[Warning -- this post will irritate some people. But I'm honestly not trying to be rude or disrespectful.]
I've had people -- family, friends, and complete strangers alike, ask me what our plans for the future are (meaning, do we intend to stop having children). While that question and all the different ways of asking it drives me absolutely insane and sometimes even angry, I'll admit to thinking a lot lately like everyone else does. "After all you've been through, surely you're not going to consider having more", they say. No, not just like that but lots of people have used that first line -- "After all you've been through...." Let's stop for a minute and consider all I've been through. Difficult pregnancy? Sure, I guess so. Diabetes was a little out of control this time although not as bad as it has been. But who's fault was that? Yes, some of it is out of my control but when I went on eating just the same as I always had (which is not a good thing), then I guess I can't really say it was a difficult pregnancy from that perspective. What about pain? Yes, it's true that being pregnant gets a little more difficult each time I get pregnant which is true for all women who have multiple children -- back hurts a little more, hands hurt a little more (carpal tunnel syndrome -- although it stayed about the same this time), and hips hurt a little more because they start to seperate early. And then there was that mystery pain on my left side but I believe God heard and answered the prayers of His people who were praying for my relief this time as I only battled that pain here and there. It was not a constant pain like it was with John's pregnancy. Difficult delivery? Not in the slightest! That was the easy part! Sure, it wasn't good that he was born early but that, too, was out of my control BUT NOT OUT OF THE HANDS OF GOD!! God ordained December 6, 2007 at 10:50 a.m. for the birth of Timothy Paul long before any of us knew he was coming. Difficult recovery? Sure -- it was a little more painful this time but I still had the ability to get up and get going like I usually do although I regret that this time. Getting active again proved helpful when Timothy was in the hospital but my body gave me clear signs that I did way too much this time and should have been taking it easy. As things were, I don't feel like I had the chance to recover from delivery. But, that's neither here nor there now. It's done. It's in the past. Sure, Timothy is still sick and no, I don't wish pain and suffering on my little one like he's already endured but, again, the jaundice, the failed hearing tests, and the RSV have all been out of my control but not hopeless! Now, don't read this and think "Oh, she's lost it" or "Oh, she's not listened to anything anyone's had to tell her" or "She's suffering from a serious lack of common sense". I'm not writing this post to annouce to the world that we're not using birth control (although we aren't in the common way that many think of b/c; but we believe not using typical b/c is what God has called us to do and that's not a decision we have taken or are taking lightly). I'm writing this because I've been challenged this week in 2 big ways -- I got into a discussion with some ladies at a baby shower Thursday night that reminded me that thinking "Oh, I've been through so much. I don't want to have to go through this again." is selfish and wrong. Where's the faith in that? Does God not promise that He will provide? Does God not promise that, if we wait on Him, we will run and not be weary, that we will walk and not faint? If having another baby is really that BAD of an idea, meaning more physical pain or even harm to me or an unborn baby, do you not think God can handle that situation? If He can open the wombs of Rachel, Sarah, Elizabeth, and Mary (just to name a few), He can certainly protect me and any unborn child from a harmful pregnancy, delivery, or recovery. And think about the outcome -- another treasure, another gift, another life. [But -- I just have to say, as a human, how much it hurts to hear people accuse us of not using our common sense. We're not idiots although we are very capable of mistakes. We only want to do what's God honoring, what will (hopefully) cause others to look to Him when they hear our story.] Anyway, the 2nd challenge this week -- go read this blog: http://cfhusband.blogspot.com/ Go back 3 pages and start at the beginning of December and read backwards. Did God make a mistake in this family by allowing a woman with cystic fibrosis to get pregnant? Absolutely not! God is not capable of mistakes and He alone is the Giver of life. If this man can trust in God as He clearly does, when his wife and child may not even survive, then how selfish is it of me to say "God I don't trust you. If I don't use birth control of some sort, I might get pregnant again and go through this horrible ordeal all over again and I don't want that"? Compared to what this family is going through, I've been for a walk in the park on a beautiful day. And I hope this post doesn't sound like a rant or that I'm lashing out at certain people because I'm not. I say all this to say that I'm thankful for the gifts of my children (whether Timothy is the last one or not -- and I'm truly okay either way) and that I'm trusting in the God who created the universe and who breathes life into every child that's ever been conceived for my provision, my protection, and my future. I'm thankful that, while I've had to endure some hardships, I have not suffered nearly as much as this couple has suffered (and many others like them, I'm sure). To God alone be the glory forever and ever....amen!