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The new pastor sat on the couch in our little living room. It was awkward. Melanie couldn’t even sit up and it feels really funny to entertain people you don’t really know lying down! He said, “I know you must be angry at God. This just doesn’t seem fair. You must really be struggling in your faith.”
No, we didn’t feel that way at all, but we could see why he’d assume we did. Melanie has train-wreck pregnancies. Having an incompetent cervix means surgery before 12 weeks in every pregnancy. Adding in preterm labor means more or less bed rest for six months, lots of meds and shots, and a complete inability to do any housework — that’s a lot more work for the rest of the family! And she can’t even comfort herself with brownies because her usual gestational diabetes means she has to strictly low-carb the whole pregnancy and test her blood sugar multiple times a day.
We’re not angry, though — especially not at the Lord. He doesn’t owe us one thing. We’re sinners in a fallen world and every single good or easy thing that comes to our hands is pure grace. By the time Melanie’s on bedrest, shaking from the meds, and the family is living off of Hal and the boys’ cooking, He has already given us one of the most precious gifts ever: an eternal soul, born of our love and bearing our images as well as His, to love and raise and enjoy! Can we be angry if that means a rough few months? What’s nine months compared to an eternity?
This trial isn’t all bad, either. We’re both notoriously impatient and easily distracted. There’s nothing like noticing underwear on the floor right after someone from church calls about bringing over a casserole to make you take the time to talk your young children through how to clean up a room! And when the alternative is waiting until Dad gets home or walking your son through making dinner, your boys learn how to cook. We get a lot of schoolwork done during those times, too, since we’re not distracted running around town. It’s been good for our children and it hasn’t made them dread pregnancies, though people often ask us that. In fact, folks often ask us how in the world we do it, but that’s a topic for another long post!
We’ve worked really hard from the beginning to make sure our family understands that:
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward. Psalm 127:3 NKJV
When children hear that all the time, it changes their hearts! Our children rejoice, like jumping up and down and shouting rejoicing, when they hear we’re expecting again, even though they know very well how much work and worry that means. See, they also know that we went through it all to bring them into the world, too, and we all thought it well worth it!
It’s a little bittersweet talking about this. We’re 47 and it’s pretty unlikely the Lord will bless us with a child again. Looking back at it, as our children range from adults down to a two year old (yes, a baby at 45), we are so thankful to God that He gave us these six young men and two little girls, no matter what it took. He’s good – even when it’s hard.
~Hal & Melanie Young
Hal & Melanie are the authors of
Raising Real Men
Surviving, Teaching, and Appreciating Boys,
Christian Small Publishers Association
2011 Book of the Year.
Join them on Facebook or check out their blog at Raising Real Men.com.