I’m not in the habit of quoting Buddha, but I came across this quote on Pinterest recently, and could not resist:
That last part of the quote is what grabbed my attention. It sums up perfectly what’s been on my mind recently….
When Ben and I were dating, we would talk about kids – how many we wanted, and what our family might look like.
I though four children would probably be necessary, but Ben said two.
I asked if we could compromise, and have three, and he said, very Ben-like, “We’ll talk about it when the time comes.”
So I never really decided how many kids we would have. Because I knew there was a good chance it would be hard for us to have kids, a bit of me wondered if we’d have ANY.
Well, Anika came along, and life was so awesome, there was no doubt we wanted more where that came from. But when it took so long for us to have Kaylia, it made me not only desperate for two kids, it made me quite certain I wanted three.
However, after Kaylia was born, it became clear that three might not be possible. For a long time, I remained hopeful that my physical limitations would heal up in time for me to squeak one more baby out before I turned 35. After that, I said I would give up. (In case you’re wondering what Ben thought of all this, his opinion was that he would be sad if we never had another baby, but he was happy with the family we had.)
Thirty-five rolled around this summer, but it turns out, I still didn’t want to give up my baby dream. There was a part of me that still desperately hoped of Baby #3. We had all that baby stuff sitting in the basement, and I was unable to part with it.
I felt stuck and frustrated. My therapists said “No.” Pregnancy would not be a good idea, and I didn’t want to wreck my body any further – I wanted to be strong and healthy to enjoy the children I have been blessed with.
But my friends all talked about how when you’re done, you KNOW you’re done.
I didn’t know. I never got to choose.
I wish I could know what it feels like to be DONE. I wish the baby clothes could get shipped out victoriously, speedily followed by the crib and stroller. I don’t want to be sad about this.
One mom who had decided to stop at two said she felt a pang of longing every time she saw a family of three, even years after making the decision.
I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life wondering “What if…?” I didn’t want to have regrets when I was eighty, thinking we should have had more kids.
But I didn’t get to make the choice. I still feel as though I need every person to know that we only have two because we couldn’t have more, not because this is what I wanted – I’m not sure why I feel the need for everyone to know that.
I don’t want to see our family as incomplete, and I most definitely don’t want to be discontent. I praise the Lord for these sweet girls of ours.
“Gracefully let go of things not meant for you…”
Isn’t that beautiful? It’s what I want in many areas of my life. I feel as though God is teaching me to find it in this situation, as well. In the last month or two, as I’ve prayed about it, and tried to release it to Him, I feel as though He’s giving me such peace and contentment.
He knows the longing I’ve had, and He holds it. It is safe with Him, and I am safe with Him, and there are so many other ways to live and love and do family. If we can’t have more children, we will find other ways to reach out and share life with those who are lonely.
God is surprising me with His ability to make my life seem full and good, even when I can’t have exactly what I want.
He will not leave me longing. I want to let go of my desire for another baby so there is room to desire Him, and all He has for me.
Is there anything in your life that needs to be gracefully let go of?