Zechariah 13:9

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. Zechariah 13:9

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My Somewhat of a Secret

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........        


Twila Henry said...

I'm sorry it's taken you so long to forgive yourself! I put myself in your shoes and I can certainly see how you felt guilt over it!
I feel judged by many people who don't know why we only have 2 children. I hear "Isn't it soon time for another one?" a lot....or I did! It doesn't happen as often anymore.
Thanks for the reminder to not be so judgmental of other's decisions and to be willing to "walk a mile in their shoes"!!

Licia Augusta said...

Ah, Brenda! I am so glad to hear of your release! I want to reaffirm to you that you are EVER so loved by your Father! EVER so cherished! EVER so delighted in. And I know that He is not, nor ever was upset by your decision to have a t.l.

Thank you for sharing your journey of walking into the forgiveness and love of the Lord.

Love you!
(and, if it matters any, we too have walked through the same decision as you, only we have four children, not six. And, rather than a t.l. my DH is a gelding. :-) You were definitely influential in MY healing regarding having all c-sections. Thank you!)

Gail @ http://biblelovenotes.com said...

Hi Brenda,
What an honest, genuine post this was for you to write.

When we were new Christians, my husband and I made the decision to have only two children, and we made it prayerfully and carefully.

Some years later, we felt we hadn't heard the Lord accurately, so we prayed some more and went through a successful reversal. But we were never able to have any more children.

Sometimes we do the best we can with our limited knowledge and still don't know if we did the right thing.

If God is convicting you of rebellion against His known will, then I wouldn't want to interfere.

But if you did the best you could with the knowledge you had, even if you don't know for sure it was the right decision, I hope you will release yourself for that guilt, dear friend.

Bless you,

Dave ~ Brenda said...

thank you, dear friends, for your encouraging remarks. I can finally truly say that I am FREE from those guilty feelings. Even though they weren't feelings that were there constantly, whenever I visited those memories, then came the doubts and guilt. No more! :) We honestly did what we thought was the best thing for us and our family at that time. Why is it easier to forgive others then to forgive ourselves?

Anonymous said...

I, too, have had a tubal ligation at the urging of my doctors because of my medical issues and having had a baby with birth defects requiring heart surgery at 8 months and ongoing medical care and surgeries. We had also talked it over with a Christian medical doctor who cried with us as we discussed the issues. We had peace about the decision we finally made, but well-meaning people thought they could "fix" our "problem" by suggesting reversal, foster-parenting or adoption. While we were open to that, we never felt God leading us in those directions I have chosen NOT to be offended when people still ask "Do you ONLY have 2 children?" YES< I do, and they are a blessing from my Heavenly Father who has kept me healthy enough to enjoy them!! I want to bring honor, glory and praise to HIM with what He has given me!

Anonymous said...

wow, Brenda. So glad you shared your heart. When God made use he gave us the ability to make a choose. And as much as we want God to show us everything. I am all for that. BUt sometimes he wants us to use what he gave us, our minds. I do believe you made a wise decision. And I am so happy to hear you left it go and are leaving it in God's hands. He loves you more then you will ever know. (we all need that reminder) We are blessed with 3 wonderful children. We most likly could have had more. But i dont believe God intended for us as women to live a life of making babies and all the stress. It all has a part. But how can we be a proper help meet to our spouse when we are tired, stressed, grouchy, etc. Some may be able to handle it more then others. My hats off to anyone with children. It is a big responsablity no matter how many you have. I count it a joy for each one God blessed me with. In years gone by, i do believe raising children was much better. No days i'm scared for any child being born. That is my opinion, and again i dont believe anyone is right or wrong here. God has given us the ability to choose. Many blessings to you my dear. God does forgive and i'm so glad you found rest in him.

Dave ~ Brenda said...

thank you, Anonymous 1 & 2 for your comments. I believe that sometimes our guilt comes from others expectations of us and our own expectations of ourselves. I can truly say that the guilt of having the tb was partly, but not all, from the opinions of others. I also had to go through a mourning season of "no more babies." However, the guilt that I felt from breaking the deal with the Lord was neither. It was between Him & I. That is where I needed to be set free. He, for sure, is much more merciful to us that we are to ourselves. Blessings!