I was at daily Mass and the Gospel really spoke to me:
"Peter began to say to him, 'We have given up everything and followed you.' Jesus said, 'Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in the present age: houses and brothers and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come. But many that are first, will be last, and the last will be first.'"
Often when I think of children I think of what we would give up just to have them. Thus far I have been willing to give up my body to pregnancy or medical treatments in hopes of conceiving. I have given up eating what I want to eat so that I can be healthier if pregnancy were to happen. I have given up coffee and my favorite tea(caffeine) and my beloved cheese (I speak often of my love for cheese and it may seem weird to some of you but cheese and I have had a long relationship. It was hard for me to say goodbye last August). I have given up my time to treatments and charting NFP. I have given up my loathing for exercise so that I can have a healthier stronger body. I have given money to the costs of Drs., a naturopath, supplements and medications. How much more am I willing to give up to make our dreams come true? Am I willing to give up more money, foods or do more treatments? Am I willing to risk strain on our marriage to make it happen? Is having children really our dream?
Lately I have been thinking and speaking with JJ about just how much longer do we want to do all of this. How much longer do we want to work with our NaPro Dr. and actively TTC. I am tired of charting although it does have its benefits outside of TTC. We have been trying to have children for almost 4.5yrs and I am tired. There are times where I am ready to move on and pursue adoption full force but then I think what if we can have biological children and to just give it more time. Then the cost of adoption is so discouraging, we got an email from the agency we really like saying their costs were going up so we will probably not be going with them when we are ready to pursue adoption.
As I approach my 29th birthday in less than 2 months I wonder what else God has for me if not children. I know you might be thinking "you are so young, you have plenty of time" well that does not make me feel any better. It hurts that I am young and I am not able to have children. If I got married in my late 30s I might have expected some difficulty with being able to get pregnant but not when I started to try and get pregnant when I was 24!
Anyway back to the gospel! As I was in Mass I was thinking all these thoughts, I know distracted much. Then I thought what am I willing to give up to give Christ my all. I keep thinking of the desire to have children but what about the desire to make my life a beautiful song to God. What am I willing to give up to make that happen? Am I willing to give up food, my body or money to make God known through my life? I have wanted to be a mother for a very long time, am I willing to give that up? Am I willing to give up my desire to hold our baby and rock them to sleep? Am I willing to put everything on the line for Christ?
When I was a missionary with NET ministries it was easy to do this because that is what I signed up for I knew what I was getting into, although it was much crazier than I had expected. When I got married I was expecting children to be a part of this equation. What if that is not God's plan for us? What if what I expected and desire are not to come to pass? What then? Am I willing to give this very HUGE desire of my heart to God and trust His plan and timing is better than mine? What will that look like? What do I do with my life if I am not to be a mother? Do I go back to school and become a NaPro Dr.?
I don't have very many answers to these questions. All I know is I need to cling to Christ, pray and discern. Plus I am going to try and track down a spiritual director! I have tried to get a spiritual director a couple of times before and have felt discouraged as they have pretty much turned me down because they are so busy. I would like to go to a priest as I would like to incorporate confession with the sessions.
I know that I am willing to give up my desire for children for Christ. What does this look like practically? How do I get there? I have no clue. JJ and I have talked about a practical time frame of how long we would continue with NaPro but that is not set in stone, we are still praying and discerning. I'd like to point out that stopping NaPro or TTC does not mean the giving up of hope that God will one day make us parents, that hope will always remain.
So what are you willing to give up for Christ and the gospel?