There have been several factors at play recently that have impeded my blog writing. I had been planning to next write about Christ’s particular redemption. Instead, I am going to share a little of GOD’s sovereign working in my personal life.
When I was under the age of 16, I always assumed I would get married someday and have children. I thought that’s what everyone did. That’s what you were “supposed” to do. When I got closer to the age of 18, I had realized that I didn’t have any desire to have children, and I questioned whether or not I would even marry. I had done a lot of babysitting between the ages of 14 and 17, and that’s when I realized that children “weren’t for me”. I didn’t know why at the time. I secretly thought that I was wrong for not wanting children, but that’s not how I projected it to my family and friends. I had a friend who told me, shortly after we graduated high school, that she could never understand my lack of desire to have children. She talked about a deep longing she felt to have a family. I could never understand her desire to have children.
The reason I was questioning whether or not I would get married was because my mother was pushing guys at me. As a senior in high school, she was trying to set me up with her friends’ sons. I went on a double date or two. Me, the guy, and our mothers. I would tell my mother that I may not ever get married in the hopes that she would stop making me feel pressured to date. I knew it wasn’t right. I didn’t date at all in high school, and by the time I was halfway through my senior year, after years of lamenting the fact that I didn’t have a boyfriend, I had come to the conclusion that the purpose of dating was to choose a godly spouse. Why bother dating someone if you knew you wouldn’t marry them? What was the point?
When I was 19, I eloped, after officially dating for less than three weeks. Yup. GOD sure has a sense of humor. If you doubt GOD’s humor, take a gander at what GOD says in Numbers 11:19-20. Not only that, I married a man who was 17 years older than me. A man who also didn’t want to have children. A man that my parents disliked greatly.
We just celebrated our 11 year anniversary this past July. The story is far too long to include all the details in this one post, but looking back at the way we got married, my husband and I have not one doubt that GOD brought us together. Nor do we doubt that it has been GOD’s hand that has kept us together for all this time.
In our 11 years of marriage, we have not had children. We have dogs that we treat like children, but we haven’t had any human babies. I’ve gotten a lot of flak for our decision not to reproduce. I’ve been told that I’ll change my mind. That I’m still young and I’ll want children when I’m older. That I’m not a woman without children. That my marriage isn’t complete without children. And on and on it goes.
I thank GOD for the fact that my husband and I have not had children. I can’t imagine the kind of damage that would have been inflicted upon a child of ours.
You see, there were a lot of things that were happening, and had yet to happen, in our lives that we didn’t know about. Things that would have been very difficult to endure with a child. Things that would have complicated a child growing up to have a normal, healthy view of the world. Things that would impact the child for the rest of his or her life.
My husband and I have both suffered from various emotional and mental disorders in the 11 years we’ve been together, and we still battle them today, to some extent. I have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and depression, and have struggled for years to overcome these. My husband has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Up until the past six months or so, our home environment has been rather unstable. We have both had alcohol issues. I can’t imagine what witnessing any of this would have done to a child.
In the 11 years we’ve been married, we have moved 14 different times. Granted, we moved three times in one year for a job I had, but it was still a move, and each move is traumatic in its own way. Can you imagine the lack of security this would have instilled in a child?
Oh, yeah. At the end of this past June, my husband was diagnosed with highly contagious TB. As in tuberculosis. As in consumption. As in the disease that was prevalent in the 1800 and 1900’s. We live in the Midwest. Who knew that one could develop TB in this country, in this century? I sure didn’t. Good thing GOD did. How would you feel, as a child, knowing that your father had a disease that he could have died from? And if he didn’t die, he would be weak and sick for many months. What fear that child would have to live with.
My husband and I sure didn’t know what the future would hold when we made the decision to not have children. GOD knew what His plan was for us, however, and He knew that children would not be conducive to that plan. Yes, every child in one’s quiver is a gift from GOD, but GOD chose to give my husband and I different gifts. GOD does everything for His reasons. He knew what He would bring. And He has used all the tribulation and heartache for our good. I can see how it was necessary to go through most of what I’ve gone through to get to where I am today. I can’t see how it all plays out. Not yet, and maybe never. But I know that if we had children, we would be contributing at least one more sad, sick, weary, messed up person to the world. Other people didn’t understand, but we knew that we weren’t called to have children. And GOD made us ok with that, even before we knew why.
“The LORD of hosts has sworn saying, ‘Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand.” Isaiah 14:24 NASB