Saturday, August 16, 2008

Children Are a Blessing.

This post has been on my heart and mind for some time. I always wonder how transparent one should be on their blog. I would get an email with a question or a thought about this and think about writing about this topic. Then we would meet someone who would say, I read your blog all the time. Most of the people who say that we already know. Our little town brings in a garbage truck one Saturday a month and you can take your trash to town and get rid of it. My husband was taking the trash and our neighbors happened to be there and one of them happened to have on their Amazing Graze Farm Cow Patrol shirt. The guy at the trash truck looked at the shirt and then turned to my husband and told him he reads our blog. =) I have had people ask me if a certain post was about them. We ran into a friend today at Lowe's that we have not seen in a long time and he told us he reads our blog. So, sometimes I am hesitant to write something.

I am praying that I will write what God wants me to write. Hopefully this will help someone else. The topic is barrenness or infertility. My sweet husband and I will be married for 30 years on our next anniversary. We wanted a large family. He was one of 7 and I was one of 5. We both love children and looked forward to all the joy that a big family brings. God had other plans. He has chosen to not open my womb, but praise His name, He did give us our son through adoption. We attempted several other adoptions that all fell through for various reasons, but none of which we were in control of. We thought for sure we were going to get a sibling group of 6 about 3 years ago. In the end, we believe the fact that we were going to home school them was their reason to turn us down, although that is not what was said. We have had a more recent possibility of adoption fall through in the last few months.

We have a quiver full heart, yet there is only one arrow in our quiver. We live in an area where large families are the norm. Ten children is not an unusual amount around here. Our friends have many children. I have a friend who just had a baby, and two friends who are pregnant. I had to come to terms a long time ago with seeing others being blessed and having empty arms. When Michael and I finally got on our knees and gave up our right to have children (as if it is our right to choose), we had peace. It was about a year later that a young woman made the most unselfish choice in life and allowed us to adopt her baby. My sweet baby is now 24 years old. He is getting married in October.

We have been told many things over the years. One person told us that we had a baby the easy way. Another friend with several children told us she understood our pain. Many people are angered when they hear that. I knew that they were just trying to reach out to me in some way. They thought they were helping. We have been told we are cursed. We don't believe that. It says this in Luke about Zacharias and Elisabeth (they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren) My barrenness has been my refining fire. It has been a thermometer of my relationship with the Lord. When it felt overwhelming to me, I was usually not sitting before Him and working on my relationship with Him. I have people tell me that they dread telling me that they are pregnant. I really don't want that, yet I understand. If the person telling me is someone who is close to me or lives close to me and likes to share their babies, I am thrilled, yet there is still that ache that bubbles up a bit too. Will I have a turn one day? Will I be able to look in my husband's face and tell him that we are going to have a baby? Will I get a chance to feel the miracle grow inside of me? Will I experience the event of birthing that little one into the world? Will I get to nurse a child at my breast? Often times I have to pray and ask God to give me the grace to walk on in victory in this area. He has been so faithful. I have walked this path of barrenness for 29 years. He has carried me much of the way.

I had one friend who shared her entire pregnancy with me. I can't even describe all that she did to include me, but she did. I was in training to be a midwife at the time. She told the midwife in charge that she wanted me to be able to do anything that I was comfortable with. If I was with her and Audrey (her baby) began to kick, she quick grabbed my hand and put it on the spot. I got to help and take part at the birth. Besides my dear friend whose body held her, I was the first one to touch sweet little Audrey. That was the second live birth I was at. The first one was very special too and I will never forget when Caleb entered the world. His mother is still a hero in my heart. She did not know me really well, but knew my love of babies and invited me to come over after she was in labor. I came and stayed downstairs because I felt funny. She was told I was there and told me to come on up. Here she was in labor trying to make me feel comfortable about being there. Caleb was born into his daddy's arms. His sister was allowed to cut the cord and then this wonderful lady told his sister to pass him to me... even before she, the mom, held him. Birth is a miracle. All of a sudden there is a precious new life in the room. It was there before, but hidden away.

