Number 4 on my list of takeaways from day one of the Women of Faith Conference was "I will pray about when God wants us to have children." That's a big deal.
Two days before the Women of Faith Conference, Brian and I had discussed when we'd like to start having children... again. Those conversations never end well. I said I might like to go to graduate school. Brian said you have to pay for it yourself then. And what about kids? Before we got married, you said you'd have kids after you finished college. Can't you go back to school and get a masters after the kids are grown up?
"Think about it babe," I said. "If we have four children, three boys and a girl, and we have them two years apart, and they live with us until they're 18, that's 24 years until they're all gone and I could go back to school. It make more sense to put in two years now, and then we have the rest of our lives to have kids."
"But, if we wait that long, I'll be so old, like 26. I'll be like Abraham!" Brian exclaimed.
I laughed. "I don't think 26 is quite as old as Abraham babe..."
"Well, I thought that once you finished school, we'd start a family." Brian said. "And now it sounds like you want to be a career woman instead of a mom. I think you're putting your career before your family."
"Two years, babe! Two more years is all it takes to get a graduate degree!" I exclaimed.
Brian sighed. "I can't talk to you about this anymore." So that was that.
I still thought I was right, but the conversation bugged me. I felt guilty. Was I being selfish? Was I putting myself before family? Did I secretly want to be a career woman and not a family woman?
I'd never been the type that dreamed of her future children running around the house, that planned their names 20 years in advance, that oood and ahhhd over other people's babies. I don't even really like holding babies. And the whole idea of giving birth...doesn't agree with me. The only time I've ever been car sick was when I was riding back from the Ladies' Retreat, and when I woke up from a nap, all the ladies in the car with me where sharing their birth stories. Yep, I threw up. And I almost fainted.
But when I was at the retreat, and listening to Patsy talk about overcoming fear, I realized something. While I kept telling myself I wasn't ready to have children, honestly, I hadn't really prayed about it. Ever.
I was afraid that God would say yes, you are ready. So I hadn't even asked.
Patsy said that while she was recovering from agoraphobia, she had to ask herself, "Am I saying no to this activity, or going to this place, because I'm afraid, or because it's not wise? If it was because I was afraid, I knew I had to make myself do it. The only way to overcome fear is to face it."
Was I saying no to having children because I was afraid, or because it isn't wise?
I have a lot of fears: I am afraid of being a bad mom. I'm afraid of being pregnant and giving birth. I'm afraid of having a human being dependent on me for it's very life. But am I hesitant just because of fear, or because it's not wise for where we are financially and for where I am in my life?
I realized that the only way I'll know is to pray about it. So I've started praying that if God wants us to have children sooner than later, He'll let us know. If He wants us to wait a few years, He'll show us that too.