More Children - Can We Cope?
"What do you think, honey?" I asked my dear husband. "I'm not sure," he answered, "I think we should pray about it." We had just spent some time in the scriptures, searching out God's will for us in the area of family planning. We read verses together and discussed their meanings. We were both more than a little nervous at the prospect of halting our use of birth control. However, as Christians who had recently rededicated our lives to God, we were determined to put every area of our lives in subjection to Him. We had given every part of our lives that we were aware of over to our Lord. Suddenly a new area came to light, one that we had held for years with a stingy grip.
With our son and two daughters safely tucked in bed, we continued to discuss how making this decision would change our lives. "What will our parents say?" "How many children can we handle?" "Can God be trusted?" Of course He can, we recognized. He had proven Himself faithful through many trials in our married life, even through all our disobedience and faithlessness. We were no strangers to the Refiner's fire. We knew that He could be trusted to bring us through it; a little scorched maybe, but also stronger and wiser. We were now at a place where a decision had to be made. We could no longer continue in ignorance since God had clearly revealed to us His will in His word. We chose to place our fertility into the hands of our heavenly Father.
As we prayed together that night with a bit of trepidation, we asked God to bless our dear little ones and made a pledge to trust Him with our family size. Our fourth child, was conceived that very night. At the time we made this decision my husband had just returned to work after being disabled for some months, having had surgery on his spine. We moved into my mother-in-law's one-bedroom condominium with her, as it would take some time after my husband's disability to recover financially.
This was a difficult time for us, to say the least. We disagreed with my mother-in-law about many things, particularly issues that pertained to our children. Our recent conviction about family planning was a particular sore spot, and the announcement of our current pregnancy strained things further. My husband's job required him to be away for long periods of time, and I was so lonesome for him. I felt weak and vulnerable, persecuted, alone. I needed someone to lean on, and I decided it best to lean on God, who had never disappointed me. I spent a great deal of time in God's word and in prayer. God used this time to draw me near to Himself and teach me about patience, peace, and contentment.
As my pregnancy progressed, I became increasingly apprehensive about bringing our new child into the stressful atmosphere of my mother-in-law's tiny apartment. I prayed God would find us a home. We had been looking for a residence for weeks, but could find nothing in our price range in a neighborhood my husband felt comfortable with. Our desire had been to move out-of-state, but it just didn't seem possible given our financial circumstances.
Time passed, and our new baby's birthday was quickly approaching. My mother-in-law had decided to move in with one of her children and lease her condominium. We were running out of time to find a new home. There were many times I contemplated what it would be like for all of us to live in our car, something that I felt was a distinct possibility at the time. With only one week to spare before the new tenants were scheduled to move into our present abode, God gave my husband a new job. His new job not only paid more than his present one, but it allowed him to transfer to another state. With God's help, we were moving!
We packed everything we owned into a moving truck and piled into the cab: hubby, three children, and my eight-months-pregnant self. It took four days to reach our destination, but it felt wonderful to be in our own home again. Within the first week God put me in contact with a Christian midwife who agreed to deliver our baby for a very low fee, and a pastor's wife (mother of seven) who to this day is one of my dearest friends.
Our sweet baby girl was born five weeks later. We rejoiced and praised God for His goodness to us. We thanked Him for giving us our own home in a "new land," and a precious newborn daughter. Our gratitude toward Him continues to this day, after a move into a larger home and the birth of another beloved son.
God has shown us that the anxiety we felt when first relinquishing control of our family size to Him was so unnecessary. It exposed the weakness of our flesh and our underlying lack of faith. His faithfulness is vast and everlasting. He can be trusted.
We now anticipate with joy any future blessings and will count each one as a great gain; assets to our family. We have enjoyed our children so much more since realizing what they truly are--gifts from God. They are the delight of our lives. We are no longer fearful of our Lord adding to our family, for we know that with each little lamb God provides more grace, more love, and more joy.
The Smiths have five children so far - Ashley (10), Adam (8), Linsay (4), Kaitlyn (2) and baby Josiah.