Our family of 6 will grow to 7 in 2017. God has chosen to bless us with another child. To be honest, this was a surprise to my wife and I. We thought we had our quiver full with four daughters. We survived and completed all the diaper and potty training we could handle. This last year we had been selling and giving away several items related to caring for infants and Danielle’s maternity clothes. Do guys have maternity clothes? Never mind, foolish question.
Nonetheless, the Lord has favored our family. In December as we were realizing the surprise Christmas present we were receiving, we were brought to mind the story of Joseph and Mary. Joseph’s life plans were different than what God had planned, yet he trusted God in each step: taking Mary as wife, leading and providing for family transitions between a census in Bethlehem and a dangerous refugee flight to Egypt, and living in Nazareth with the rumors of an unfaithful wife while raising the proclaimed Son of God. Likewise, at first Mary was greatly troubled but the angel told her troubles were God’s favor upon her (Luke 1:28-30).
The spiritual truth that we came to embrace was that God blesses us most in what we initially view as a crisis not as a comfort. Ashamedly, I/we admit that our initial thought of having another child was not full of joy. Questions flooded our mind:
- Will my wife be physically stable for another pregnancy and birth? Her last involved some complications to her health, and our baby’s health due to a fibroid near the birthing canal.
- Do we have enough love, patience, and care to pour into another child?
- Will our other children grow up to regret us having another child? Will they be able to sacrifice measures of time they would have had with us as parents?
- Will we have enough energy to endure sleepless nights?
- Can our family afford another child? How will this effect future financial planning for family provisions, schooling, weddings, college, vocation, ministry, etc.?
- How will our family fit in a vehicle? in bedrooms? around the dinner table? in hotel rooms when we travel? at other people’s homes we enter, if we’re even ever invited now that we have 7?
- What if the child is a girl? What if the child is a boy!?!
Yet, as questions flooded our mind faith filled our heart. Life was always the option. God is wiser than us. God has always been abundantly faithful to our family. In fact, we can testify that the more we give the more God provides for our needs and dreams. While having another child did not fit our comfort zone it did fit our faith zone.
Often we think that a sign of blessing is ease, when in reality God is most at work in our adversity. If life were always easy then we wouldn’t need God. God is most near to us and performs His greatest work in our crisis not our comforts. So, for us, God has favored our family by stretching us beyond ourselves. I can only imagine how much more we will rely on God in yet another potty training season, and more, another opportunity to parent an arrow in His hand (Psalm 127:4). Our passion as a family is to grow godly generations (Psalm 78:4-6). We can only imagine the ways we will encounter God in the depths of our insufficiency. Our trust is in the Lord to establish our home and life (Psalm 127:1). We are grateful for the love and support surrounding us through family, friends, church family, neighborhood, and ultimately our amazing God. All for His glory.