God has a Bigger Plan
My husband and I have 14 children, ages 23 to 2 ½ years old. We home school which, contributes to a constantly busy and interesting home life.
As you can imagine, it is no small thing for our family to function on a day-to-day basis. Four of our children work to help support the family since my husband’s brain injury almost eight years ago. A home business keeps me extra busy and everybody, including my husband, contributes to the daily operations. Fourteen of us live in a four-bedroom house, which we open up to others every chance we get. Our family loves to exercise the gift of hospitality. In all of this, there is a contagious joy in our home. Teenagers who work with my children wish they could be a Wexel.
A few years ago, as a 46, almost 47-year-old woman, my body began to change. I was convinced that Phoebe, our six-year-old, was to be our last. There had never been a span of over two years between children before and I was experiencing pre-menopausal signs. In fact, before I knew I was pregnant with number 14, I had skipped cycles again. It had become commonplace and I did not give it a second thought. It took me over two months to figure out I was expecting once again, even though I was experiencing some very familiar feelings.
The day I took a test and confirmed what I suspected was amazing. We were going to be blessed again with a new life in our home. You should have seen the joy that flowed from our children. You would have thought someone told our children we won the lottery! As a family, we have been through a lot in every way. My husband’s brain injury put a strain on our family that would have crumpled most. However, with God, we have flourished. As I pondered in my heart the joy in our home at the news, God gave me wonderful vision concerning our last three babies.
When my husband was injured, Isaac, child number 12, was four months old. The injury was very traumatic on our whole family, and especially on me, as I lost the mate I knew and now had a very different one. It was very lonely. God, in his sovereignty, knew I would need Isaac. I had a sweet little baby to hold, cuddle and nurse when every one was in bed and I was all alone. By trusting God to plan our family, the result was having Isaac to help meet needs of mine that I had no idea were coming. This was immeasurable during a very difficult time.
Eleven months into his injury, I was pregnant again. You can imagine all the comments I heard from people who do not understand that God’s ways are higher than ours. Outwardly speaking, one could wonder at the wisdom in this, but God knows so much better than we can even imagine. So by faith and with joy I welcomed the new life growing within my womb. We named her Phoebe Hope--Phoebe means ‘bright’ so she is our bright hope baby.
With Isaac meeting so many needs of mine, it became apparent that God provided Phoebe for my husband. When he was injured, it was very hard for him to be around the noise and constant motion of the children. He would push himself and spend time with them, but it was not easy for him. Often he would have to retreat to a quieter place. When God brought Phoebe along, He gave us this beautiful, quiet, still little human being. Daniel, my husband, would lie on the couch and put Phoebe on his chest. You could see him melt. Phoebe was like therapy and helped him to reconnect to the children. What an awesome testimony to God’s ways being higher than ours!
When we found out we were expecting number 14, as you can imagine, not all the responses were positive. There were more than the usual unsolicited comments from people who think we are crazy…“What are you thinking, you are 46, your husband can’t work, etc.” As I prayed and girded up my own heart for this pregnancy, God ministered to me that this baby was for the children. Our older children have made great sacrifices and all the children go through a lot on a day-to-day basis living with a brain injured dad. The joy, excitement and anticipation of a new one coming outweighed any naysayer’s reactions. Isaac, who was four years at the time, reacted in a priceless way. He clasped his face with both hands, smiled a really big smile and then clapped his hands and danced about the room.
I cannot express the joy of watching all of her siblings take delight in her every move, smile, noise and coo when Analise arrived. There is great satisfaction as mom, watching my teenage sons hold her and take care of her. Phoebe gets to be a big sister and my older children, after a hard day at work, play and hold conversations with this little person. Many times, on days off, one of the older children will make plans to do errands or something special with Analise. It is as if she is their baby. They love to snuggle and read a book to her or just laugh at her silly antics. This proud Mom’s heart is full as I watch the healing this little person brings.
We trust in a very big God who sees all our needs and knows the very best way to meet them. We have certainly proved that God’s ways are best and that children truly are a blessing.
Lilburn, Georgia, USA
Some of you may remember reading Laurie’s previous testimony in Above Rubies, # 59, “God is Bigger than Our Circumstances”.