawed so that they can either be taken home by their Maker or given the choice to serve Him. But instead, she just thinks that freezing them puts everything in this weird ‘pause mode’ of life where they’re given no hope of bring God glory.
I pray that these times of discussion with her, will cause her to see God more clearly – to see the big picture. I want to encourage discussion and open her eyes more to see Christ. My greatest desire is to see her grasp the big picture! The picture that He is Holy and without sin. Having been born sinners, and unable to help ourselves and make ourselves as Holy and acceptable to our Creat
or, we were separated from Him deserving eternal death in Hell. But because He loved us, God sent His only Son to live on earth as a man, who willingly took upon Himself the punishment that our sin deserves and die an agonizing humiliating death. He became that substitution, that judgment our sin demanded. He died for Audrey, and for Momma, and Daddy, and all these babies. And because He is all powerful and loving, He came back to life! We can serve a powerful, risen Savior. Upon His resurrection, He went to Heaven to ready a place for those who would trust Him. And if we, recognizing our own helpless state in comparison to God’s holiness, and we desire to trust the merits of His Son and not our best efforts, we can be adopted into His family for all eternity! And it we choose to deny our own wants and interests and obey Him, He will lovingly send His Spirit to indwell in us – to seal our salvation for all eternity and to help us obey and understand His Word.
We owe everything to Christ. He made us. He made our world. He provided payment for our sin. He’s prepared a glorious home for us with Him forever. I want so badly for Audrey to see that just as we choose these babies to come into our family, God desires to adopt her into His family. I want her to grasp that if we love her, how much more does God love her?
He is sovereign. What a comfort that is to know. I cannot see what lies ahead for the Walker family, but I know Who designed our future. I trust that He doesn’t make mistakes. I trust that no matter how hard the future could be, I have all the grace I need and an endless flow of wisdom from His Word to be happy, content, and at peace.