What is Your Why?
Through Declan’s passing, it has led Michael and I to review where we are at in life and marriage. One of the topics that has come up is children again. We began talking about the different fertility options and wondering which one we should consider. Then Michael asked a very important question. “Why do we want to have kids”?
As we sat back and thought about it, I didn’t actually know my answer. There was a time I thought I knew, but did those things still ring true?
Growing up, I was afraid to be a mom. That responsibility overwhelmed me. I was worried I wouldn’t be good enough. I wasn’t patient enough. I wasn’t creative enough. I didn’t have the energy they would need. But put a baby near me and I was the first to scoop her up in cuddles. Put a child near me and I began talking and playing with him. I’d chat away with a teenager about their life and the dilemmas in it. I love people, so I knew that I would connect that much more with my own child.
I always wanted the privilege of going through a pregnancy and feeling a child grow within me. Another human life moving and wiggling.
When Michael and I were at the stage when our friends were all having babies, all I could think about was babies. The families in our lives were getting blessed with one child after the next. So, all I wanted was to have some of our own. Now that we’ve been away from that, and I’ve had less interactions with children these past several months, that itch has faded away. I have peace in my life the way it is, and I’m enjoying this time with Michael.
I know that it isn’t just a cultural want. This is something that everyone expects for a married couple around the world. Regardless of where you come from, once you’re married everyone can’t help but ask when the babies will start coming. They get excited for the different stages of life and look for the joy and celebrations of them. It is a Biblical and worldly norm to have children.
But when you stop and really think about it, why do so many people have children? What is their why? Is it because it is an expected thing? Do people even question it, or do they just do it when they feel ready because it’s typically a part of normal life?
When children don’t come right away, the questions start. Why can’t we get pregnant? Was it something we did or didn’t do? Is it because we won’t be good parents? Are we supposed to adopt? We have a lot of why questions, but have we asked why we want it in the first place?
As I took time to pray about my why, I was reminded about the Biblical infertility stories I’ve been writing on this blog. What was their why? Why did most of them eventually have children? What was the point for Abraham at 100 years old? Why would the Lord bless Leah and Rachel’s whole mess? Why did the Lord answer Hannah’s cry?
Then He answered me. Each of these stories were to glorify God, whether it was by the miracle of the pregnancy and birth, the child’s life, or the complete story. Each one had a significant purpose in the story the Lord was framing that led to Jesus.
Then it got me to thinking, every single birth throughout all of earth’s existence is to glorify God. Our children are not our own. They are His. We are given them to be faithful stewards of His creation. We are to teach and “train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6). We are to do our part, by His guidance as best we can. Then as they become adults, we are to wean them into the world as adults. We are to be available to guide, support, and love them. We are to bathe them in prayer. But they are the Lord’s vessels to do His work and fulfill His plans.
Just as Hannah raised and weaned Samuel, then gave him over to the Lord to work in the tabernacle, that is our calling as parents. If the Lord entrusts you with a child or children, that is your responsibility towards them.
Yes, even our children are not our own, as we are not our own. We are all the Lord’s. Whether we choose to believe and follow that or not is up to us. The Lord has specific purposes for each of us that are larger than our one life. They are all interconnected. Before Jesus came as a baby to this earth, all people led to His arrival, both pointing the way to Him, and showing the need for Him. Now, we are all designed to lead others to Him and prepare for His Kingdom coming; to show the world that we’re still in need of Him.
So that is my why. If God so chooses to bless Michael and I with children, it will be to glorify God through our story. I pray that I will faithfully seek and serve Him with these little vessels as He desires. If He chooses not to, may I glorify Him in whatever He has for me without them.
Now I ask you, what is your why?