"I have a confession to make."
That there is a line that my husband uses with me quite often - he usually follows it up with something like, "I ate a donut at work today." I'm not kidding. It's quite hilarious.
But this is real, I do have a confession to make - but to brighten it up, I want to share with you what God revealed to me recently. It's good.
I haven't shared this with many people, but I've held something deep in my heart for too long. It hurts to talk about it, because it's a dream unfulfilled. It's a weight that felt heavy on my heart.
Here it is: I wanted a bigger family. I wanted to have more kids. I only have two kids, which technically, I think means I've met the American standard for child rearing (yes, I made that up). ...but I want more. Here's the hard part, which maybe wasn't really all that fair - I've been a bit of a butthead, holding this unfulfilled desire against my husband. I have had a bit of a bitter heart for the last couple of years as I realized our 'accidental' pregnancy wasn't going to happen and our efforts at investigating the world of foster care also didn't lead us anywhere.
Now I'm not trying to make out my hubby to be a roadblock, because I know that if I'd pressed the issue, he would have gone along with it and helped to make a baby... (hah!) He just didn't know how deeply I desired more children. He is usually pretty content with what he has, and so he thought I also, was content. I was not.
I always wanted a big family. I wanted to see my girls care for a little sibling. I wanted to see the love and experience the joy of bringing home a new baby for them to poke at, laugh at, and to experience life with. I wanted to see them be teachers, and big helpers and to grow their hearts to love on more offspring. Gosh I so deeply desire that for them, and for me.
I've had so many thoughts about my role as a mother, and my husband's attitude to be content with what we have has often given me the feeling of not being enough. On one hand, it feels like maybe he doesn't think I'm a good mother, and that is why he doesn't want more children. But you see, he's just fine and dandy with what we have and he didn't see a need to increase our numbers, because he also thought I was fine and enjoying the size of our family (don't get me wrong, I do enjoy my family as is!). I hadn't really shared with him how my heart ached for more. How when I see babies, I often want to cry. And how my role as a mother, is often downplayed in my head, because since he doesn't actively pursue me being in a pregnant state, I take it to mean he doesn't think I'm good enough. Ouch.
I finally vocalized my disappointment. And I could just see it in his eyes. If I pushed for another baby, he would give me that gift. I saw that he loves me to the core and that my fears and worries about not being good enough just aren't true. He believes in me and knows how deeply I love our girls. And you know what? That set me free a bit. It made things better. That understanding that he loves me and would absolutely be all in if I really wanted that. He's not sure I want that though. Because I've been quiet. Waiting for an accidental pregnancy. Gosh I've been waiting and waiting for 3 years to be accidentally pregnant! Guess it's not an accident if I plan for it, right?
Anyway, so here's what God revealed to me one Sunday when I went to church and attended a meeting about our upcoming trip to Africa. God has made me mobile. God is using ME! And because I don't have a baby, I'm able to travel to AFRICA to see God at work, and to have God work in my heart!!!! Wow. You see, if I'd had a baby, I wouldn't have gone to Africa last January. Our girls are old enough where they don't need me here 24/7 - so I am able to go, to experience, and to serve. I had the vision of serving on the mission field in Africa ever since I was a young girl. However, I believed that would never happen because I didn't marry a man who's heart was decided to be on the mission field...I also didn't think I had any useful skill for the mission field, but we can talk about that in a later post. God showed me that he works in curious and obvious ways (if we keep our eyes open to Him). As I was considering the upcoming trip to Sierra Leone, it suddenly struck me - maybe my life now will be used in ways I always dreamed of. You see, I am willing and able to go and to serve, and I realized when only 3 of us showed up to the mission trip meeting, that not everyone has a desire to serve in this way, or maybe it's just that they can't - because they are in a season where they have young kids and it just wouldn't make sense to go. Maybe this is my gift - to be available and ready.
Over the last 3 years, I've had time to process and grieve my non-existent 3rd child. In the last year, I finally told myself, it will be okay, life is good. I need to pour into my two girls and not wonder, what if. I'm okay with this now. I've come to terms with not having a 3rd.
And who knows, maybe someday we'll be bringing home a baby from Africa.
Just saying... there are orphans out there. ;)