All my life, I've had great ambitions. I've wanted to be a missionary to the ignored Europeans. I've wanted to be a famous fashion designer, an interior designer, and an actress. I still want to become a published writer. Some of those ambitions became reality: I became a teacher. I got married. And now, I'm going to be a mom. The two constant ambitions that never changed were becoming a wife and a mom. Though this world typically scoffs at a woman who chooses to invest her life in her husband and children, writing her off as naive, uncultured, uneducated, and wasteful, I think it is a high calling. It's not an investment in the economy or the arts (and those are wonderful, too); it's an investment in the future, and as a believer in Jesus Christ, it's an investment in eternity, too.
Just after I got married, however, the thought of having children literally made my stomach turn. I was (perhaps selfishly) perfectly content with just Mike and me. I loved our little, comfy life. Deep down, I still wanted kids, but not for a LONG TIME. Then we got a dog, and suddenly I had responsibilities. God started to change my heart and little by little, the idea of possibly having a child with my husband became an exciting (and scary) thought. I wasn't fully sold though. It never seemed like the "right time." I know what everyone tells you: "You'll never be financially ready." "There's never a good time or the right time to have kids." But I didn't want to be foolish. We both had steady jobs and a place to live, but those steady jobs brought in barely enough to live on, we lived in a one-bedroom apartment, and we were still paying off debt. But then suddenly God gave me a different perspective. While indeed there is a time and season for everything, and I'm a firm believer in learning how to simply be married before learning how to be married AND be a parent, God helped me see things from a more biblical perspective than the phrase, "we're waiting until the time is right."
As I understand it, the Bible gives us three truths that apply to the question, "when should we have kids?"
1. Our relationship to our husband/wife needs to be second only to our relationship with God.
2. Children are a gift from the Lord.
3. God promises to meet all of our NEEDS.
Those simple truths helped Mike and me come to the decision that maybe we should just see what God has in store. Our relationship was solid, so knowing the other two truths helped us take that leap. And once we took a deep breath and decided to open ourselves up to the possibility of kids, a whole new ballgame began.
It was time to play the "what if" game. What if I'm too old? What if I have trouble getting pregnant? What if this process takes years and then I'm really too old? What if it simply doesn't happen? I found one other Biblical truth very helpful:
1. God is sovereign.
It could take years to get pregnant, or it could never happen. I didn't take it for granted. I know that every time a child is conceived, it is indeed a miracle, and I don't mean that in a trite way. So many things have to happen at the right time, in the right way for that life to begin. And then it's another miracle for that child to grow and survive in the womb. Never did I think it was a given that once we decided to have children, it would happen quickly and easily. I was prepared for the long haul.
And then God surprised me.
He decided not to have us wait; that wouldn't be our trial this time. For some, that's their trial with God and one way God is shaping them into His image. For us, it will be (and has been) other things. Five weeks after deciding to "see what happens," this happened:
Guess it was for sure. It was surreal, because I really hadn't thought it would happen so quickly. It was terrifying, because how were we going to be parents?! It was sweet, because God had done a miracle.
And now, I'm 16.5 weeks in. God has seen fit to sustain this baby thus far, and we are grateful. Nervous, still, but we know these truths, as well:
1. We have no reason to be terrified, since God is for us.
2. God has given us everything we need for life and godliness. That must include becoming parents.
Amazing how simple life becomes when we rest in the truths God has given us.
I don't know where you're at: maybe you're disinclined to have children for the same reasons we were. Maybe you want them but it's "not the right time." Maybe you deeply desire to have children but God hasn't chosen to allow that yet. Maybe you're going through the heartache of losing a child. Maybe you're in the process of adopting a child. Maybe your quiver is full of children. And maybe you're still waiting for the one that God has for you to share your life with and possibly have children with. Wherever you are, I hope that what my journey so far has shown you is that trusting these truths about God (and all the truths in His Word) help us to submit to His will and endure (and enjoy) whatever it is He has planned for us: whatever blessings or trials that are a part of our unique stories.