It seems like everyone I know has new babies, is pregnant, or is trying to get pregnant. Since this is something that is pervasive in my life it has started me thinking about the whole art of trying to get pregnant. Shortly after we got married, J's friend pulled him aside and told him to never "try." Apparently trying to get pregnant in their house was a very stressful event, and became a true obsession for his wife to the point that the frequency with which she took pregnancy test was becoming a major household expense. J conveyed this conversation to me and I scoffed at the fact that someone could be that obsessed with something, and we joked about the people we knew who were trying and bordering on similar obsessions.
That was until we started trying. Then we discovered the feeling of failure when every month you're not pregnant, AGAIN! We found how stressful it could be to have your fertile days all mapped out and then have life interfere with the plans for those fertile days. It seemed like immediately we started fighting over little things, both of us feeling inadequate, and struggling with feeling like God just didn't understand our plans for our family, and if He did He would let us get pregnant. How funny is it that we want God to fit our plans instead of finding out what His plans are? Silly humans!
Then I was reading through my Bible and kept coming across women who were unable to have children. In that culture it was truly a shameful thing to not be able to give your husband children. It was also continually acknowledged that children were truly a gift from God and that being able to bear children should not be taken lightly. Wow, that's convicting. Had I even put God anywhere in the discussion about babies? No. Maybe that is why it was becoming a wedge between my husband and I! Shouldn't children be brought into this world as an extension of our love for each other rather than as something for us to love? Finally I ended up sitting down with J and telling him that I wanted to leave it up to God, and wanted to mutually try to have the faith to trust God to work in our lives how He planned and in His timing. The poor man seemed relieved, and I realized then how stressful this had become for both of us. I've also realized since then how many thing in our lives need to happen right now that couldn't happen if we had a baby. It still is a thing that every month we hope for, but we try to place our hope in God first and foremost.
Now when people tell me they're trying, I often want to ask them if they've prayed about it. It has become so much of an obsession in our culture as children have become the center of our families that I think a lot of well meaning people forget to put God in the middle of the discussion, or even in the discussion at all. Yes, sometimes it is hard to look at all the babies in my life and not long for one of my own. But what should be more pervasive in my life is looking to God from Whom all blessing flow and asking that I be changed more into the image of His Son, in order to prepare me to a be a good parent.