The desire to start a family was there, definitely there, that was not the obstacle.
There were a variety of things that clouded my mind, but in this post I want to talk about one specific area. It was brought to mind after reading a recent post at the True Woman blog.It was addressing weakness and Christ's strength and glory through it.
When I would think about having a precious little bundle, my heart would melt and I wanted to be pregnant ASAP. But then I would see wild children come into work and think "Oh, Lord have mercy on that mother" and it would scare me out of my mind. Then I would look at the amazing example set by the families at church - of parents raising children in a Christ center manner and the effects were inevitably fruitful. It was both encouraging and intimidating. I would think... "Yes! I want children! I want a family like that." and then also think "There is no way I am equipped or remotely qualified to lead children the way they do."
There was a serious tug of war going on in my mind and heart. And the battle was of my competency vs. Christ's sufficiency. Specifically, Christ's ability to give me grace as a mother - to lead, raise, cherish, protect, and teach my children in the things of God, and help lead them to Christ.
I was waiting to feel "competent, to have my act together, to feel adequately prepared before ever stepping out into uncharted territory," as True Woman post put it.
One evening, last fall, we finished dinner with a family from our church and were talking about starting a family one day. And I remember them telling us straight up: "You'll never be 'ready,' you'll never have 'enough' money in the bank, or have the 'right' house, or have done 'enough' traveling, or had 'enough' time with your spouse.."
As Gary Ryan Blair is quoted in Start Your Family, Inspiration for Having Babies "You cannot afford to wait for perfect conditions....opportunities are easily lost while waiting for perfect conditions." I knew it was true. I knew that I would think my way out of having kids for the rest of my life if I decided to wait for my adequacy to catch up to my calling. But most of all I knew it was true because, I knew that I would never be competent enough, adequate, or prepared enough to be a parent. I am human, a sinner, insufficient in my own strength and will.
I still have moments when I think "how in the world am I gonna do this??" At times I have "a mind paralyzed by fears of inadequacy and potential failure.Thoughts of “what if” have flooded my mind. What if I really can’t do what’s being asked? What if I’m found to be inadequate? What if I fail or disappoint or …? The possibilities seem endless. The result = mental, emotional, and spiritual exhaustion! .. I’m not surprised by my “little strength and ability.” In fact, daily those truths flash like a neon sign in my mind. What surprises me is that the Lord doesn’t see them as hindrances." (True Woman blog post - my own emphasis added)
The Lord has mapped out the days of our little boy's life. He mapped them out before the foundations of the earth were laid. He holds our little boys future in His hands, and no failures or inadequacies of mine will change that.
My friend shared a very helpful truth that she received, from her friend, who was given this advice from another precious friend, that I will now put into words from what I can best remember and add a few of my own words :o)
God, in his good and sovereign will, chose me - out of all the other women in this world - to be the mother of this baby at this very time because he saw it fit for me to raise him and He will be faithful to sustain me in this calling, guide me in this task, and give me knew mercies every morning.
So,as the same TW post puts so helpfully: "Is it really possible that our little strength and ability provide the perfect vessel through which the fullness of Christ’s life can be exhibited? Isn’t that our desire? That the fragrance of Christ’s life in us would permeate the lives of those He’s entrusted to our care so that they would be drawn into a more intimate relationship with Jesus? "
The answer is a resounding, "YES!"
That is why the families in our church have such a delightful flavor to their lives, and the parents are examples of what Jonathan and I hope to be!
Not because they are competent or adequate, but because they have learned dependence on God's grace and mercy and because they have found adequacy in His sufficiency to lead them in their calling as mothers and fathers.
That is what gave Jonathan and I the courage to jump on the boat. To start our family. Because we know that we are not in it alone. We will never be alone.
2 Corinthians 12:9
..."My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.