It's funny how our Christian walk works sometimes. The closer we get to Jesus, the more we find out about ourselves. The times we actually ask the Lord to point out the sin in our hearts, which should, in fact, be more often than not, I believe, He actually follows through, even more than we actually really want Him to!
Many of you know our struggle to get pregnant over the past year and a half. See, our first two kids came fairly easily, without hardly any effort at all...well, you know what I mean;) Then came the time we wanted to try for number three. We tried, and tried and tried. We ended up having a miscarriage 7 months before actually getting pregnant with Micaiah. Then the cycle began all over again. With another miscarriage last spring and then the Tubal pregnancy this past December.
I'm often asked if I feel a sense of competition in my family because of all the sisters-in-law, and someone always being pregnant (there will be 17 grand kids on just Josh's side of the family by the end of 2011)! I can't lie and say that I never feel anything but joy when I hear of another one of my sisters getting pregnant. Don't get me wrong, I am overjoyed for the life growing inside of them, but I admittedly am faced with my inability to get, or be, pregnant.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be pregnant. I truly feel that pregnancy is something that God puts a yearning for in a woman, but when it becomes a struggle, a stronghold, a catalyst for sin, that is when something needs to change.
This longing to be pregnant was slowly becoming an unhealthy desire. It was a burden in my heart and soul. It was that one thing that I refused to give up to the Lord, as if I actually had any control over it in the first place!
Here is something I have learned from reading through the Old Testament this winter, the Lord opens and closes the womb. He is the one who decides.
This may seem absolutely absurd to some of you, but I feel the need to explain how my mind works.
I am so frugal that when I think of more babies I think of all the "stuff" that goes along with it. So, we've been moving baby "stuff" around with us with every transition. I mean, who wants to have to worry about having to buy everything all over again when you can just hang onto it for future use? So, when I go on my frequent seasons of "nesting," I am continually faced with the bins (and bins and bins) of clothes that my children have outgrown--the baby swing, the infant car seat, the toys--that just sit in our attic collecting dust. It bothers me. In my mind it is just "stuff" taking up space. I don't like to hang on to stuff just to have it! If I have it, it needs to be used.
Here comes the internal struggle.
I feel as though I am being stretched. Areyna just turned six and I want to move forward with her, but because of this "stuff" in my attic, I am continually being reminded that we need to finish the baby stage so we can get rid of this stuff and move on with our lives.
I have an internal struggle with outward reminders.
This pressure to finish our baby stage in life was coming directly from my own unhealthy desires. I knew something needed to change. One day, shortly after this realization, the Lord so clearly spoke to me that I could do nothing short of immediately bringing it to Josh and taking action. I knew what the Lord was asking me to do. He asked me to let it go. Literally. He was telling me to get rid of all the stuff. If that baby stuff was holding me back, then I simply needed to let it go. It was no longer a matter of being wise stewards of what the Lord had given us, because it was becoming a stronghold to me.
So, as I sat in the middle of my living room in the midst of baby clothes bins, bottles and rattles, I sobbed. Because, we all know that obeying the Lord isn't always easy. I did it joyfully but that didn't make it easy.
I can't explain to you the burden that was lifted off of my shoulders as I put 6 bins of baby clothes into a car full of hispanic children--the freedom that came as I gave many other things to my sisters who are expecting.
To me it is a step of faith. Believing that, if we were to ever get pregnant again, the Lord will provide for that baby, just like He did for our first babies.
I won't lie and say I haven't had a few emotional break-downs after the realization hit that all our baby stuff is now gone, but I will tell you that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am free! That I obeyed the Lord and that, for the first time, when I continue to hear of other friends and family getting pregnant, I have only joy! And what a blessing that is to my heart.
What are you holding on to? Maybe you don't even know what is weighing you down. Maybe you need to ask the Lord to "search me God, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts." I promise you, He will reveal what is holding you back if you honestly ask Him to. But be prepared to take action, because once it is revealed you will be held responsible.