20 October 2008

on trusting Him~

I have to apologize for not getting to this more quickly. I had hoped to get to this a good week ago, but such is life.

HC asked,

"I did want to ask you something...if I may be so forward with you!  First, a little, background:

After being on the pill for 3 years or so, and after learning from reading blogs such as Generation Cedar, and doing research, my husband and I were appalled to find out the pill is an abortificant. So, after prayer, we decided to quit taking it.

Since our youngest was born (4 y.o.), we have both struggled with the "do we want to have more" question. (We have 6 ages 14-4). Weighing in the financial factor, the time, energy, etc.. After quitting the pill, we decided to dedicate my womb and our family size to God. Can I tell you the peace and relief that I, myself, felt knowing this decision was out of my hands-that our God is all knowing and our provider!

I have since had one cycle.

Now then, I have settled in to the idea that we may have another blessing. In fact, I WISH/HOPE/OBSESS over it! My fear is that maybe He doesn't wish for us to have anymore. I don't know how I will deal with the disappointment of not having another, now that I know it is much more possible not practicing any b.c.!

My question (sorry it took this long to get to it!) is this, after you have this newest baby, knowing how much you desire more, how will you deal with God saying, "You are done."?

ANY advice you could give would be greatly appreciated! (Also, if you could tell me that we will indeed have another baby-that would be great too! :p)

I had to laugh at the part over obsessing. You should have seen me during the month where I thought there was a very good possibility I would conceive. The two months prior, Glen had said he wanted to at least give it a little more time before possibly having another baby. So once he was okay to face the very good probability that we would get pregnant, I was what you call *obsessed*. At the risk of sharing too much information and making myself look like a complete dork, I'll tell you that the morning after *you know* and knowing it was my prime time for conception (and yes, Glen knew this too!) I was up early analyzing my cycle lengths, comparing it to my past experiences and dates of conception, googling things like how soon could I have a positive test, the chances of boy vs. girl depending on when conception occurs, and all sorts of things. I went on and on for days. Then, when that magic "earliest day possible to find out" arrived, I started testing every morning. It was a very good thing I discovered Dollar Tree tests, otherwise it would have had to become a budgeted item! I don't think you people understand how much I like being pregnant and having babies :o) Now that you've had a good glimpse of what I'm really like, you can understand a little better how this can be hard for me!

I will admit, I have put this off answering your question a little for two reasons, one being it is such a hard question for me. It's one of my fears. So far, every time I've wanted to be pregnant again, I've soon been pregnant again. I've never had to deal with longing unfulfilled for very long. Even when Glen has been overwhelmed, or wanted to wait, or even contemplated being "permanently done," the Lord has spoken to him specifically telling him we need to have another one (that's what happened with Noah), or just changed his heart toward it for now. He's not had change of fundamental belief. The other reason being that honestly, I just don't know how I will deal with it. I would like to say that it will be totally fine and will not bother me one little bit, that I can fully rest in God's will for me, being joyful and content in all things. But truthfully, I just don't know. I don't want to be so prideful and self righteous as to presume I would respond well, I can just ask Him to please help me. Isn't that how it is in all matters related to trusting the Father when His will and desires conflict with our own?

I am again reminded of what I know was a huge turning point for me in my relationship with God. I wrote about before how I had to deal with my fear that God wanted something different from me than being a wife and mother. Once I came to a place (and it was a struggle!) of being able to say I would follow His will and trust Him, I was at peace, even though I didn't know what would happen. I am firmly convinced that on that day I came to a fork in the road, so to speak, where I had to make a choice in whether I was *really* going to follow God, or if I was going to follow Him in word only, but fight for my way and go kicking and screaming if I wasn't getting what I wanted.

