Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord. Psalm 127:3
When I was a little girl, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have told you this. “ I just want to be a good wife and have lots of kids.”
So after practicing on everyone elses children for nearly 20 years, I married in November of my 27th year and was thrilled to be pregnant by Christmas!
Our son was born 6 and a half months later. After a traumatic birth and 32 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, bringing him home was
like a lifelong dream come true.
Eighteen months later, our daughter was born and Twenty-four months after that we were blessed with another son. We were on a roll and having a blast!
Just before turning two, our youngest was diagnosed with Autism.
My perfect world crumbled and we leaned into Jesus in a whole new way. In light of what was going on, we prayed about taking a break from having kids but felt like God was calling us to trust him in every area of our lives. We had not used birth control up to that point.
On a warm June evening, my husband and I prayed together, affirming our trust in God in the area of our family. We committed to letting Him control the size of our family and believed that we could rejoice in what he gave.
This journey has been very different from the one I thought I was embarking on.
The next month, I thought for sure I would be pregnant… I wasn’t.
“Next month it will happen”, I told myself…. It didn’t.
Nor the month after that….
Next month turned into next year… and then the year after that.
The cycle of tears and pain through those years is something that I hid from most.
I rejoiced with dear friends through pregnancies with babies number 4, 5 & 6.
I got lots of advice…
“Take these supplements.”
“Try this position.”
“It will happen when you stop trying.”
“God must know that you already have your hands full.”
We did not feel that going to doctors for fertility treatments was how God was calling us to trust him…. so we waited and prayed.
My youngest son will be twelve soon and
I have never gotten pregnant again.
I will be 44 next month.
I have come to a place of peace and acceptance that I am not likely to have more children.
But I sometimes wish I could drown out that last little spark of hope that glows every month. It has been 124 months of hope and disappointment and I am weary of the roller coaster ride.
But I want to take this opportunity to share with you some of what I have learned.
1. I am so thankful for the children I have. I am truly rich beyond measure, especially when I consider the thousands of women who have never been able to bear children of their own. I know now how little control I really have in this area and I feel so blessed to have been entrusted with my little troop.
2. I can be over-the-moon happy for someone announcing their pregnancy and feel devastated for myself all at the same time. I have learned that they are not competing emotions. Wanting to be blessed with what others have does not mean I cannot be happy that they are blessed. I don’t have to resent that you have 10 children even though I could only have three.
3. God is good and his love endures to all generations! While I may not understand his plan and may sometimes like to share with him how I would handle this if I were God, my heart always comes back to knowing that His plans for me are good and there is no better place to put my hope and trust. His grace is enough for even the most painful seasons of disappointment and I am thankful for that.
I am learning to find my contentment and peace in this journey. Sometimes it gets easy, other times if feels heart crushing. But it’s ok.
When I am broken is when my Creator holds me the tightest.
When I let go of all hope is when I find true hope in Him.
He holds my world in his hands and I will trust in his Goodness.
If this journey is one that you are sharing, I want to remind you that you are not alone and that His Grace really is sufficient for us.