I have an inquiring mind.
There are all kinds of things I ask God.
From small curiosities to geo-political inequities, from little inconveniences to situations that seem tragically unfair, I generally have a swirl of a question mark hovering within my prayer life at all times. You would think with all the prayerful querying going on I would have covered just about every topic.
But there was something I forgot to ask God.
Something that had to do with my own life and my own decision making.
I’ve always asked God about which jobs to take, which boy to marry, which city to live in, which path to take.
But on one of the biggest aspects of my life, for a long time, I didn’t think to check in with Him at all. I didn’t know anyone who did ask this question of Him.
It never occurred to me to ask.
In the mid-1990s, my husband Michael and I had two children and figured we were complete as a family. Then, an unexpected third pregnancy that started in disbelief, transitioned to excitement, and then ended in a heartbreaking miscarriage early in the second trimester, cracked open a query that I’d not noticed on the horizon line of my life.
How many children did God want us to have?
We live in a technological, medical, advanced age. We have options available to us that have not existed in generations past. We have the ability to seemingly have stronger control over certain aspects of our lives than ever before. How that blend of free will and God’s purpose coexist is beyond my pay grade, but it’s there. A mystery. And somewhere in that blend, of medical science and God’s plans, we’ve shifted as a culture into often deciding our family size and season.
But shouldn’t we? Ask?
After that experiencing of the surprise and then loss of our third pregnancy, I began dialoguing with friends about their family planning. How they’d arrived at their family sizes. What that process looked like in their faith walks. Some friends felt it was their right to decide, no questions asked. Some felt that God gave direction through finances and jobs and circumstances. Some felt that they should just leave all the planning to God, ending the use of birth control completely and embracing whoever showed up womb-side.
And some sought.
Avoided legalism on the issue and avoided assumptiveness of their ‘rights’ as well.
And I learned in the watching.
So I decided. To ask.
Asked Him to help us sort out this family size thing. Asked if there was somebody He wanted to get here. Asked Him to guide.
He started answering.
Our hearts were opened that our family would enlarge.
Our faith was expanded as we watched Him provide.
It’s a very scary question to ask, this family thing. And I don’t think there’s a rote answer for every family. For some, one child may be the family He knits. For another, He may guide to hold right where they are. For others, He may ask for a fuller house and a thinner savings account.
But He is our God.
And He should have a say.
Now that I know.