What a blessing that you and your husband are on the same page with this! That is the hardest thing for me when it comes to this topic. I've talked about it several times, so I'll only bring it up again briefly. Glen and I have a wonderful marriage, we are truly best friends and prefer spending our time together rather than apart, and we have lots of fun together, but this is the one issue that is always there. The intensity of it ebbs and flows, obviously it's a non-issue right now, and even though it doesn't cause huge waves, it's such a huge decision and fundamental difference, that is can be quite painful at times. And I can honestly say that the part that hurts is just that we're not in unity, it has very little to do with me "not-getting-what-I-want." I am so used to be in agreement in everything that this difference is really hard.

That said, my answer comes from dealing with this side of it as well. I know that unless one of us changes, this is going to come up again. Thankfully, I know that Glen follows the Lord, even when it's hard, and even when it's not what his flesh would want. I've seen it over and over, and in so many areas, one of those areas being this one, so I hope I can rest in that. Even though I have a "belief" that the Lord should be in control, that we should allow Him to decide if and when we should have another child,
my beliefs come from what He says about children and how He expects us to offer our bodies to Him and how to tells us to trust Him in every area of our lives. The Bible does not say specifically, in black and white, that using birth control is wrong. But He does tell me specifically, in no uncertain terms, to honor Glen and yes, the "s" word, even submit. So that tells me that by following my husband, I am in the Lord's will. I have had much more peace since I realized it was not my job to change his mind and heart with my words, my arguments, and my nagging...it is God's job to change hearts. And I don't even want to presume that *I* have it all together and know everything, that *I* know the mind of God and Glen needs to get it together. My prayers concerning this are for God to bring us into agreement, and bring both of our hearts and beliefs into alignment with His truth, His will, and His desire for our family. Trusting Glen's decisions are made easier for me since I know Glen loves me and cares about what I believe, and even what I want. And even more so because I know He loves the Lord with his whole heart. I can't imagine having to deal with this if my husband didn't care to listen to what God had to say about it.

So, I'm not sure that I really answered the question. I guess my answer really is that I don't know how I'll deal with it. I've asked the Lord many times to please take away the desire for more when I am *done.* To just let me feel done and ready to move into the next stage of life. I asked a friend of mine at church that has eight, her youngest now being five or six, how she dealt with it. She said they never felt *done* before, but after their eighth, she was peaceful, and just *felt* done. I hope that's what it will be like for me. It's no fun to not get what you want :o) Like I said earlier, I hope that should I get to a place where I'm wanting more, but the Lord is saying no, either by not allowing me to conceive, or by having to honor Glen's desire, that I will be an example of grace and trust. I know the way I deal with it will speak volumes to my children, and possibly even those around me, as does any area where we make a choice to follow the Lord's will or go our own way.

I often tell my children that God knows what's best for our family.  I know that's true.  I teach them that following the Lord's will ultimately, eternally results in peace and blessing, although the path may not always be fun.  I have a choice every day on how to live this out in day to day life.  I can choose to be peaceful and joyfully submit to God and my husband, I can choose to submit while obviously being unhappy and having a rebellious spirit, or I can outright rebel. 

Proverbs 14:1 says, "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands, the foolish one tears hers down." The strength of our homes, our marriages, our relationships with our husbands, the peace in our homes, the stability and security of our children, often rests with us as women. It so often comes back to that choice we have every day in how we're going to deal with life. How we're going to deal with differences between us and our husbands. It is far better and much more valuable to keep peace and honor within our spirits and our homes, to model this for our children, than to grumble, complain, and be discontent. And this is true whether our frustration is coming from a difference between me and my husband, or between me and God. And as much as it is not fun for me, it is imperative that my children learn to follow God even when it's not fun. And what better way to lead than by example, that's what discipleship is all about.

I had hoped to give some answer to your question that was full of Scripture and godly wisdom, I don't feel that I've really done it justice. My answer feels like it's really one very long "I don't know." I can only encourage you to grow close enough and intimate enough with the Father that should He gently tell you "no more," that you can rest in His arms, knowing that He loves you with an everlasting love, and only desires and plans good for you. Does this mean you have to be really happy? No, of course not. I imagine that should I ever come to a place of having to deal with this head-on, that I will grieve.

