A Pool Or A Baby?

Mike and I met in high school. I was a senior and Mike was a junior. We were both more interested in partying than in schoolwork. We both grew up Catholic, and as children, attended church, but it was out of religious duty, not because we had a personal relationship with the Lord. I graduated high school and Mike still had one more year. However before Mike started his senior year, I got pregnant with Samantha. At that time, because of our situation, we did not view this child as a gift from the Lord.

It seemed to many people that it would be in our best interest if I had an abortion. In my spirit, I knew abortion was wrong. I knew it was killing a child, but I said I would go and have it done. Mike gave me the money and I went to the clinic with a relative of mine. (At that time I hadn't told my mother that I was pregnant.) I didn’t have any feelings when I entered the clinic. I kept telling myself that "It will be over soon and I won't have to worry about this anymore". It seemed like I waited an hour in the waiting room, but it was probably only 20 minutes. When they called my name I was taken downstairs to a room, and told to put on a "johnny" and to put a sheet over me. The doctor had not arrived, so it gave me time to think about what I was doing .I turned my head to the left and saw a thin cylinder metal can with a hose attached to one end. Imagining my child in that can, I could not hold back my feelings any longer. I cried so hard that I could barely talk. When the doctor came in and saw how up set I was, he told me I should not go through with. I got my money back and left.

On the way home, I tried to figure out what I would say to Mike. I thought he would not have anything more to do with me, but he said he would stay with me. He also knew that abortion was killing a child and that it wasn't the right thing to do, but at that time he was thinking more of himself than of the baby. After Mike graduated he went to trade school for two years to be a machinist and I stayed with my parents and became a beautician. We saw each other when we could during that time and planned our wedding. We were married August 3, 1984. During our first few years of marriage, Mike's obsession with drugs and alcohol increased. We fought a lot. We were verbally and physically abusive to one another.

When Stephanie, our second child was about two years old. I was so tired of how our marriage was going, and what our fighting was doing to the children, that I wanted to separate from Mike. But I was scared to be I loved Mike, but at the same time I hated him. I thought he was to blame for all my misery. I asked the Lord to show me a sign if separating from Mike was the right thing to do. God answered my prayer. A week later Mike left the house. One night during that week away Mike got high on cocaine. He had done so much cocaine that he said his heart felt like it was going to explode. The more he used, the more he wanted. He thought he was going to die that night, so he got down on his knees and asked God to help him. Mike contacted me and we talked. He agreed to go to a rehab. He stayed there for 30 days. The Lord was calling Mike and me, but we were not always listening.

Mike attended AA and NA meetings regularly for a couple of years. We also had our third child.

After the birth, Mike decided to get a vasectomy. I didn't want him to but Mike felt that three children was enough. Even though we had used birth control to space our children, it never occurred to me that we were withholding children. I cried when he had it done. But in time I got used to the idea.

Mike was looking for a close personal relationship with a friend, but he felt he could never connect with anybody in AA or NA or with the friends we had left over from us changing our life style. Unknown to us there was an elderly couple in the trailer park where we were living, who were Christians. They had been praying for a Christian family to come in to our trailer park to live. A family whose father was a pastor and had three daughters moved in that year. Our children met their daughters and our families became friends. They invited our children to an Awana program they had at their church. I had wanted our children to learn about God, but our children hated to go the church we had attended as children. The first time my children attended Awana, I couldn't believe how much they liked it.

We went to church the following Sunday which happened to be Mother's Day. We were both nervous. We had not gone to church in a long time. During the service, the Pastor asked all the fathers go to the front of the church to sing to the mothers. If Mike didn't go up front, he would have been the only father sitting down. So he followed the others up. The song they sang was Amazing Grace! When Mike came back to his seat he was crying. He had found the Friend he had been looking for! He asked Jesus to forgive him and to be Lord over his life. A couple of months later, I asked the Lord to forgive me and to be in control of my life. Since that time, all our children have come to know the Lord.

We moved from the area where we grew up and Mike changed his job – same trade but different location. When one of our friends came to visit us, she asked me if I had ever considered Mike having a reversal. She knew I would like more children. Our youngest child was six years old at this time. I had never thought about it, because I had only heard of people having surgeries to stop having children, never to have them. When I approached Mike, he was not at all keen on the idea. He said we couldn't afford it, He didn't want to go under the knife again. (the first time was bad enough for him!) He said we were at a time in our life where we were independent. If he was to do this, the Lord would have to change his mind. I prayed the Lord would work on his heart.

After about a couple of months, Mike told me he wanted to talk to me. He had been listening to some tapes on the value of a child and how a lot of great Christian men and women were the seventh, eighth and ninth child in their families. It got him thinking. What child had he prevented that could have been used to further the Kingdom of God?

When we told the children that we wanted to have more babies, we were surprised they were not as excited as we were. One child was happy about it, but the other two wanted a pool. What could we have expected? All their lives they’d heard that two or three children are enough for most families. We were in a dilemma! Buy a pool or have a baby! My heart said, "A baby." Mike's heart said, "A baby and pool!" The only money we had for Mike's operation was going to be from the sale of a camper that we owned. We were still not convinced about what to do, so we had the pool man come out and survey our yard. He sprayed a giant, bright orange ring on our lawn to let us know how well the pool would fit in our yard. While we were contemplating our decision, we had to stare at a bright orange circle day after day. Our camper was not selling either. One day I asked Mike, "Do you think the reason we’re not selling the camper, is because were not following the Lord?" When our hearts became right before the Lord, we sold the camper!

It has been a year since Mike has had his reversal. We are now waiting on the Lord for any future blessings. I am thankful to God for using our children to bring us to Him and to mature us in the faith. What mighty warriors children are! Psalm 127: 3-5 says, "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."

KELLY BELANGER
Casco, Maine, USA

Mike and Kelly have three children, Samantha (15), Stephanie (11), and Spencer (7)

Written July 1997

Still waiting for children.

 

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