Five years prior to that time, I had dreamed of a little girl that we were supposed to adopt. We had spent years seeking God, praying fervently, watching, waiting, and even walking through what we thought were open doors in the journey of adoption. At one point, we were moments from walking into an orphanage to meet two little girls who needed a home. Before getting in the car with our translator to head to that appointment, we prayed that if neither of these girls was the girl that God had for us, that He would close the door. Our translator called to confirm with the orphanage director and discovered that the director had left the country and would not be returning for a couple of weeks. SLAM! Thankful that God answered the prayer, we still went home brokenhearted. What would I do with the desire God had place in my heart? A desire I had spent five years praying about and seeking Him about?
This book provided an important part of our journey…the part of keeping our focus on Him…and continuing to be real with the One who created me.
Approximately 10 years after God planted the dream in our hearts, did a little girl finally come into our hearts and our home.
Here are some quotes from Eldredge’s book that I enjoy:
“We all know the dilemma of desire, how awful it feels to open our hearts to joy, only to have grief come in. They go together. We know that. What we don’t know is what to do with it, how to live in this world with desire so deep in us and disappointment lurking behind every corner. After we’ve taken a few arrows, dare we even desire?” (.23)
“When we bury our desires, we are saying the same thing: ‘God, I don’t dare desire because I fear you; I think you are hard-hearted.'”–p. 58 regarding the story of the third servant who hid the money (Matthew 25:14-30)
“To live with desire is to choose vulnerability over self-protection; to admit our desire and seek help beyond ourselves is even more vulnerable. It is an act of trust. In other words, those who know their desire and refuse to kill it, or refuse to act as though they don’t need help, they are th ones who live by faith. Those who do not ask do not trust God enough to desire. They have no faith. The deepest moral issue is always what we, in the heart of hearts, believe about God.”–p. 59
About burying disappointment–“The only price we pay is a loss of soul, of communion with God, a loss of direction, and a loss of hope.” –p. 61
“The dilemma of desire is the deepest dilemma we will ever face. Its dangers are deep and potentially fatal. How, then, shall we not lose heart? If we manage to somehow hang on to our desire, how do we keep from being consumed by it?”–p. 163
“Recovering our true heart’s desire may involve facing some very deep disappointment. Undoubtedly, it will require painful self-examination. But we do not need to fear what we will find, for our heart is our ally in this journey.”–p. 166
After reading this book, I wrote the following statements (from the book) on the last page as a reminder of what I had learned:
God really cares for me.
God is the Greatest Lover.
This life is just the dress rehearsal.
To kill desire is to kill my heart.
The question is not dare I desire, but dare I not desire?
Strong desires make strong prayers.