I just wanted to tell you about some things in our life, some things from my heart today, not the normal ministry things. This article is filled with some of the up’s and down’s of our lives, a few helpful thoughts, a story or two or three. So let’s go… welcome to something I’ve never talked about before. The day after my birthday this year I decided I was tired of feeling sick and wanted to just know if I was pregnant or not. So, the test came back positive, like I already expected. We are expecting baby #5!
For our family each of our children has come as a surprise in their own way or as a special gift from the Lord during a specific time in our life. I have not always understood God’s timing but each bundle of joy has been God’s doing. When we used birth control multiple times and various methods, it failed and God created a child. Our first son was born almost to the day a year after we had a total loss fire in our first apartment.
I had deep difficulty with scar tissue following our first son’s birth my husband and I’s intimacy was very painful. Our second son was almost like an immaculate conception in those days but I was able to get some physical therapy and ultrasound to break down the scar tissue. They were born 18 months apart.
When my husband and I were finishing college I prayed and asked the Lord that he would help me not to get pregnant while we were finishing school. We were able to walk the platform very happily but also under some very large personal stresses. A few months following, we found out we were expecting our daughter. We moved in the middle of her pregnancy to our first ministry and the transition away from familiar circumstances not knowing many people was very hard. I was very grateful to experience our first home-birth and come to understand more about birth through our midwife.
I do not remember much about how our second daughter came in the circumstances of our lives but I do know that it was a surprise. During labor with her I just had this intense feeling like I did not want to give birth ever again. I have to admit thinking that every time, but this was a deeper thought…and we decided we were happy to be finished.
We believe that if you think you’re in control of God and birth then you’re crazy! We’ve done all kinds of things and changed our minds and opinions on what is best concerning the life of a possible unborn child as we have grown in the Lord about specific birth control methods (and no, I’m not discussing them!). We are resolved that you cannot stop God from doing what He wants when He wants. If He wants to create a life, then He can make your preventions and efforts fail up to 5 times or more! (wink, wink) While we had hoped to be done, the surprise of our fifth child has been no different. I have to accept this fruit of the womb as God’s reward.
I had a lot of reservations about telling others that we were expecting again. People can be critical of families who have a lot of children. Others have seen my personal struggle with my kidneys during pregnancy and believe that I should not have any more children because of the risk that they believe it puts my body in. I have not had many other complications besides what they call hydronephrosis. In layman’s terms, the baby lies on one or both of the ureters that lead from the kidney down to the bladder and pinches it off, leaving a little trickle down to the bladder and waste in the kidney. It is very painful at times during the pregnancy and can cause kidney stones which are as painful. I have chosen to stick the pain out instead of having a stint or any other invasive procedure done to prevent infection which could cause risk to the baby. I may or may not do that this time, depending on how well my kidneys are functioning. I understand their reservations and hope they will take their worry and concern and focus it in heart-felt prayer on my body’s behalf.
As a person in ministry I cannot teach people to serve and give their hearts, lives, and bodies to the Lord without including myself in that lesson. At what point do I have to lay down and say, “Here Lord, I present my body a living sacrifice.” He knows my condition, my discomforts, the long recovery times I typically have after having each child. He knows and I cannot go back on what He has decided for our lives. He is the Creator of all life, why would I ever wish this child not to be born?
I will love every child He gives us. I will trust His timing is right. I know He will help me again.
From My Heart to Yours…
When someone announces their pregnancy, be kind. You don’t know their own personal life situations, whether they are having fear about this pregnancy, or if they worry about telling others. It’s too late to give them a speech about how having another child is hard on their bodies. It’s too late to criticize the size of their family, the amount of income they have, that they may not have insurance. If you had wanted to talk about those things, you should have done it already.
Another thought is when someone is pregnant they are very vulnerable. I cannot be on Facebook without hearing about miscarriages, stillbirths, preemies, birth defects, maternal deaths, etc. and not think about that being a possibility for my life. I understand if it were God’s will, then those things may happen to our family too. We are not immune to special circumstances. We think of these things and wonder if we are next. What if you criticized a pregnancy that failed? or hurt the heart of a person who had a child that did not live? or your wish for them not to have more children came true much to their great sorrow? We have to be careful to be wise in these sensitive situations because a woman may never forget those words you said to her in her vulnerability.
My great-great grandmother had 12 children. As she began to have another child the ladies in the community began to gossip about her and she overheard one of them saying “I heard she’s pregnant again, I hope she doesn’t come ask me to help her when she’s in labor.” Well, the grit of my great-great grandmother was so much that she made a decision to give birth by herself, without their help. She did this multiple times with very large babies. One of them bottomed out the Dr.’s old scale at 16 lbs. Women should not have to do pregnancy and labor alone, it’s a time when ladies should come together to be supportive. Like in this story, the more opinions and criticisms people create in their hearts causes a breech of compassion. God’s will surpasses what they “think” should be the best for other people. Babies are God’s will, no matter who it is, how many complications they have, and whether you think their family is worthy of having more children. I, for one, cannot judge God’s gift of life to who He may give it, having been a child of an unmarried young mother myself.
Read more here: I am Pro-Life Because of My Mother
We did take some good advice and decided to allow most of the people we know to have an announcement so they could give us their second kind reaction instead of maybe seeing their first. Out of the people we did tell personally the most were nothing but happy and positive! Only around three were negative… and that’s too bad. I should have not worried so much about telling others and given that fear over to the Lord. This week I received a card from a couple in our church that said “Little baby, we love you and we don’t even know you yet!” It was so sweet!
Life is too short to be unkind about the size of someone’s family. It’s as if you’re telling them not to love who God placed in their lives, in a way picking on the proverbial sister and asking for a fight then wondering why others are offended. My ramblings this time are more of a way to make peace with the feelings of uncertainty I have had. It has been a new road to travel with many things in our life taking place at once.
I pray and hope as this pregnancy goes on that I will be able to still minister to all of my readers in one way or another. This will slow me down from the great plans I had, but as with this surprise child, I believe God has surprises in store for The Ministry Mama website that I do not even know about yet. Hang in there with me, and let’s see how God will use us!