What does it look like to Let God Plan Your Family ?
You might be thinking this is a post about birth control, or natural family planning, something like that.
It's not about the merits of big families (although there are many).
No, this is a post about being surprised (disappointed, even?) by God. It's about coming to grips with a family picture that doesn't quite look like you thought it would.
I grew up in the most wonderful family.
Here we are. (I'm on the left.) Three girls, baby brother. All 22.25 months apart. A healthy, loving, perfectly perfect family.
I figured, hey, that sounds good. Four kids. Five, even? We'll see. Mostly girls, as I figured they're the ones who stick around through adulthood with the cooking questions,motherhood issues, and trips to the mall.
It was a perfect plan. (My plan.)
When I say I was shocked five months in to hear, "It's a boy," I mean...I was shocked. I literally cried in the parking lot of the doctor's office. What was I going to do? I knew nothing about boys.
I remember telling my husband in my completely over-dramatized pregnant self, "Well, now you can't ever go and die, because how in the world am I going to raise a boy?"
Of course, I loved Sam the minute we locked eyes. I cannot imagine my life without Sam. (Besides, I secretly figured we had plenty more chances for a girl.)
And then we had Ty. Another boy.
Sure, it was different than I pictured. I was throwing footballs and admiring garbage trucks a tad more than expected. But how could I really complain? Life was different, but still wonderful.
And then two months later I had another miscarriage. A horrible, scary one, with surgery, and too many is-this-really-happening kinds of moments.
And here, six months later - here I am, with two rapidly aging boys (who I love with my whole self).
And I wonder.
Is this it?
What if it is?
And it's then that I realize I've been holding this gift of motherhood with more like clenched fists. It's not a receiving of a gift, it's a demand of the heart. It's not an honored calling, but another way for me to get what I want out of life.
God. I. Want.
God, it wasn't supposed to look like this.
Maybe you can relate. If you long for children, I hope that you can forgive my selfish, insensitive complaining. Yes, I have two children, and for that I should be (and am) incredibly grateful.
But the point is, I've learned something we share...
Whether we have more kids, or fewer kids than we "always imagined." Whether they have special needs we never anticipated. (I've been there, too.) Whether we have twins unexpected, or only one, late in life.
Whether we're not married at all.
The challenge is the same.
- Release our clenched fists on life. Release them to our Father.
- Accept the new gift He has given us.
Truth is, I'm a hypocrite for even writing this. I struggle daily to surrender to my Loving Father.
Lord, help us. Have mercy on us as we struggle to trust and obey. Remind us how big, wise and loving you are. Remind us that your plans are good and faithful. We love you.