Fact 1: I was married beginning of October last year.
Fact 2: I conceived on our honeymoon.
Once we knew we had a child on the way we also knew we would get a range of reactions.
The most common one is surprise, usually followed by "y'all got busy!" or "you didn't waste any time" or even "did you plan that?"
Or folks, often unmarried, express how they won't be ready for children for a long time. Like 10 years at least.
Those are the people I want to chat with right now - whether married or not and whether or not you currently have children.
We are modern people. We control and shape our lives. And that means we control exactly and exactly when we will allow a child to be born. And all of our ducks will be in a row, and we will be good and ready to be parents when that time comes.
Except, that's not the story I hear from other people. The story I hear usually goes "we weren't planning on having a child when we did, but God provided." or "I didn't think I was ready yet, but really, you're never going to think you are."
So my now-husband and I talked before we wed. Many times. Our takeaway was that we're going to have to trust God whenever our children come - even if that's before we planned. So why waste time and energy and money trying to prevent something that could easily happen in spite of all our planning?
Additionally, we could not get around all of the Scriptures that talked about how children were a blessing from the Lord, and how those who have children receive God's blessings. Why would we want to try and prevent God from blessing us? In every other area of life we pray for abundant blessing, but as one of my professors said years ago, "Children are the only blessing from God that we do not ask for more of."
If God sees children as good and as a good gift to us, we wanted to embrace that with open arms. So we decided we were going to trust God for his timing and provision from the beginning. We were not going to try to prevent or plan pregnancy. We would leave all of that to the Lord and his timing.
We knew we might conceive on our honeymoon. We didn't necessarily expect that that would happen, but it did. And to be entirely frank: the timing could not have been better.
My job has definite "on" and "off" seasons. My first trimester came and went during an "off" season. The "on" season has begun and I can handle it because the sluggish tiredness from the 1st trimester is gone. And the next "off" season ... should be here before I give birth. We could not have timed it any better, but God knows everything - of course I wouldn't be able to time it better than he could.
Financially, we're on a better track than we projected and God has given us unexpected blessings from people we didn't even know.
Do we have it all together? No. Do we still struggle with continuing to trust God? Of course. But we've seen his hand in this from the beginning, and he promises not to give us more than we can handle if we're trusting in him.
And I don't believe this pattern of provision is only valid for us. I believe that when God has brought you your spouse, he will give you what you need when you need it. Including the timing and provision of your first child.
But I believe it about the timing for all of your children. Even if you have been planning your family. You may feel like you can't handle another child, or that you can't handle another one yet, but I believe that if you're trusting in God that he will give the stamina and resources you need each day. I fully and honestly believe that.
No, we don't have all the answers. And sometimes (er, often) we wonder about the next step, but then God does something to remind us that he's looking out for us. He's smiling on us. Two of his children fostering another life.
Which brings me back to people's varied reactions to my pregnancy. My favorite response when folks find out about our honeymoon child? "What a double blessing!" Aye, marriage followed by baby exiting the womb 9 months later. What a double blessing indeed. =)