Friday, June 27, 2014

Choices: Releasing (birth) Control

Please understand as you read, this is my story of how God has led me and brought my heart to this place where I have stopped using birth control. It is not the only way or the right choice for everyone. Let God lead you. He has a unique plan and purpose for each of us. Research all your options and seek His wisdom. God bless you!


During a season when God was teaching me to let go of fear and asking me to release control of my life, He placed a dream in my heart. A sweet dream by the name of William Thomas. A baby boy that would be mine to nurture and love as he grew into a mighty man of God.

At the time, I thought we had a lot of things we needed to do before having children. I wanted to serve overseas first. We needed to be debt free and financially ready. We needed our own place, etc. I had a timeline in my head of how things ought to be. So when God placed this deep love for my little boy in my heart, I wept at the thought of the years that would pass before I would get to meet him and know him and see his sweet face. I wanted him desperately and I prayed passionately for him for weeks.

I wanted him now with the deepest ache, but we had to be responsible. We had to do things in the "right" order. Didn't we?

God began to nudge my heart. He impressed on me that maybe He had a different timeline. Maybe He had a better plan.

That took a little while to get through, because I had been clinging so hard to typical wisdom and the way I thought things "should be done" that I had neglected to really ask God for His way for us. I was praying with such frustration for God to make my timeline happen (and feeling increasing disappointment at my lack of progress along it!), it hadn't even crossed my mind that He might have a different timeline! I had forgotten to consider that His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9) and that the wisdom of God seems like foolishness to the world (1 Corinthians 1:25 & 2:14).

God asked me to give the timeline of my life to Him. To trust Him with the details and give Him control. For me, I felt this meant letting go of hormonal birth control, allowing God to give us the blessing of a child in His timing, and trusting Him to also provide. I needed to release that aspect of my life to Him, to stop clinging to control of it out of fear.

I told God I would, provided my husband Nathaniel agreed, to confirm that it was His will. So I shared with Nathaniel what God had placed on my heart. I had assumed he would want to wait awhile for me to quit taking the pill. His response was along the lines of "Then go ahead and stop right now." He meant that day and I was so shocked! In his eyes, it was very simple: if I felt God was asking that of me, then I should do that, no further consideration needed.

And that confirmed it for me! I obeyed, surrendering all my worry and fear to Him and knowing we were in no way ready for a child! But I believed that God would make a way when the time came and trusted that once I became pregnant, He would still have nine months to get things in order that weren't yet ready! Where there had been fear, we now had so much peace.

As I prayed through this, God reminded me in so many ways that children are a blessing from His hand (Psalm 127) and assured me of His promises to provide for His children (Psalm 37:25). And if I truly believed that children are a blessing, would I really want to try to prevent God from sending me one until I decided it was time? Did I really want to say, "No thanks, God, but I don't want a blessing just yet! No thanks, God, that's enough blessings! You can stop that now!"? ;)

No! I wanted to fully surrender to God's plan and purpose for our family - in timing and in size. I wanted to gladly welcome every blessing that He desires to send to us, through pregnancy or adoption.

Within six months of that decision, I was pregnant with my William Thomas. A few months later, by God's grace, we purchased a beautiful home. We welcomed Will with joy, just over a year after God put him on my heart. Through it all, God has been faithful to provide all we need and more.

Some time after Will was born, I became convinced in my heart, convicted, that it was God's desire for me to never go back on the pill. For one, I became better educated on the health risks and concerns associated with long term use of hormonal birth control. More importantly, I learned that all pills, even pills that aren't meant to function in this way, can cause a very early abortion by allowing conception to occur but preventing implantation. Because of my deeply held convictions about the precious value of every life, I felt that I couldn't accept that risk no matter how rare. And so I never went back on the pill and I haven't sought an alternate method.

Someday, we may look at natural family planning, but, at least for this season, God has called me to lay down any attempted control and simply trust Him. He transformed my thinking on this. He took any worry or fear and replaced it with trust and faith. He took my plans of wanting maybe 3 children and multiplied it into a dream of many more, especially through adoption. He changed my priorities and expanded my vision of what my family could be. He has blessed us with two sons in His beautiful timing so far and I wait with expectation for all the other precious blessings He has in store for us.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Dream, Distraction, and Grace

About a month ago, I shared with a dear friend a small dream that has been growing on my heart to share on my blog my journey to some unconventional, definitely not mainstream, choices for me and my family. I confided my nervousness at facing some possibly hostile opinions and my excitement at sharing what I've learned in my journey.

Almost immediately I began seeing confirmations, as though speaking the dream aloud had released something. Facebook posts, messages, phone calls, books! Everywhere I looked, God was encouraging me to go for it. I was ready to go!

And then I got sick. I spent some time distracted. I celebrated when a much-prayed for baby was born to a friend (SO many answered prayers in that birth story and precious little one! Praise God!!). And then I was sick again! So for nearly a month, I had very little quiet time. I felt so disconnected.

So a couple days ago, for the first time in weeks, I spent some solid time in scripture. (I was feeling a little self-judgmental, finger shaking at myself. Shame, shame, no scripture reading in how long?!)

First I read in Isaiah and these words filled me up,

Isaiah 43:1,4 "But now, this is what the Lord says— He who created you, Jacob, He who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine... You are precious and honored in my sight... I love you. "

and then I read 1 John,

1 John 2:1 But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

First, He assured me of His love and then assured me of His grace. I am loved. I am always forgiven. I am in awe of His abundant, extravagant grace!

Now, God willing, I will begin writing about my journey of unconventional choices in my next post. I am praying there will be no more distraction and no more sickness! Pray with me?

Thank you for reading. Leave a comment? 

May you rest in His extravagant grace and overwhelming love!