Because We Believe

A little over three weeks ago, we were still very adamant about the FACT that the Lord controls the womb. He does not accidentally give you children that you aren't meant to have, and He doesn't sit back and watch your closed womb without purpose. We know He has His hand in everything and just like in the time of the Old Testament, He is in control of our childbearing.

We experienced a very traumatic birth. Our baby was born without a heartbeat, and I very nearly died afterward. I think many people would forgive us after this whole ordeal, if we decided that five kiddos is more than enough and it's time for a birth control solution.
In fact, the comments have already started.
My friend informed me that people are already asking her (why would they dare ask us to our faces? That would be far too honorable, of course) if we are done now. We should just be happy with the kids we have, and we shouldn't *risk* any more. That's the worldly wisdom, at work as always. There was a nurse, right when I got to Seattle, that felt so compelled to voice her concern; she went on and on about how she cares so much that I not have any more children... the very day after harrowing childbirth ordeal. Even as I was being wheeled away for my C-section the surgeon asked if I was interested in a tubal. This probably wasn't a reflection on the children I already have but I can't help but feel that bitter sting every time a doctor suggests my husband get a vasectomy or that I myself fix my entirely unbroken body.

So, suffering a medical emergency has changed day to day life for me. I was never that child who broke a bone or needed stitches for busting my head open. We were careful children and never suffered much of anything. So being 27 and suddenly being rushed into emergency surgery, especially when I've had anxiety most of my life, was downright scary. I've always had an illegitimate fear of being "put under" for surgery and never waking up, or of bleeding to death. The fact that I literally almost bled to death and then they did have to put me under caused me to face a lot of my fears of my own mortality. I'd love to say that I am no longer afraid, but it's proving to be quite a process for me. I believe I will come out on the other side with a much healthier outlook though. I'm just not quite there yet - and admittedly, I think I may be dealing with a degree of PTSD after this whole thing.

I don't think that many people were inspired by my ability to have unprotected sex with my husband and pop out babies left and right. Our lack of a foreseeable trial probably dampened that inspiration quite a bit. Never mind that Josh was likely to be sterile after chemo when he was 16. Our massive fertility is just a cause and affect to most people. I can see now how this trial of traumatic birth can be used for good though. Many people are expecting us to turn back to earthly wisdom and "be done." Logically, if anything scary happens, you should prevent anything scary like that from ever happening again.
But the truth is, we are never done or not done. Because our lifestyle and our faith isn't about us and our ability to have more pregnancies. It never has been, so why should that change now?
We don't try to get pregnant and we don't try not to because we believe that the Lord controls our womb. Surely, having unprotected sex makes you pregnant, right? Well, yes, that's the idea. Because the Lord designed it that way. Adam and Eve were doing that in the Garden. The Lord did not ever hand them a birth control prescription and say "this is the intelligent thing to do." I don't think it was ever God's intention to draw a line between the marital act of intimacy and the natural consequence of pregnancy. Obviously, I do *believe* we will get pregnant by not using protection. I also know, however, that sometimes it doesn't happen that way. I have plenty of close friends who have gone years waiting on another blessing that just never showed up. I don't pretend to know why some wombs are closed, and not every case of barrenness is attributable to the Lord, but I know He is attributable to some.

We are currently praying that God will give us a break long enough for me to heal before another baby. If it's His will for something else, then we are okay with that. Ultimately though, having a traumatic experience doesn't change anything. We live in faith that God knows our hearts and has preconceived every child He wishes to bless us with - but I will not refuse a blessing and expect Him to give it anyways. Because we really, truly believe every child is a blessing.

This is a podcast about a man who had a vasectomy. It was shared in my Christian Mom Group this morning when a woman was discussing her husband wanting a vasectomy. It made me cry several times - it is just a really beautiful testament to the Lord changing hearts. It's almost 30 minutes long, but I really encourage everyone to listen to it all the way to the end. At one point it really briefly touches on an idea I have tried to convey for a long time, about children being blessings.

Did you listen to it? Cause Jesus knows if you are lying. Also a lot of what I'm saying is probably irrelevant if you didn't.

Because we truly believe that every child is a blessing, we truly believe that the Lord WANTS to bless us this way and we won't prevent that for selfish reasons...and yes, my own fear is a selfish reason.
In all honesty, I'm at the point where I am terrified to get pregnant again. I am afraid something will go wrong, and I'll have to endure more medical trauma or worse - I will die. These fears aren't really all that rational. And to feel this way robs the Lord of his sovereignty over our lives. God could have taken Jericho and I both very easily. He could have taken Josh out of this world 20 years ago. And He didn't. There is nothing I could have done to change the outcome either way. I know as humans we think we are in control but guess what? We just aren't. And while I am here I want to acknowledge that. I want to live as though I trust the Lord with my life, until He calls me home. Our faith in Him controlling the womb CANNOT change just because I'm scared. That's not faith or trust if you stop believing when it becomes difficult!
Four years ago, the Lord dragged me out of bed in the middle of the night to confront me with a truth. He said "Do you really trust me?" I struggle with it, but in general, yes. I trust God with everything. That includes childbearing. Now that I have been confronted I have to always have an answer. I can say whatever I want and make any excuse I want. But it's cut and dry - we either trust or we don't. It is yes or it is no. It's perfectly human to say "yes, I do!" but not live that way. He can see in our hearts that our answer is no, and He can forgive that like any other sin. Personally, I am going to say yes. And I am going to keep saying yes, and despite my struggles I am going to try my hardest to live in a way that reflects my resounding YES, because we believe that we should step back and let the Lord be in control of EVERYTHING. And no matter what just happened to us, that hasn't changed.