Wearing the “only one” badge is tricky, but somehow we all get a turn. We each bear the mark of how our lives are different from the lives of those around us. When we stand out for what we achieve, it’s a distinction. When we stand out for what we lack it feels disastrous.
We may feel like our “only one” badge is linked to our past, appearance, position or a problem.
But whatever makes us unique; it can also be used by God.
It was years ago, when I peeled open an envelope and pushed aside my “only one” pain. The card inside had a picture of a teddy bear in a crib. I wanted to say “Oh how sweet.” A heavy sigh came out instead.
This was the fifth baby shower invitation I received in six weeks. I could barely breathe. Another invitation was an unwelcome reminder. I had no bundle of joy to call my own.
The only thing more monumental than this hurt were the lessons God taught me during those years. But the precious truths He tucked inside my heart came at the price of my personal agenda. Here’s a peek.
At 15, I met the love of my life. Check.
At 24, we got married. Check.
At 26, I was told it would be difficult for us to have children. Scream.
By God’s grace, I celebrated with friends who picked out baby names and prayed over newborn wishes. But at times I was hurt and confused. My friends often told me “You’re next!” I wanted to ask, “Would you please tell God that?” With earnest prayers they did.
Being the only one can be tough;
but it can lead to transformation.
Medical treatments, prayer and fasting also made my list of possible solutions. With each attempt, I knew God could change our infertility with just one thought. But He didn’t. Instead, He sat with me as I cried. He held me and let me learn.
For twelve years.
When you look at the lives around you, does it feel like you’re the only one —
…who hasn’t succeeded?
…who hasn’t been chosen?
…who bears a shame?
In reality, it’s unlikely we’re really the “only one” dealing with a pain or frustration. Scripture assures us there’s nothing new under the sun. (See Ecclesiastes 1:9-10) Statistics told me thousands of other couples bore the scars of infertility too. But unless they were on my door step, it felt like we bore this badge alone.
However, there is power in an “only one” heart.
We can discover the potential of our uniqueness as we discard obstacles to our faith.
Eventually, I no longer saw the hole in my heart as a wound; it became a redemptive window. It allowed me to watch God use my brokenness to somehow make me better.
I became better acquainted with His love. Better equipped to teach His Word. And better prepared to receive what He had in mind for Brady and me — the beautiful gift of our son Ryan.
God filled my heart with a different kind of expectancy. He used the miracle of adoption to magnify His redemption.
Whenever I’ve been the “only one” since then, I smile. I’ve learned,
I have only one heart to offer as His throne;
only one life to live for His glory; and
only one soul to submit to His will.
Then an “only one” heart is sustained by God’s grace. Our weakness is infused with His strength and our life becomes a conduit of His purpose. Good-bye disaster. Hello distinction!
If you feel like you’re the only one under pressure or feeling a pain, here’s some good news: God has not forgotten about you. The circumstances that make you unique can become a catalyst to help you know Christ. And that’s the best way to receive hope for the heart and joy to the soul.
“The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” – Psalm 32:8 NLT