The doctor looked intently at both of us and asked us point blank if we were sure we were through having children – we were still so young. We smiled at each other and nodded, knowing that we were doing the responsible thing for our family. At that time, we had many reasons for wanting to end our childbearing years, none of which we grounded in Scripture.
My husband and I met at a Christian University and instantly became close friends. After only four months, he proposed and seven months later, we were married. I was in the Nursing Program and was enjoying the education I was receiving and my role as a caretaker when I found out that I was pregnant. My desire had always been to be a nursing stay at home mother when I had children. But this pregnancy was not “planned.” We had been married only a year and had been using birth control. Sadly, I realized I would deliver before I finished my degree. To that point in my life, nursing had been my identity and it was an outlet of ministry for me. Very quickly though, that fleeting sadness turned to joy as I began to switch gears mentally into the role of motherhood.
I finished out the summer semester and quit the program to focus on home life. At three months into the pregnancy, I miscarried. It was the deepest grief I had ever felt in my life up until that point. I had no idea how much I loved my baby even in such a short time and was shocked at the incredible loss that I felt. It was at that time that my husband and I decided it was time to officially start our family, so we stopped using birth control. Joyfully, I conceived six months later with our first child, Daniel.
Ten months after his birth I had our second child, Sarah. I was enjoying motherhood, nursing and caring for my babies but I received many degrading comments from friends and family regarding our quickly growing family. It was true, I felt exhausted many days and sought out encouragement from Christian devotionals on Motherhood. My time at church was now devoted to teaching in the cradle roll class and sitting in the mother’s room and I struggled with the loss of spiritual and intellectual discussions as well as long devotions and Bible study that I had enjoyed before having children. But even with all the adjustment, I knew motherhood was exactly what I was called into and that it was the most important job I could ever have the privilege of having. Three was all we could handle, or so we thought. And so very soon after our third child, Rachel, was born, we headed to the doctor’s office to have my husband “fixed.”
We reached this decision simply because I was physically tired and because we thought it was the responsible thing to do in the eyes of others. We had never heard, believe it or not, that children were blessings to be treasured and desired. We had observed a general attitude in the church and the world that children were more like burdens and something to be limited. Then, we met two families that forever changed the course of our lives. One family had thirteen children and the other had eight! I had never met anyone with more than four children and even that was rare.
Our family of five was considered large in our circle of friends. As we got to know these families, the father boldly asked my husband one day when we thought our next child would be coming along. My husband told him he was fixed. “No, you’re broken!” he retorted. What a concept! He shared with my husband that they knew of a great doctor that performed vasectomy reversals at a discounted rate as a ministry. We lived in Tennessee and the doctor lived in Arkansas. Now, we had been considering a reversal but would need to wait until my husband graduated from his master’s degree program to be able to afford it. This conversation occurred on Sabbath. My husband had few vacation days so we were looking forward to this next week that he didn’t have classes.
Our friends called us on Sunday and asked, “Can you make it to an appointment tomorrow in Arkansas to have the reversal done? The doctor has a rare opening.” We began to quickly make plans for a trip, and all this time my mind was reeling. This was happening very fast and at this point, I wasn’t really sure I was ready but I knew that the Father was orchestrating it. One of the families stopped by our home while we were getting ready and presented us with the full amount of money to pay for the procedure. We were so completely humbled at the selfless generosity of all involved. So, we made the a whirlwind trip to Arkansas the next day.
It had been seven years since his vasectomy so the scientific odds of us conceiving were about 50/50. Six months later, I informed our family that we were expecting! By this time, Yahweh had been doing a great work on my heart and gently preparing me to receive another child. Micah arrived just weeks before my husband graduated, the time in which we had thought we “might” seriously think about having a reversal done. Micah has been such a tremendous blessing to our whole family. He brings precious life into our home with his laughter, smile and love.
I now grieve the years lost by mistakenly cutting off the blessings from our gracious Father. I patiently wait to see if He will bless us with more children as Micah is now three years old.
All in all, I have learned that Yahweh is so very good. He forgives and He blesses and He knows what is best for us. I am so incredibly thankful for the four precious children he has given my husband and me and for the families that He used to turn our hearts toward our children.