When we had our second child everyone we met would gush over the kids and tell us we had the perfect family, a daughter and a son. I remember telling a friend I was pregnant with my third, and her response was, “Oh no!” I assured her that my husband and I were actually quite happy with the news and she quickly back-peddled. It was at that moment I realized that the rest of the world thinks we are off our rockers for wanting a large family. I came from a family of 9 children, so a big family was normal for me, but even my own sister (whom I adore) thinks I am nuts. Every family is different. Every parent has their own ideas about what a perfect family looks like. Our attitude was: the more the merrier.
Until I discovered I was pregnant with my seventh child.
Ken and I were just coming off a particularly stressful couple of months and we did not take the news well, neither of us. I am ashamed to say that most of our reasons were selfish, materialist and vain. We were embarrassed of what people would say. For some reason we thought that 7 children pushed the limits of big family to reality television family. And our current van (a conversion van that we call Relaxi-taxi) would be too small. That pretty much summed up my feelings right there: Our conversion van was TOO SMALL to fit our family.
For 10 weeks we complained to each other about our secret news. I would be 8 months pregnant for our family Disney trip. The baby would be born at Christmas and make everything even busier than usual. We needed a new van, a bigger one. What would people say? There was another tuition to think of. . .the list went on.
And then I miscarried.
I can’t adequately put into words the guilt and shame we felt. Our baby that we didn’t want, was gone. He or she was no less our baby, than the joys of our lives, but for stupid reasons, we never let our hearts fall in love with him. We rejected this precious gift of God because it was inconvenient. We didn’t deserve to parent her. She deserved better.
Suddenly the things that stressed me out before made me mourn. We wouldn’t have a baby at Christmas. I will always think of my little angel at Christmas time and miss him. I actually wanted to be 8 months pregnant in Disney (at least a little).
I think it caused me to grow up. What other people say behind my back isn’t as important to me anymore. So people wouldn’t think the van I drive is cool. Let’s be honest, no one but my 5 year old nephew thinks the van I drive now is cool, and it’s only because he thinks it’s an ambulance. 12 passenger van, bring it on. Another tuition to pay? God will take care of us, He always has.
My skin grew thicker. People’s opinions of our family planning don’t matter to me. Their assumptions that we are probably mooching off the government are incorrect. Hopefully we are raising responsible children with a strong work ethic (at least we hope they pick that up eventually) to love and serve others. But even if no one else sees it that way, it’s okay. I can let it go because I know what matters to me. And clearly it’s not the car we drive.
Harder though, is letting go of the guilt. I couldn’t help but feel that God took my baby because I didn’t deserve him, and truthfully I didn’t. I never got to hold him or nurse him. I never got to tell her I really do love her. I will always regret that!
It’s just a reminder to me of my sin. I deal with the sin of my children every day. I guide them to make better decisions and have better attitudes. And then there was me and my awful attitude. Only God could guide me through that and change my perspective on life. Life is what is truly valuable. All life.
Thank God that Jesus gave His life so that we could be forgiven from our sins and released from the guilt that comes with bad decisions and poor attitudes. For that I am forever thankful. I look forward to the day when I will meet my little one in heaven and tell him how much I truly do love him, and what a privilege it was to be his mom for 10 weeks. It really would have been merrier with her in our lives. I learned that lesson the hard way.
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.
Lighthouse shares this true confession with the permission of author KJBurres, who bravely shared it on her own blog dated Jan 27, 2015.