Steve and I have always wanted four kids. Steve comes from a family of four children; I come from a family of six children. Our plan was four. And then I miscarried. Twice, and both times in the second trimester – you know, the “safe zone”. A year apart almost to the day. It seems my body isn’t carrying babies anymore. Let me tell you – this was not part of my plan. It’s been painful letting go of this dream, this reality that could have been, but never will be.
I have had it in my head that mothers of four or more children are more amazing than the rest of us. I have felt that if you’ve got 4, 6, 10+ kids you’ve got to be some sort of super mom. I’ve been over here wondering why I didn’t make the cut. I’ve asked myself: Is it my lack of patience? My less-than-stellar organizational skills? Have I done enough damage with my three, so God thought He’d better stop me before I really mess things up?
If you’ve ever had thoughts like mine, lean in for the truth – the number of kids you have does not quantify your worth as a woman nor how good of a mom you are or would be. We live in a world of sickness and imperfection and sometimes our bodies (my body) just won’t do the things they technically should be able to do. We could go into all sorts of discussions about the sovereignty of God, and the mystery of His plan, and how He uses suffering in our lives… Those are good discussions, but sometimes not helpful when you’re just plain hurting.
But I do want you to hear this – not only is the number of kids you have not a reflection on you – it’s also not a reflection on God. I did some real bargaining with God while I was pregnant this last time. I had just gotten used to the idea of not being pregnant again. We were in no way trying, and here I was – pregnant. I flat out told Him I didn’t think I could trust Him if He took that baby away. I shook my head at Him and told Him He had better not. I was almost mad at Him in advance. When I miscarried that baby at 16 weeks – the baby that had surprised us, the baby I hadn’t allowed myself to be excited about until I passed into the second trimester… well, it felt cruel. I felt God had wounded me personally. I didn’t see how He could possibly be kind because this felt mean. And I was really mad.
I’ve had to slowly crawl out of what felt like a pit. As I have, a picture has developed in my mind – of my left hand holding my reality, and reaching with my right hand, over my left hand to grab hold of the Bible – the truth. After almost a year, I have come to see and understand that I can choose to believe things about God based on what I am seeing with my eyes – I can interpret God based on my reality – or I can choose to believe the rock-solid, never-changing Word that God has given us about Him over what I am experiencing. I can choose to see my reality through the lens of truth.
My circumstances, and Satan, the slanderer of God, may say to me: “He’s mean. He doesn’t care if you hurt. He doesn’t care if you suffer. He doesn’t want you to be happy. He can’t possibly be good.”
But the facts are that God the Father sent His Son to live a perfect life, feel pain, endure sorrow, experience betrayal, suffer a gruesome death FOR ME.
The truth about me as a Christian is:
I am part of “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession” (1 Peter 2:9)
I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child. (Ephesians 1:3-8)
I am complete in Christ. (Colossians 2:9-10)
The truth about God is:
“The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” (Psalm 103:8)
He has “plans to prosper [me] and not to harm [me], plans to give [me] hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Dear friend, I hope that you will reach over your circumstances to take hold of the truth in God’s Word. I am still working on this. Maybe you are in the middle of pain and heartache, but I can say for sure that the wrestling is worth it. Fighting to believe the Truth is worth it. Coming out on the other side knowing more fully that Jesus is for us is worth it.
So. What will you choose to believe about yourself and about God?