I know several women who long to have more children, or even one child, but for some reason we will probably never understand this side of heaven, the answer for them so far has been no. Of all the women that I personally know that have dealt with, or are dealing with it, each one has chosen to grow closer to God rather than close off their hearts toward Him. Sure, they get angry, and cry, and don't understand, but they know that walking with Him is worth it, that He is trustworthy, and that He loves them. You know this too, I believe. So while I can't tell you what I would definitely would do, I can encourage you to stay with Him, and to stay close.

You are young, though. I sincerely hope, and pray(!) that you will be sharing some exciting news with us soon :o)

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HC said...

Thank you Shyla for your words of wisdom, experience, and advice from others! Thank you for the thought you put into your answer as well! I will pray for the unity of you and your husband on this subject, as well as for my own marriage!

I will also pray that God will show us without a doubt when we are "complete" and that our hearts and minds will be in unity with His will. I do believe that if we keep our thoughts focused on Him - our thoughts will become like His thoughts. If we keep our hearts focused on and attached to Him, our hearts desires will become like His, as well.

Have a good week!

MandyMom.com said...

I really appreciated this post. We have three children, and well, I must say- I thought I'd be pregnant by now. (Our oldest turned one last month.) And while I haven't gone to the lengths of obsessing that you have (I don't believe in going way out of my way to TRY.. 1- because it's exhausting and 2- because inside, I know it'll happen on God's timing, whether I obsess or not)... but I HAVE been pained at the end (or beginning?) of each cycle (and wasted many a buck on "plastic baby sticks"). And sometimes my thought is, "Lord, what am I doing that is wrong? Why won't you bless me again?" Of course, then a list of my shortcomings come to mind and I think, "Don't ask that again..." but then I also realize that, gee, it isn't always about me, is it?

I've been very tearful about this lately because examining it means examining myself and realizing I have A LOT to work on.

Anywhosit, thanks.

Rebekah said...

Hi Shyla,

I am an AL MOMYS and just linked from the digest to your blog. (I visited a long time ago, but I don't remember posting.)

This is one of my favorite topics! We began to totally trust the Lord with womb and our family size 13 years ago next month. In the beginning, I was a little fearful b/c I was only 21 and hubby was only 24 and still in college/working full-time at night. He was also praying about attending seminary. Long story short we did submit it to the Lord and conceived that month. Wow! We were excited, though, and felt such peace for trusting the Lord.

Many times we would think and sometimes say aloud, "What if we end up with a dozen?" It was a little scary to think of the possibilities. God saw fit to give us 4 in 5 years and then another precious one 3 1/2 years later. Do you know that our last gift is about to be 4? We have been waiting for another these last 4 years and each month wonder if God will choose to bless us again.

However, to really trust the Lord with your family size means to trust Him when He is saying no, too. Because He is so faithful and the Sovreign God that He is, I know that His way is best. Contentment is not always easy, but it is best.

Sheila said...

Great thoughts and comments, too.
I am dealing with this very stuff, too, right now. Our sixth would have been due this month, but I miscarried in April, then m/c another in June (after all my previous conceptions/pregnancies without struggles or complications). It was hard to not ask God "why?" because He has, indeed, given me the desire for more babies. And, I have prayed for a "peace" when we're done. I do have to realize, I may never reach the "I'm done" stage (at least not before menopause). And, as Rebekah said above, we need to trust Him even when/if He says no.
In knowing that He knows what's best for our family, that's where I find peace!

Nancy said...

Between babies #5 and #6 I had 2 miscarriages and then another 7 months of waiting before I became pregnant. Every month things were "perfect" yet the Lord allowed us to wait. That's when I realized it truly is in His hands. What a blessing to know He is sovereign! BTW, these babies are only 25 months apart. Then, while I was nursing Eden I became pregnant again when she was 10 months old. Surprise! Joshua was my 40th birthday present (#7). God is big! I have some health concerns, so don't know what life will hold, but I can say that I definitely would love another baby...maybe soon.

I love your thoughtful posts!

"How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about arithmetic, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness." ~GK Chesterton

2012 November

2012 November