Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Hard I Wanted

As a young married woman I dreamed of the day when I would be able to quit my job and become a mommy - a full time, stay-at-home mommy. The thought of those days ahead of me made my heart race. Days filled with tiny people to love on and care for, tiny people who looked a little like me or Josh or both and whose personalities I would watch unfold over the years. It sounded blissful.

In December of 2010 that dream finally came true. I quit my job, gave birth to my first baby, and was blessed with the ability to stay at home with him and spend my every waking moment drinking in his perfection. Don't get me wrong, it was hard. It was the most life-altering experience I'd had to date - I mean, never before did I have a job where I had to be that selfless. It rocked my world. But still, I loved it. I mean, I truly, really loved it.

Motherhood is something I was built for. And I don't just mean the having babies part. I mean the entire, completely pouring all of my life into someone else, losing my own identity, showering quite infrequently part. Really, I was mentally ready for that. My heart was ready for it. I felt so built for it. That was the hard I wanted.

What I did not feel built for, however, and the hard I did not want, was losing two of my babies. I don't remember that being a part of my young twenty-something dreams.

God certainly has a sense of humor. Although I don't necessarily like that term because it makes it seem like God is a practical joker, which I'm pretty sure He's not. What I mean though, is that He often operates in what we would call "irony". 

Like, why did the woman who was so set on and driven in her corporate career suddenly feel called to stay at home with her four children?

Why does the middle-aged woman, who wanted nothing more than to find true love, find herself still single?

Why are those who want to stay called to go and those who want to go, called to stay?


Why does God do this to us?

I wonder if Paul ever looked at his life and chuckled at the irony. I mean, as a younger man he wanted nothing more than to see the followers of Christ mauled by hungry beasts. One road to Damascus later and he's now preaching and seriously sacrificing his personal comforts for the very thing he once vowed to crush. That's irony at it's best.

I recently listened to a podcast from Surviving Sarah. In that particular episode, she was interviewing Shannan Martin. Shannan was talking about some of the dreams she had at one point and how God seemed to take her in a completely different direction. She said this:

I literally "hmmm" ed out loud when I heard that. It was sort of an Oprah-esque aha moment. It just made so much sense to me.

For me, whose heart was set on completely saturated and abundant motherhood, God asked me to surrender two of my babies. And then, just to push me a bit farther out of my comfort zone, called me to reach women who are also hurting. I think, so often, God asks us to surrender the parts of our heart that are so set on making this world our home. He asks us to surrender the parts of our heart that forget that we aren't supposed to really settle in here. He asks us to surrender the part of our heart we are keeping for ourselves. 

Do you have anything like that? I thought I had surrendered it all after Evie, but I guess I hadn't. I feel like, when God took Charlie, He whispered, Let this motivate you to do more for Me. Lose yourself in My cause.

I don't know where you are, but I think it's safe to say there are things you've had to surrender to the Lord - things you desperately wanted to cling to. I just want to encourage you today, don't let that surrender leave you bitter or wanting. Let it motivate you to run your race, looking always to your eternal reward in Heaven. God never promised comforts in this life or dreams coming true. What He has promised, however, is a reward for those who stay faithful, even when they're asked to walk a path they would never have chosen. 

Therefore ... let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us
Hebrews 12:1

You can do it friend. Don't forget, you're not alone <3 

If you haven't already heard, next week's podcast guest will be my stud of a husband. We'll be talking about infant loss from his perspective. We would also like to open it up for Q&A. If you have any questions for him or for me, or for us as a couple regarding this infant loss road, please submit them via facebook or email me at

If you haven't listened to this week's podcast, please check it out! My friend Rory shares her adoption journey twelve years in the making. She shares some very encouraging words for those in a season of waiting. 

Also, please find me on Instagram @sarah_rieke. I frequently post with the hashtag #brokenbeautiful and invite you to share your story, or parts of your story, with the same. I also started a #wednesdaysword - just a simple word and Scripture that you can meditate on throughout the day. Sometimes we need encouragement, but a word is all we have mental space for. Believe me, I know!

Thank you all for your support! I love getting to know my readers so please, feel free to send me an email anytime. I hope you all have a great week. 


  1. Thank you for this! You said so well the things that I've often thought and tried to express but couldn't figure out how.

    1. Thank you Megan. Have you felt this way too?