This, I think, is why infertility is such a hard pill to swallow. Not only is it the death of a dream, it's the death of many dreams. For many of us, it's not that we can't have a baby...it's that we can't have babies, children. It's that someone shot a hole through our visions of a house bursting at the seams with children. All of a sudden, you picture yourself decades from now mourning the constant quiet in your house, the echoing walls that never became kids' rooms, the deafening silence absent of infantile crying, sweet laughter, and childish imaginary play. It's too much to dwell on...a future without children. The years seem like they will stretch out in front of you, seemingly purposeless. Infertility won't always translate into that, but it seems that way sometimes, doesn't it?
Having walked the path of adoption and finding myself blessed to be the mother of one, I ask myself often if I can be content with one child. It's been the topic of recent posts here, and it's on my mind a lot. When I'm reading Scripture and run across Psalm 127, I wonder if I can be happy with one arrow in my quiver.
"Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them." It sure seems to me like a lot of kids equals a lot of blessings. I don't think it's wrong for me to desire that.
But, is it wrong to dwell in discontent as long as I've got one arrow? For me, it always comes back to this...contentment. I couldn't be more thankful for my sweet son, Isaiah. He brings me so much joy. My husband and I are savoring these precious moments at the end of our son's babyhood. And now that we've got this beautiful kid, we now know what we were missing out on before. And I think that's why we want more children....because we know what we will be missing out on if we don't have any more.
Right now, though, I've been hanging out in a purgatory of contentment. I definitely long for more kids, but I'm really just trying to relish this, trying to truly grasp the sweetness of these days with my son. I know that Lord willing, we have a lifetime with Isaiah, but these moments of smallness are so fleeting and have passed by so quickly. I long to enjoy them again with another child or two or three. But it's just not that easy to add to our family.
While I don't truly think our family is complete, I wonder if I could handle it if I knew that it was complete. Would I reconcile myself to God's sovereignty over the size of my family? It seems like such a backward question to ask when I look around me and see so many people who are quick to turn down the blessing of a big quiverful of children. Just as many people don't trust God with the size of their families because they fear having too many children, I must learn to trust Him with the size of my family, though I fear it will be too small a family. This wrestling with contentment and sovereignty is truly the heart of the matter when it comes to my infertility.
Do I really believe that God is good in His design for my life?
Do I really trust Him, even if it means only one sharp little arrow?
Would I have believed it if my quiver had remained empty for life?
Will I ever be able to say with the apostle Paul, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances" (Phil. 4:11)???
I guess I will find out.
Oh Lord, help me to live in a posture of contentment. I have so many reasons to be content.