This post is dedicated to Hannah S. and Amy B., my dear sisters in Christ. I love you and will miss you terribly.
Yes, I said it. Ashamedly, it’s the truth. But before you judge me too harshly, let me explain…
Growing up, I was never drawn to children. I never sought out babysitting jobs or wanted to work in the nursery at church. Even as a young adult, I was never the woman who just had to hold a newborn. After having four children of my own, I still don’t have that desire. Sure, there are certain babies I can’t wait to hold, and I did enjoy serving in the nursery at Salem Bible Church. BUT, I’m just not that person who loves hanging out with a bunch of crazy kids.
Here’s the funny thing: God has placed two callings on my life that are in definite contradiction to my lack of child-liking.
The first one came early in life. In eighth grade Algebra I class, I knew I was destined to be a math teacher. Since I wasn’t even in high school yet, I didn’t know if I’d like teenagers or not. In fact, that wasn’t a concern. I knew I was a gifted teacher, for I loved helping my friends in any subject and they seemed to get it when I explained things. The teaching part didn’t worry me either. My fear was getting in front of people to talk! I was deathly afraid to give speeches or draw any attention to myself in large crowds. (And by large, I’m talking more than 3 people.) Shy doesn’t begin to describe my personality, so how was I going to do this??
Well, God doesn’t call capable people to do His work. He calls the obedient. While I don’t think I recognized my dreams as God’s calling on my life until years after eighth grade, I know it was God who equipped me to do it. I ended up loving my teaching job. I thoroughly enjoyed the teenagers…well, most of the time!
I even sponsored the marching band flag core.
The second calling came a little later, and it was placed on Aaron and I as a couple. God has called us to have a large family. That’s part of the struggle that I’ve had with the loss of Hannah. My question is “If God wants us to have a large family, then why did He take one of our children??” I obviously don’t have an answer for that. God works in mysterious ways, and I trust Him enough to leave it at that.
That’s not my point in this post anyway. My point is that God has called a woman (me!) who could live her life without kids to be a mother of as many children as God would bless her with. That’s just craziness. And that’s the way God works. His word says that “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10) Did you catch that last part? God not only called me to mother many children but He also prepared IN ADVANCE for me to do this. Wow!
So, anytime that I get a blessing from God or even a hint that God might be blessing our family with another child, I get super excited. I don’t get excited because I love kids or I feel like a great mother or I feel worthy of such a calling. No, I get giddy because I know that each child is part of God fulfilling the purpose He has for me. He designed me to be a mother of lots of kids not by giving me all the things we think are necessary for good parenting. No, He did this by creating me in such a way that I am required to rely on Him. In order for me to raise the children God blesses me with, I must ask for and receive His help. When people see me with lots of kids, they MUST know that it’s God’s grace working through me, because I am not naturally equipped for this job! And while parenting is super hard, I delight in doing God’s work. I take joy and pleasure and I feel honored to be part of His plan.
In the NASB version of the Bible, 2 Corinthians 3:5-6 sums it up pretty well: “Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant.”
No, this isn’t a baby announcement. We are waiting on God to bless our family with another baby. Many of you know that we’d love to adopt. Whatever God has for us, no matter how many children He has planned for us, we will joyfully receive each and every blessing.
Until the next little bundle of joy is welcomed into our family, I will continue to enjoy my boys and cherish the moments I had with my daughter, my princess, my Hannah.
Praise and Prayer Requests:
1.) Please pray for my parents as they are en route! Pray for travel mercies and a joyful reunion with us.
2.) Praise God for Levi’s upcoming birthday. Please join us in praying blessings upon him as he begins his life as a 3 year old.
3.) Praise God for Noah, my firstborn. He has taught me more than I’d like to admit. 🙂
4.) Praise God for Jacob, my sweet little boy who is growing up way too quickly. He’ll be 5 soon but is mature beyond his years.
5.) Please pray for Levi, Jacob and Noah as the Bemms leave for Home Ministry Assignment (that means that they’ll be in the States for 5 months). My boys are super close with the Bemm children. Levi spends most of his time with their littlest 3. You can pray for them too as they travel back to PA!
6.) Please pray for us as we wait for God’s direction on the enlargement of our family.
7.) Praise God that He answers the prayers of His people.
“He didn’t select us to lead the study, mother the children, marry the man, lead the meeting, run the office, evangelize the tribe, or start the ministry because He knew we were already capable. Rather, He picked us up, dusted off our incapability, replaced it with His ability, and secured our success when we chose to rest and trust in Him to work supernaturally in us.” Priscilla Shirer Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed: A study of David