Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Epilogue to the boy's birth stories: Taking another step of faith

This is really the epilogue as it were to both of our boys' birth stories.  Sam and I have been given a revelation about something and we would like to share it.  We have been growing a lot because God has been showing us where we have been withholding areas of our lives/hearts from Him.  As we have given those areas up to Him, we have been profusely blessed!  Well, we have been dealing with some family issues concerning rebellion, how to respond to unGodly behavior and giving up control completely to God. 
 Well, we were handling the first two in ways we are constantly seeking God on, but the third we were not.  We have two children now and if you have read their birth stories, you know that things were not a piece of cake.  We also live in a very small space right now and it would be "inconvenient" to add another person to the mix at this time.  Yep, we hadn't given control of having kiddos up to our King.  What a travesty on our part!   Children are blessings, not burdens and God had to work on our hearts for a bit for us to have the revelation to just let Him have control of how He is going to bless us.  
He had already worked on my heart after Zekey was a few months old by just letting me watch my children interact with each other.  I knew then that I was open to having more children.  I thought it would be great to add more to the mix.  I was also hearing a lot of sermons on large families and kept having encounters with this subject over and over again in different ways.  Then, I read my friend Michawn's blog and she put it very nicely, "God will decide when He is done with my uterus."  That is so powerful and what faith that takes!  Next, we met a family at the church God led us to here in Meridian, MS that believes the same way.  The mother, Emily, gave me a magazine Above Rubies (www.aboverubies.org) to read and there was a story in it that just really spoke to me.  I will put it at the end of this post for you to read.  
Anyway, after I read that, I went to Sam and asked him to read it and tell me what he thought.  I told him what was going on in my heart and how I felt like we were keeping God from having complete and free control over this part of our lives.  He didn't really say a whole lot, but I could tell he didn't like what he was hearing.;)  (Not in a bad way, just that his heart wasn't aimed in that direction and he wasn't ready for a switch.)  We usually don't when God is causing us to grow. I myself was scared and anxious at first and then there was just total peace once I confessed my fear to God and gave it up to Him.  

The next morning Sam texted me and said, "I don't think I like this."  I asked him what he didn't like.  He said he thought God was changing his heart about having more kids.  After that, it was like a heavy weight lifted off our shoulders.  We didn't even realize it was there, but it made a huge impact.  We weren't meant to carry that burden.  God is.  Isn't that so great?!  God will decide if and when to open my womb again and we are trusting Him to provide for anyone and any circumstance that comes along. Even more than that, though, we are looking forward and hoping that God will give us more children!  We can't wait!  

Another great book to read on this subject is Be Fruitful and Multiply by Nancy Campbell.  Talk about a revelation!

Here's the story that just touched my heart and really spoke to me.

In the Arms of Grace by Lisl Fair (Above Rubies - February 2008- Issue 73)
There was a time during my journey as a mother that I  did not want any more children.  My dreams and plans did not include more sleepless nights and runny noses.  Two were enough for me.  During this time, I went on a trip to Italy with my mother to do research on a novel that  I was planning to write.  I left Zoe-Mari (3) and Victor (18 months) with my husband, Robert, and a domestic helper.  I decided, before my trip, to take the Pill to regulate my cycle so the trip would not be complicated by "inconveniences".
I had not been using the Pill for years because long term use makes me ill.  We had been using other forms of contraception to make sure that no surprise would interrupt my "dreams".  The trip was a wonderful time of attempting adventures and bonding with my mother.  I took different types of medication during the trips for a variety of reasons - sleeplessness, stomach pains and nausea.
During one of these sick spells in a bathroom of a guesthouse in Rome, I had the fleeting thought, "What if I am pregnant."  I immediately pushed the thought away and determined to enjoy the trip.  It had cost so much to get here and my family were making sacrifices to let me do it.  Little did I know what the real cost of the trip would be.
We were gone for seventeen days.  I coped without my children by not allowing myself to think too much.  It was wonderful to see them at the airport and to finally be back home.  I immediately left the Pill so my body could get back into its own hormonal rhythm again.
Four days after returning, I started having heavy cramps such as never before.  It was Thursday and a visit to the toilet told me the awful truth.  I held a precious baby covered in blood in my hand.  The placenta was small, but perfectly formed, hiding a little child from my sight.  Time stood still as I realized that I had been pregnant before the trip - before I took all the medicine to make the trip convenient. 
I called Robert and he immediately said, "God, forgive me for not wanting more children!"  Together, we put out tiny baby in a pretty little box.  We clung to each other that night, each with their own feelings of guilt and shame.
The next morning we took the little box, went to Robert's mother's grave in the cemetery, dug a little hole on top of her grave, and committed our child to God.  The arum lilies were not the only thing I left on that combined grave - I left part of myself there too.
It literally took years for me to get over what happened that Thursday night.  I think, on some level, I will always grieve what could have been.  I've learned many things from our baby's death:
I've learned that it is easier to say good-bye if you've had a chance to say "Hello."  that is why I named him Simon.  I allowed myself to acknowledge him, love him and let him go into God's hands.  I've learned that God is the author of life and death.  If God wanted Simon to live, he would have lived in spite of my mistakes.  I've learned that even in the shadow of death, God's grace is present.
I've learned that children are precious gifts from God.  They are not an interruption of my life, but part of the fulfillment of my destiny.
I've learned that wholeness comes slowly but certainly.  I went through a season where my other children became an idol to me.  I idolized them because I couldn't forgive myself for what happened.  When I realized that Jesus did not judge or condemn me for Simon's death, I was able to forgive myself and Jesus took his rightful place in my heart again.
I've learned that Simon was like a seed, a little person who gave his life to turn his father and mother's hearts towards their children.
And now?  I still have dreams.  I still want to write that novel, someday.  But now I know that my highest form of worship is to love and serve my husband and my children.  That is a pleasing sacrifice to God, a sacrifice I give willingly and happily, knowing that I , my children and my dreams are safe in the arms of grace.
If you are interested in stories like this one, you can go to www.aboverubies.org and request a magazine. 

3 comments:

kjames106 said...

What a beautiful post. You just pretty much summed up what Matthew and I think. We have never prevented since we had Luke and we are just waiting for God to use my uterus/womb the way he wants to!

Lisl said...

Hi Shelly,

This is Lisl, who wrote the Above Rubies article. I'm very moved that it touched your heart so. I consider it fruit from the seed we had to let go of then. Well we have two more girls now. The last one were born when we were in a very tight spot. But God came through amazingly! My heart is still open for more children. I'm just sad that once over three children family and friends complain... I know that should God give us more, He will give me the grace for whatever I have to face. I'm on facebook if you want to connect with us.

Love Lisl

lesley goody said...

Funny thing is... I receive the Above Rubies newsletters and I have the Powerful Motherhood book and I've actually read that story before! It is powerful and a GREAT reminder that God is the ONE in control of our lives... as long as we allow Him to be. I'm thinking this is something that I need to pray more about! :)