Oh, I just couldn't tell some people what I just had done. No way! I would be judged and criticized for my lack of faith. And on top of that I felt horribly guilty and incomplete. Over many years, the event grew dimmer and settled more into the back of my mind, until Monday the topic came up in a conversation with a friend. The memories rolled over me and the guilt once again wanted to settle on my shoulders.
Almost 10 years ago, Oliver was born by C-section. He was our 6th child - my 6th C-section. Due to Ben being born emergency, the Dr's had given me a vertical incision and informed me that I would never deliver a baby naturally due to contractions possibly rupturing the incision. For the next 5 babies, a horizontal incision was used, which created an intersection of scar tissue. For our last 3 children, we had an agreement with the Dr's that they would give their "medical" opinion on whether we could have any more children. All was fine until I carried Oliver and upon delivery they discovered a "window" in my uterus at the intersection. We had prayed that the Lord would speak through the Dr. and she strongly advised us to have no more children. With Dave by my side, we mutually agreed and gave consent for them to give me a tubal ligation. The risks of another pregnancy could mean the lives of me and the baby. Dave was not interested in raising our 6 children alone and had total peace about our decision. However, later that day, the reality of what a tubal ligation really meant hit me hard, REALLY hard. A stage of my life was over at the hands of a Dr.. An amazing part of my female body would no longer function properly. Oh, the Dr. did not warn that the side effects would be emotional turmoil. In their minds, and in their books, this procedure is simple, convenient and side effect free. Not for me, nor my dear friend who, I discovered Monday in our conversation, had the same procedure. At the time of our procedures, we both knew that there were people out there that stood firm on the thought that God controls the family size - you don't intervene, and faith brings you through any hardship. Those beliefs are facts. God does want us to have children and faith does bring us through hardship. But what about a situation like the ones we faced? Did we not have faith? Did we not trust Him? Years ago, I had decided it would be best to keep our decision secret from certain people than to face the criticism. However, it had taught me not to judge others in their decisions, for unless I walk in their shoes and they in mine, we cannot fully understand each others decisions.
A few years after Oliver was born, I had looked into having a reversal. It was possible, I found a Dr. who would do it, filled out necessary forms (to the dismay of my OB GYN, who firmly reminded me that I was extremely high risk and do I seriously want another baby)? No, I really didn't, but I felt like I had to undo what was done, or maybe I should say redo what I had undone. We needed $5,000.00 and I prayed, "God, if you provide the money, I will have it done." I soon found out our insurance would pay for it! However ............ I chickened out ...... I drug my feet ...... what if I do get pregnant ....... what if I die ...... what if the baby would need heart surgery too ....... I feel too old .......
Soon, the insurance no longer covered it and we didn't have the money.
Life moved on, but then I secretly carried another guilt. I lied to God! I said I would and I didn't. Does God forgive that?
So, Monday's conversation brought back all those feelings and questions. And once again tears flowed. "Lord, am I forgiven?" I know I serve a loving, forgiving Father, but I deliberately did not follow through on my deal with Him. Then this small voice whispered....... remember Peter? Ahhh, my Peter! My favorite disciple in the Bible!
"Though all men shall be confused because of thee, yet will I never be confused," says Peter to Jesus. "Verily I say unto you, That this night, before the cock crow, you shall deny me 3 times," answers Jesus. Peter said back to Him, "though I should die with thee, yet will I NOT deny thee,"
Further on in Matthew 26, you will soon find that Peter did not follow through on his deal with Jesus. He denied Him 3 times, the cock crowed, Peter heard, remembered and wept bitterly with repentance. Jesus forgave Peter and in John 21:15, you find the proof. The lie that he told Jesus and then the 3 lies of denial, were buried way down in the depth of forgiveness. And so is mine! I am set free from the guilt of the past, my secret is no longer a secret, and my body is whole even in it's brokenness.
Thank you, my sweet Heavenly Father!
Until next time........