This year has been a very different year for me. Earlier this year, I thought I might be pregnant. It was a long enough time that we were getting excited. Then one day we knew it was not to be this time... again. The next day, I heard from a friend who just found out she was expecting #9. I was thrilled for her, but I had to work through that one. Then there was the adoption possibility a couple of months ago. It sounded like a for sure thing. Again, it was not to be this time. Shortly after finding out it was not going to happen another friend found out she was pregnant. We are thrilled for them. However, again, I had to work through that. Add to that my son is leaving home to start a new home with his bride to be in October. I will have an empty nest Then in December, I turn 50. My clock is running out. God is still able, but I am asking for grace again to walk this path. With all that has happened in my life over the past 3 years, God has brought my heart to a place of tenderness that I have never experienced. The tenderness of a bruise or a wound. He is using it to skim off the new layer of dross that has come to the surface. He is still faithful. Many people have told me to look ahead to my grandchildren. I will be THRILLED to be a grandma. Yet, they don't understand. It is OK, because He does.

God gave me a deep love for children. Some of my best friends are 5 years old and under. I can remember my Mom sharing with me when we heard of a horrid story of abuse or something saying that she did not understand why God would give children to them and withhold them from me. She grieved for me. Part of my testimony is this... God IS sovereign. There are too many times in my life that He has showed Himself strong on my behalf. There are too many times He has moved in answer to my prayers in a miraculous way. His Word tells me that it is for my good. I truly believe that one second on the other side of the grave, I will see and understand and will thank Him with all my heart. Faith tells me to give that thanks on this side of the grave.

If you long for children and none have come, cling to His Word and His promises. Thank Him and yet still tell Him the desire of your heart. Read Psalm 131. Climb up on God's lap as that weaned child and rest against Him.

I tried to answer some specific questions in what I wrote above. If you have others I did not address, please don't hesitate to ask them. I will try and do my best to answer them.

18 comments:

Kimmers said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. I am in the middle of dealing with a lot of this too!
The past few weeks have been hard ones.

Amy said...

I was adopted and so was my sister, my Mom had 2 sons of her own though.

TnFullQuiver said...

Marci,
You won't believe this!!! This morning I was driving to Walmart early before church. As I was praying the Lord brought your brother to my mind, and I took time to pray for him. Then I started to pray for you...your health...your heart...and your son's wedding. I spent quite a long time talking to the Lord on your behalf because I felt led to do so. I had no idea that you wrote this post until this afternoon when I came home from church. My heart aches for you in so many ways. I spent the first 3 years of our marriage wondering if I would ever conceive and bring a baby into this world. It was a hard journey and something that the Lord used in my life to bring me to Him. I can't even fathom or imagine having spent the rest of these years walking that same hard road. However the Lord knows and He is faithful. In our 21 years of marriage, we have 5 children and 5 who never made it to full term. I never understood any of those losses, but I knew I had to trust the Lord which each and every life. Marci, I am sorry that you have had to walk this road. I am just thankful that the Lord has been there with you every step of the way. Know I'll keep praying for you. Thank you for being willing to be so open and transparent about this situation. I am sure you have ministered to many with this post.
grace and peace,
julie

ChickenMama said...

Marci,

You are brave and inspirational! You will no doubt minister to others who are walking this path and feel so alone and hopeless. I also know from reading past posts that you must be a blessing to all the children around you. Though you have not received your heart's desire, you stand faithful and praise God- great will be your reward!

With love,

Laura

KimC said...

Good job, Marci. I'm so glad that you were able to share this.

Michele said...

Thank you so much for writing this! :) We are in a similar place (although we haven't been married as long as you). We are quiverful-minded, and have had years of infertility. We have one precious daughter, whom we adopted.

Blessings to you,
Michele
www.frugalgranola.blogspot.com

Thuis en Onderweg - Erna said...

Thanks, Marci, for sharing this with us. In a situation like this (quiverfull-minded, yet dealing with infertility) it is so encouraging to have sisters in the Lord who have gone before us and remind us time and again of the Lord's faithfullness and his working through our difficulties. Thanks again!

