Tuesday, October 6, 2015

2 Kids and Counting: Life After Nila Faith

Hello, friends!  Wow, my life has been a whirlwind since the birth of our amazing daughter in May.  God has shown up in huge ways and our lives have been forever transformed for the better!  Because of all the chaos, I have not gotten a chance to update everyone on our faith journey. As many of you know, after the birth of our son in December 2013, the Lord asked my husband and me to step out in faith and trust Him in obedience as He asked us to stop using contraceptives.  It was a scary, but prayerful decision to obey, and although our fear was great, we felt an overwhelming sense of peace as we walked with our Savior through unknown waters.  So, we followed.  We let our faith be bigger than our fear, and stopped using contraceptives.  We had plenty of questions: How will we pay for more children...the births, deliveries, and just everyday life?  Where will we put more car seats?  What insurance will we use? The Lord gently reminded me that I don't need all the answers to obey Him.  I felt His voice saying, "I have the answers.  Just be still and know that I am God."  He also reminded me that He is the One Who cares for the children we already had.  He is the One Who provides for them, not us.  He is the One Who gives us everything we need, so why wouldn't we obey Him and allow Him to bless us with more children?  He's going to give us and them everything we need.  He owns the cattle on a thousand hills.  Everything is His and He is Jehovah Jirah.  It would be contrary to Who He is if He called us somewhere, then didn't provide for our needs.  And I know my God is true.  He is constant, unchanging.  He is Who He says He is.  He always has been and always will be.  He has always provided for us and He has always been Who He says He is in our lives.  It's one thing to hear and read about Who God is, but a drastically, life-altering thing to witness Him alive and at work in our lives.

Then, in May 2015, our third child was born and I was completely overwhelmed.  I was overwhelmed by the fact that I had just given birth naturally.  All my other labor and deliveries were completed with help of glorious, amazing drugs.  But, I felt that God wanted me to give birth naturally, so I did.  It was the most horrendous pain I have ever experienced, and afterward, I looked at my husband and vowed I would never do that again if given a choice.  He immediately agreed by giving me a sigh of relief and a head nod.  It was difficult for him, too.  But, through it all, I felt God leading me and teaching me.  He was faithful; He never left me.  I was also overwhelmed by the fact that the Lord had just given us another healthy and beautiful baby.  The waiting for her was over.  She could finally come home with us and join our family circus.  I was overwhelmed with the fact that my 17-month old son had come to the hospital to visit us and meet his new sister, and he immediately, upon entering the room and seeing me, turned the opposite direction, wanting nothing to do with me.  He obviously felt betrayed that I would leave him for that long without telling him where I was.  He was not happy with me, which led to another overwhelming feeling--how was I going to provide the love and attention to each of our three children in addition to daily routines and responsibilities? 

So, there I was, lying in the hospital bed--because, with two other little ones at home--NOTHING short of a disaster was going to get me out of that bed.  I was there to stay until kicked out.  Underneath all the other reasons for feeling overwhelmed, I felt the Holy Spirit's peace that this was our last child.  That I could rest from being pregnant and giving birth.  That we were good to go back on contraceptives.  What?  I asked God if He was sure.  Are You sure, God, that's You, because You asked us to go off of contraceptives and trust You with the number of children we have.  So, I didn't say anything to my husband right away.  I thought I had the wrong message.  I definitely did not want to disobey the Lord.  As scared as I was when we went off of contraceptives, I was even more scared to disobey the Lord by going back on them if it wasn't really His leading.  So, I held it in and carried it with me.  It started to weigh me down. This sense that we were free to use contraceptives, but fear that I had misheard the Lord. Then, my husband spoke up and said he was feeling like the Lord was giving us a green light for contraceptives again.  I was so relieved!  Isn't that the way the Lord works, though?  If He is preparing my heart for something, then He is preparing the hearts of all people involved.  If I had not been so weak in my faith, I would have spoken up to Josh from the beginning and told him.  I would have saved myself a lot of agonizing.

We sat down and discussed it because I could not understand how God would tell us something was okay after it wasn't.  This challenged my faith because I had to face some pretty big questions: did God change?  Did He go back on His word?  Did He forget what He asked us to do or change His mind?  From years of walking with the Lord in prayer and His Word and multiple unsteady steps taken in faith, I knew that none of those were true.  So, what was the deal?  What was the truth?  Little did I know that my husband held the truth that the Holy Spirit revealed to him.  He assured me that we did trust God with the number of children we had.  We did trust Him, and He gave us one more child and that's what He wanted for our family.  It's like when God called Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac.  God asked Abraham to travel to sacrifice his only son to Himself.  Abraham obeyed.  He knew His God.  He trusted Him and went.  When he got to the place the Lord had set for Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, the Lord provided an animal sacrifice, a substitute for Isaac so that Abraham wouldn't have to sacrifice his only son.  Similarly, my husband and I trusted the Lord by stepping out in obedience, then after God blessed us with another child, we were okay to continue on contraceptives.  The Lord wanted us to trust Him.  He wanted us to obey because He loves us.  He wanted us to experience His love, provision, faithfulness, and blessings like never before.  For some families, the Lord has called them not to use contraceptives for the rest of their journey.  For us, that isn't the case.  We don't know what our next step will be in having children or what the Lord has in store for us, but we know that His plan is best and He has a plan for my husband, me, and each one of our children.  They are here for a reason and we are enjoying them.

I wanted to share our story for two reasons.  One, for our friends and family who follow our faith journey, and, two, to pass on what God has taught me through this experience.  He taught me that if He has laid something on my heart and other people are involved, don't be afraid to share it with them because He is preparing their heart, also.  He taught me that He knows what He's doing.  He is Almighty, and all I need to do is trust and obey.  Life is so much better that way!  I love it when He works in me and through my life.  He never changes.  He is a constant source of hope and provision. So, trust Him, friend.  Trust Him with hard decisions and hard steps of faith.  Trust Him.  He will show up, and He is faithful!