And then my husband dropped a bomb on me . . .
“What do you think about having another child?”
The question came from nowhere. From my recollection, we’d already made that decision. We were happy with one. We loved our family of three. We weren’t afraid to raise an only child, despite the pressure on all sides to have more. I looked at him bewildered and speechless.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a little while. I think two would be fun.”
We discussed his ridiculous question in spurts over the next week. He, continually pressing toward adding to our family. Me, feeling more and more frustrated moving into mild all-out irritation. Finally our conversation reached a head.
“Look,” I explained, “I think we need to decide sooner than later. On a scale of -10 to +10, -10 being absolutely not, and +10 being let’s go for it, I have a preference. Not a strong preference, but a preference. I’m probably at a -1 or -2. I don’t anticipate that changing, but I’m willing to make a concerted effort to pray about it over the next week. To be honest, I don’t think my preference is going to change. But I can be convinced. So, I think in the end, you’re going to be the one making the decision.”
And then – I’m almost too ashamed to put this in print – I heard the following words tumble out of my mouth: “Just be sure that you’ve really prayed about it and this is what we’re supposed to do. Because remember – I’m the one who has to give up everything.”
Ugh! What an ugly, selfish statement. And yet, that’s what I felt in my heart. I could see my plans crumbling, having to be put on hold for another several years. After I had figured out how to work everything out – including the homeschooling. And now, even my homeschooling plans might be waylaid. I mean, come on! Homeschooling with a newborn? And the photography business? Not even worth the effort at this point.
My plans. My plans. My plans.
Hadn’t God just dealt with me on this very issue? Could it be any fresher? I realized I had only seen a glimpse of the full depth of selfishness in my heart! Homeschooling merely served as the catalyst to becoming aware of how selfishness had overthrown Christ as Lord of my life.
The next week was rough. The refining process never feels good while you’re going through it.
As God sifted and sifted my plans and my expectations, my mind and heart changed. Our family didn’t feel complete. I did want to see my daughter become a big sister. Two did sound fun. And in the process, I also recognized that earlier in the year he had begun leading me down a path that I had unintentionally set aside in favor of my other plans. What a horrifying realization! Thankfully, though, one that could be redeemed. (And isn’t that just the way he works in our lives? Opportunities to see redemption at every turn!)
So we decided to step in faith that God’s plan for our family was to grow by another two feet.
And the very next month we found out that we were expecting.
For us, Bubble is not simply the blessing of a new life and a new addition to our family (although that is certainly blessing enough!). Bubble is a reminder of God’s faithfulness to refine and redeem every part of us and God’s grace to give us assurances of his ability to grant us the desires of our hearts.