My Child- filled/less future
I’ve shared countless times about the struggle within my heart on the topic of children. I share because I know there are women out there like me – women who feel motherhood very real and deep in their hearts. Not like a girl who dreams of a perfectly-kempt home, propping up a kid on your hip and looking cute in a modern pram. Not a woman who sees it as something casual, not like those who want a baby for the cute clothes or vintage nursery themes, no. Motherhood is something I’ve felt in my bones since I was young, the natural and resting state of my soul, one of my many desires to fulfill. It was just a simple thing that I never second guessed… until I became an adult, and life came at me fast.
Because of either naivety or ignorance I never even talked with God about His plans for children for us when Eric and I first were married. It was far off in my mind, 3+ years, and something I assumed would happen eventually. I just figured I would live a “normal” life: go to college, get a degree, get a job, have kids and live life one day at a time. I wasn’t actively shunning God from the topic of parenting, but I wasn’t opening it up for dialogue either.
*Cue an a-typical lifestyle*
After I moved to Haiti and I fell in love with full-time missions and the country, I worried that I couldn’t have both missions and children, unless we lived in Haiti. (To answer the question – no, we don’t know as of yet if we will move to Hait, we are always in a state of prayer about it. Si Bondye vle, if God wants.. right?)
At this point, Eric and I are traveling at least one week per month, in the States and out of country. We are out of the country for months at a time, and, for now, we do it together. The other option we see is to have children and be apart, and be apart from our children for quite a bit of the year. Although we knew that our job can be flexible, we knew that this job is our ministry and our passion–neither of us wanted to give up our amount of time in Haiti. As the reality dawned on me that I couldn’t do both, I fought with all I had for about 2 months. No way would I give up children or missions. I must have both, I would make it work somehow.
I see clearly looking back that the problem wasn’t children or missions, or the balance of the two, but it was that I wouldn’t trust my future with Christ. I held on with both hands to the hope that I could fix it and I didn’t trust God enough to say “Okay, you take it and I’ll follow.” I saw myself as the deciding factor between a child less/filled future. And I was afraid of what Christ’s answer would be.
After realizing that I couldn’t live with such a weight, I said, “Enough!” and laid down my burden in a desperate attempt to mend my weary heart and truly trust with abandon. But you know how we humans do, slowly desiring control of our struggles again, taking them back from Christ.
After 2 years of continually picking up and laying back down the topic of children at the feet of the Cross, I was in a good place. I was actively focusing on verbalizing faith and trust to myself daily by telling others, when they would ask about Eric and I and our desire for children, “Le Bondye vle,” or “When God wants.” I even went as far as making jokes about it, to force myself to remember that Christ holds it in His hands, not I. But still, in the back of my mind was that fear: what if something I feel so strongly for, isn’t what God is calling me to? What if I have a child-less future ahead? What if it isn’t in the cards for me? What if all I’ll ever be is a temporary mom, a pseudo-mom? What if I become a mom but I can’t do missions? What if I have to give up Haiti?
Last February, I found myself sitting at a ping pong table in Minnesota, eating lunch with co-workers at a Marketing Meeting. My dear friend Jennie spoke some serious truth into my heart and life. Paraphrasing her words:
“We are all different, we serve different purposes and we walk different paths in life. That path may have children in it and it may not, you have to find peace in it. But if you let Him, He’ll unveil a beautiful future for you.”
In that moment I realized, I might have given God control and spoken aloud with faith and prayed daily for continued trust, but there still was a piece of me that said “Yeah, I can give it up, because I’ll have kids someday…”–That was me holding on, trying to fabricate a future for myself! How dense can a girl be? Give it up already, right?
So the rest of the time in Minnesota and on the way home, I prayed for the Lord to give me peace. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, I knew it wouldn’t be overnight, but I wanted to surrender, 100%. And I did. I accepted the future I might have and the Lord delivered peace to my soul.
Wouldn’t you know it, 5 days later as I checked the 4th home pregnancy test for a positive sign, I could hear Him whisper.. “See? all You needed to do was trust.” (well, maybe it was more of a “I told you so!”)
So here I am, humbled and struggling to understand the questions I’m sure every woman asks herself. Why me? Why was I given such a miraculous gift? Will I be a good mom? What if something goes wrong? What will my baby look like? What does “no caffeine” really mean?
And I can hear the Lord saying, “Trust me in all things.”
You may think, “Sure it’s easy for you, you got what you wanted!” But I’m here to say, I’ve been on the other end, seen the negative tests and experienced those around me receiving confirmation in their trusting and I’m thinking, “Where’s mine?” Even if that pregnancy test was negative, my course should not change. Even if this post had a different backdrop, a different future laid out, I should remain in close communication and walk with Christ. Even if in the future I have to make sacrifices in the mission field, I must trust Christ.
For I believe that my God sees and knows all. I believe in higher callings, I believe in His plans. I believe that in everything, His ways are far above my own. I believe that
“There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”
― Abraham Kuyper
Friends, today I want to encourage you and myself: trust Christ. His ways are far above our own, His knowledge is far more vast than we can comprehend. If we believe His good, is for us and loves us, than what do we have to lose?
I choose to walk by Your side. In Your light, on Your path. I pray Father that I will continue to trust You, in my own life and in the life of this child. That I will stop holding on so tightly to the reigns and allow You to be my guide as a wife, mother and friend.