FROM THE M.O.M. INITIATIVE: We’re blessed to have Jennifer Kindle share her story today. Many women have walked down the same path and they are very happy with their decision to limit the size of their family. Jennifer’s story isn’t intended to be a commentary or stance on permanent birth control but an opportunity for her to share her own story and for us to all think about the different decisions we’ve made that we too have regretted.
This is a story I’m hesitant to write, a story of conviction, forgiveness and grace. My story I could say, but aren’t all stories really His. The end hasn’t been written yet and for that, I’m learning patience but mostly thankfulness. While it is still being written, I’m learning more about the character of God, his abundant grace and his expectation of our obedience.
My hesitation in writing is because I’ve never walked the road of infertility, I’ve journeyed along side friends but having four healthy children of my own, I will never know the depth of despair and longing for a child of my own. I feel as though it isn’t fair to put myself in the same category as those who truly know this despair and longing, I chose not to have any more babies, these women would do almost anything to have one.
In my journeying alongside a friend experiencing infertility, I prayed, offered coucil the best I could but the only thing I could always come back to was, “I can’t even imagine how you feel.” I birthed my sweet blessings every other year while this sweet friend experienced defeat more times than I will ever know.
After my fourth child and a tubal ligation, I immediately regretted our decision. I pushed the emotions deep down and contributed them to post partum hormones. They surfaced quickly and often but I shoved them down further, knowing it was “the best thing”, I did have four beautiful, healthy children afterall. We had double the amount of the average american family, minus the white picket fence, I just needed to “learn to be content with what I was given.” I felt guilty for regretting our decision and wanting more children, there were women that couldn’t even get pregnant and I held my fourth.
I nursed for a year, with regrets surfacing, but it wasn’t until I stopped nursing and had my first cycle that it hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew and believed that children were a gift from the Lord, a blessing. I knew He was the giver of all good gifts and I knew that I had slammed the door in God’s face and said, “No thank you, I don’t want any more of your gifts!” Oh, but I did want more blessings, more gifts of children, what had I done? I was grieved.
My friend that struggled with infertitily eventually adopted and expressed the joy of knowing what it was like to love a child of her own. I, for the first time, got a glimpse of the depair of longing for a child. Guilt again consumed me, how could I even say I knew what it was like to long for a child when I had four. Conflicting emotions raged in my soul.
Not only did I feel guilty over closing the door on more of God’s blessings, I felt guilty for putting myself in the same category as those that didn’t choose to be infertile, guilty that the Lord provided four opportunities to back out of the tubal ligation, guilty because I created a false peace in my heart believing it was God’s will. Guilty feeling, guilty I was.
What I’ve learned is that God is a forgiver. He is the author of grace and mercy. He is also the giver of life and the one who put motherhood on the heart of women. He has given us the desire to love and nurture those around us and he is the one that places a longing for children deep into our souls. I can no longer feel guilty about wanting more children. God placed that desire in me when he knitted me together in my own mother’s womb. To want that desire to go away is like wanting a piece of me to die.
I’ve confessed, He has forgiven.
I’m on this side of feeling guilty now, thankful that is behind me. I’m on a new journey, one full of unbiblical advice from godly people, one where the Lord is requesting obedience from me when it means walking alone even when it doesn’t make sense. One where everything and everyone is in opposition to God’s Word. One that requires complete Trust.
Am I crazy? Perhaps.
Have I been forgiven? Yes.
Could it be a consequence I have to live with? Why?
Does He call us to walk an unlikely path after we are restored? Indeed.
A tubal reversal is what I feel is God’s plan for our family. He may never give us another child, and we will trust him with that decision, but it’s easy to accept his grace, it’s another to walk in obedience in a decision that doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense financially, it doesn’t make sense really in any human logic, but it makes sense when the Lord says it, even if we’re the only ones hearing it.
Even on days I feel stuck in knowing how to walk this out in obedience, the Lord sends friends with words of encouragement such as, “offer your fish and loaves and let Him multiply it”. That’s what I’m trusting him with. Here are my meager finances, I trust you, I will wait on you, regardless of how long and once you multiply it and open the door, we will walk through it. I will not be faint and lose heart, for I know the plans he has for me. In the meantime, I’ll drink from the cup of grace he offers and trust him to refine my heart until he mends my body.
My hope is that women in my same boat will drink from his cup of grace and keep drinking, for it never runs dry. My prayer is that women struggling with the decision to control the size of their family, will seek the Lord, for his plans never fail and are always full of blessing.
My heart goes out to those journeying the infertility road, I will never know the depths of your longing but I trust the Lord to be your comforter. My heart resonates with those of you walking the road of desiring more children after you closing the door of opportunity to do so, may the Lord heal your heart, mend your body and may you seek, along with me, the desire to honor him with whatever he calls you to.
May all of us, as women, embrace our desire to mother, regardless of how we must walk that out in our individual lives.
Have you struggled with decisions you’ve made in the past? Has the choice to limit the size of your family haunted your heart or was it the right decision for you and your family? Share your story about choices you’ve made that you wish you could change.
Jennifer, along with her childhood crawdad fishing buddy, are living out a life of faith (very thankful that God’s cup of grace never runs dry) in the small East Texas Town where they grew up. Between schooling her four children at home, rearranging furniture, learning to grow a garden and trying to finish a book, her spare minutes allow her to blog over at The Kindle Crew where she shares what the Lord is doing in her heart on this journey of obedience he has called her to. To find out more about Jennifer, pop over to www.thekindlecrew.com.