As long as I can remember I wanted a lot of kids. At 24-years old I was expecting my first child and I was sick. Physically it was like having the flu for months. Emotionally it was rough. My typical even-keel disposition was replaced by a yo-yo of emotions. It felt like half my brain turned off, and overall I thought I had gone a bit crazy. I truly worried that I would never feel like myself again.
In this condition I remember one day sitting on the floor of our little student apartment crying and thinking that my lifelong desire of having a lot of kids was just not going to happen because I could never go through another pregnancy again. Ever!
Somehow a year later I managed to convince myself to do it again. Gasp! And again and again and again and again. At 37-years old the 6th again was born. That was two and a half years ago.
Earlier this year I realized I would be 40 years old this August. I thought if I was going to do another again I would need to do it pretty soon. The question arose from my mind…
Should I have another child?
Here is What’s Wrong with this Question
It’s a bit loaded. It implies that somehow that decision has already been made and we just need to find out that decision. Understand, I am a prayerful person. I believe that God wants us to council with Him in our decisions. BUT many times I think we wait on God to make His will manifest when all the while He is waiting on us to decide what it is that we want. He wants us to decide for ourselves. He wants us to make a choice.
Does God have a plan for you? Emphatically YES! But it isn’t the kind of plan where you give up all your choices and he dictates your every aim or whim. His plan for you includes you making decisions for you. God created you with a prefrontal cortex. This is the part of your brain where you make conscious choices and judgments. He wants you to make choices for your life.
Once you have your own desires realized in your head you are better equipped to then take it to God in prayer. He absolutely wants you to counsel with Him. He wants to help guide you. He also loves effort. Do the effort to know your own mind! He wants your life journey to include you making decisions for your life.
It’s a little bit like something I call the candy analogy. It stems from my childhood. I loved accompanying my mother to the grocery store. She often would let me pick out candy but the grocery store had a large candy section and it was often difficult for me to decide which kind to pick.
In frustration from decision fatigue I remember asking my mom, “What should I pick?” “I don’t care.” she would say. Any variety was fine with her. She was waiting for me to make my choice.
When making a life decision, like deciding on adding a child to your family, a better question to begin with than “Should I have another child?” is “Do I WANT another child?” Dig in deep, what do YOU want? Your desires matter greatly!
This goes for any big life type question:
Should we move?
Should I take that job?
What should I do after high school?
Should I marry this man? etc…
Replace them all with first asking yourself, “What do I want? What are my desires in this thing?”
What you want matters. Sometimes God confirms what you want and sometimes he doesn’t. Sometimes He may guide us to a choice in between or in the opposite direction. But don’t skip the first step of knowing what you want.
Once I got rid of the first question that my brain suggested: “Should I have another baby?” and instead asked myself, “Do I want another child?” I was able to discover that I do have that desire and also that that desire would never leave me because it is intrinsically part of me. I will always want a baby to be around. New life will always be a desire of mine.
I also learned that I had a desire to not go through pregnancy again. I had concerns of what that would mean for my body. Knowing these two desires of mine I then was better prepared to council with God in prayer. Answers don’t always come quickly but this time it did, while I was still on my knees.
I heard the familiar clear voice in my head and the impressed feelings upon my heart. It said among a few other phrases that “It is wise to be done.”
I was a little surprised at how sad this made me feel. I grieved for a few days even though I fully agreed with the divine inspiration.
Pregnancy is typically a tender part of our lives as women. Whether you have ever been pregnant or not the topic is a tender one. Sometimes this desire goes unfulfilled and sometimes this desire is so fully filled we don’t have room to receive anymore. When and how we become a mother is divine because motherhood is divine.
When it comes to this question, “Should I have another baby?” Try instead to ask “Do I want another baby?” Search for yourself and discover what YOU want first. Don’t deny yourself the opportunity to come to know you.