by Rhonda Dragomir @RhondaDragomir
I collapsed on the floor of the Romanian hotel room and wept. The next day, my husband, Dale, and I would finally receive a miraculous answer to prayer. Shouldn’t I be happy? I wasn’t.
Our agonizing twelve-year quest to become parents had led me to seek help from doctors, endure multiple tests and surgeries, and ingest expensive drugs with terrible side effects. Every month we hoped to learn I carried a child. Every month we were disappointed.
Instead, God ordained a different route to parenthood for us—through Romania, the homeland of Dale’s grandfather. We navigated a maze of obstacles, each one overcome by prayer, and after five grueling weeks of effort, we planned to adopt a five-month-old girl in a Romanian courtroom.
The night before the adoption, unease troubled my stomach. I had hit a wall which yet needed to be scaled. Emotion-charged hours of prayer revealed I had not completely relinquished my own will. I still wanted to give birth to a baby, and I was angry with God because that petition had not been granted.
The realization stunned me.
Our dilemma was not unlike the three Hebrew children who faced the wrath of King Nebuchadnezzar. Who wouldn’t rather live than die in a fiery furnace? They surely petitioned God for his protection from the king’s edict commanding them to worship his image. Obedience to God should spare them Nebuchadnezzar’s wrath, right?
Wrong. Their defiance stirred the king to greater anger, and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego faced certain, painful death in a fire heated to seven times its normal intensity. Even their last words spoke their heart’s desire: “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18).
We tell this story to our children not only because of these men’s faith or courage, but also because of their absolute surrender to the will of God. They let go of their very hope of staying alive and consigned themselves completely to the will of God. When they did, God showed his love and power by walking through the flames with them and ultimately sparing their lives.
Common wisdom dictates, “When you reach the end of the rope, hang on.” My pathway to motherhood taught me better wisdom: “When you reach the end of the rope, let go.”
That night in the hotel, I confessed my resentment to God—He knew it anyway. I surrendered to his superior wisdom and quit struggling against his will. I let go of the baby I would never conceive to receive the baby he chose for me. I jumped right into the arms of my eternal God, who waited there to catch me.
A few days later, Dale and I looked into the wide, brown eyes of our new daughter with wonderment and joy. She was perfect! God answered our prayers in his flawless way, which was much better than we could have imagined. That daughter, Jana, has been a delight every day since.
Jana’s presence in my life reminds me every day: God’s ways are best. His blessings sometimes only come when I let go of my own desires and fall into his everlasting arms.
The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms… Deuteronomy 33:27a NIV
About the author: An avid reader and writer, Rhonda Dragomir lives in the heart of idyllic horse country in central Kentucky. Her degree in Social Work from Asbury University prepared her for more than forty years of ministry as a pastor’s wife.
Rhonda writes both fiction and nonfiction, and she was named 2019 Writer of the Year by Serious Writer, Inc. Learn more about Rhonda on her website: www.rhondadragomir.com.
Join the conversation: Can you remember a time when you fell into the arms of God?