Erna

Lynn said...

I found you through In A Shoe. I cried reading your post! I can so relate. After years of struggles and medical issues the Lord has given me three chilren. But many times I have been made to feel like I am less of a mother because I only have three and others have large families. I know most do not realize what they say can hurt but it does. I have been asked why I only have this many children when I have been married this long. One time that question was asked two weeks after a miscarriage. God gives us each what HE thinks we should have. He knows what we need and what we do not need. I have come to realize that I need to be grateful, take care of, and train what He has blessed me with. I need to focus on what I have and not on what I don't! Thank you so much for letting others know what it is like to struggle with these issues! Great post!

Sharon said...

Marci,
Thank you for sharing your heart. You never know whose life you will touch by writing this.

Melissa said...

Thank you for writing this.

It has always disturbed me that many assume to be quiverful is to have many children. Trusting in God is the point. My SIL struggled for nearly ten years...not with getting pregnant, but with trusting God.

Ante Family Agrarians said...

I found your blog through Tracy's at Adopting a Quiver Full. Thank you so much for sharing. My husband and have three boys, and made the selfish decision 4 years ago fo him to have a vascetomy. With great repentance, and our vile, selfish, sinnful act revealed to us. We are praying that in December he'll have a reversal. Reading posts like yours just helps me to reform and look toward the Lords ways and not my own even more. It hasn't been easy to choke down that I threw away something so wonderful as to having children, when they're are women who God has chosen to be barren. God's soveriegn, merciful, and good. Thank you for sharing. I admire your faith and peace that comes from the Lord.
Peace, Kris

Jo Lynn said...

Marci~

I have been thinking about you a lot lately. And I think this post is the reason why. I know I have 4 beautiful children but me myself have always wanted a lot of children. Hubby is done he says. I pray everyday he will change his mind. I will pray for you and your family for the your dreams to come true. Many {{{HUGS}}}

Jo Lynn

justme27 said...

Thank you for sharing this. It does me good to know that there are others that have gone down this path before us. My husband and I currently taking classes to become certified foster to adopt parents....

Heartathome said...

Marci,
This is such a loving sacrifice on your part-I'm sure that it's not easy to expose your life this way.
I have not experienced the sorrow of barreness but do know a few couples that have.
May the Lord bless you for sharing of yourself, may He grant you the desire of your heart and may His will be done in your life-
Michelle

Grafted Branch@Restoring the Years said...

Quiver full is a condition of the heart, not the size of a quiver.

God bless you...

Anonymous said...

Dear Marci,
Thank you so much for sharing. The tears are flowing this morning after reading this. I am walking a similar path....my dh and I have been married 16 years. We have 2 children both by adoption. We would love to have more! We have always wanted a large family and are open to how many the Lord blesses us with. I really related to so many things you said. I am going to turn 40 soon and I still hang onto hope........

Tracy
www.evanspatch.wordpress.com

Mari said...

Thank you so much for this post. I have been "trying" for 15 years. I do have one child who is 10 conceived through infertility treatments. Currently, my husband and I are doing the treatments again. I am 40 and have been praying for the Lord to give me a child for all these years. I don't know if I get to "count" as quiverfull since I am using medical technology. I am absolutely open to any children the Lord sends me in any way.

Anyway, thank you! It is so rare to find someone who really understands who wants to put God above all. It is still a struggle for me every day. Your post had me in tears for a long time, but every now and then I need that.

May God continue to bless you in every way!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. For opening your heart. I am a young mom of two little ones and another on the way and unlike our family members and friends-- we have chosen to obey the Lord and to ask Him to help us to love children as He does! You have that love that I admire so much! That love that the Lord is glorified by! And this is the heart of the matter-- not a race to have as many children as you can to beat out the other families-- but just a willingness-- as in every other area of our lives-- to let the Lord be in control. Trust in Him. Rest in Him and rejoice in Him! Thank you again for your post! I was blessed by reading it!