Almost immediately after my son was born, I felt we needed to make a decision. Would our family be complete with four or would we have more children?
Pregnancy has been a really difficult experience for me, and both times I swore I would never be able to do it again. Even if we did decide to have another child, it certainly wouldn’t be for several more years. I’m a firm believer in getting one baby through the up-all-night, poop-your-pants phase of life before embarking on it yet again. But, I haven’t been able to shake this need for a definitive decision: are we done or is there more to come?
Michael has endured this conversation repeatedly as I agonize over both sides of the argument. I feel this insatiable need to come to a conclusion, and I haven’t been able to figure out why I need an answer so badly RIGHT NOW. I’ve talked about it. I’ve prayed about it. I’ve asked my friends what they think about it. It’s become a bit ridiculous.
Then, for the first time, I discovered my first insight into this dilemma. I didn’t come to any conclusion about what the answer is, but I discovered why I need an answer so badly. As I was taking a walk and thinking about this as I so often do, I felt God asking me, “Are you the author of your story or am I?”
It hit me like a brick. I desperately need an answer because I see myself as the author of my own story. If I am the author, I need to decide on the plot and the main characters. I need to determine the direction of the storyline, the climax and the resolution. I need a plan because I am responsible for carrying the weight of the whole damn thing. But, that’s not how God says it’s supposed to be.
He is the author of my story. I am the main character in my own story, just as you are the main character in yours. He is the author, and I can trust him to carry my story through to completion. He brings in my supporting characters intentionally and thoughtfully. I can be sure that, as the main character in a good story always does, I will have struggle and heartache. As he says, “in this world, there will be trouble.” But, he also says, “take heart. I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). He can handle being the author of my story; I don’t have to carry the weight of that responsibility.
I think perhaps I don’t have an answer to my question about what my family will ultimately look like because I’m not supposed to have all the answers. If I had all the answers, I wouldn’t need God for much at all. I think he wants me to take his hand and walk along this journey even though there are no guarantees about where we’ll end up. I think he wants me to trust that he is good enough to carry me through.
Often, I’m like the drowning person being rescued. I am in the perilous water of a scary life, knowing full well that I can’t survive in these deep, dark waters. That scares me to my very core. Except, when the rescuer comes to bring me in to the life-raft, which is the very thing that I need and that will save my life, I flail about and push away. My panic makes me unable to grab onto the one thing that can save me.
He’s the only one big enough and good enough to carry me. He’s the only author that writes a beautiful story. Maybe one day I’ll learn to let him write mine.