An Attempt to Explain – Part 2
I didn’t grow up dreaming of becoming a mother. I didn’t fantasize about what my children would look like and how they would adore me. I didn’t picture myself raising children, at least not in the traditional sense. I didn’t feel “the call” to parenthood.
Until I did.
Many months ago, I felt the urging to reassess this calling, or lack thereof, to be a parent; as we have several times throughout our seven and a half years of marriage. See, the thing about plans and callings is that sometimes you only see a glimpse of the picture and only time can reveal the extent of it’s grandness. This is one of many reasons everyone says “timing is everything.” My husband and I know this, though his certainty for finality is a bit stronger than my own. And more than I desire to be different, I don’t want to miss out on something potentially as life-altering as parenthood if I’m no longer meant to.
Part of the strength of marriage, and being one, is having faith in your spouse. Meaning you recognize, trust, and respect one another’s strengths and convictions, even when you aren’t entirely sure about them yourself. That’s how we grow, individually and together simultaneously. And I began to feel strongly that we should have my semi-permanent birth-control taken out to at least give God room to show us His will. It’s a little hard to follow in obedience when you remove faith from the equation. How is God supposed to move in your life if you refuse to position yourself in faith? Well He can, but He shouldn’t have to.
Fast forward to March when my husband and I are at the doctor having the birth-control removed. The doctor says, “Now, you can get pregnant in the first month of having this removed.” She smiles and playfully adds, “So I’ll see you next month when you’re pregnant!” Yeah right lady. I mean sure, it can. But most couples take months to conceive, sometimes years, and sometimes never. But no matter the outcome, we’re excited about the possibility.
Fast forward to that Sabbath in April when I take a pregnancy test in the wee hours of the morning because I can’t sleep while my husband is still softly snoring in bed. Positive. Huh, that’s interesting. Terrifying. And probably inaccurate. Don’t panic. God never answers me that quickly.
A few days later, another test. Positive. Still haven’t told the husband. Still processing. This might just be real life.
A few days later, another test. Positive. Okay, time to tell the man that got us into this mess. What was he thinking? Oh wait, this was my idea. God, are you sure? Too late to quote Jesus, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me?” Yes, definitely. Oh God, there’s no going back now. Oh, but how exciting this is, I’m going to be a mom! (Can we blame pregnancy hormones for this inconsistent assortment of feelings and thoughts?)
So we’re going to be parents. That is one weird realization for someone who has never imagined being one. Although it was planned, or intentional, I imagine I know how those women feel who get pregnant by complete surprise. Can you be surprised when you knew it was a possible outcome? I mean we all know about the birds and the bees. And why am I surprised anyways? It wasn’t that I never felt up to the task, or that because of my rocky childhood I feared I would follow in my parent’s footsteps. And it wasn’t that I feared I wouldn’t be any good at being a mom. It was none of those things. I just believe parenthood is calling, perhaps the biggest calling apart from accepting the call to be a child of God. And until I felt that call, I wasn’t moving.
I love the story of Abraham and Sarah. It’s an interesting one, they made many mistakes, but it’s an inspiring one. They received the promise to be parents (the parents of all nations, actually), and that ended up looking very differently than the cultural norm. But God is faithful, and so were they. As I hope the story of Jeff and Randi inspires you. As God is faithful, I hope we can be too. I am excited about motherhood, what I’ll learn about life, love, and sacrifice. Mostly, I’m looking forward to experiencing a depth to the love of God that I would have never comprehended otherwise. The weight of sacrificing your only son. (Oh! We’re having a son. But that’s another story for another day.)
May our awe know no bounds.
P.S. Friends and family, please avoid, “I knew you’d have kids!” Let’s not get carried away. You thought we should because that’s what most people do. And you thought we’d be pretty good parents, because we will. But don’t take away God’s credit. Even if God gave you a divine prophecy about it, which He may have. I owe my first OBGYN a $100 bucks because she bet me I’d have children before I was thirty, and I shook on it. But this isn’t about what you know or what I know. It’s much bigger than that.
(This is a continuation of a post I wrote four years ago, An Attempt to Explain.)