July 17, 2012 (Bound4Life.com) - I went in the back bedroom and saw my older sister hunched over on the floor crying. I immediately rushed over, panicked as to what in the world could be this wrong. When I asked her, she wouldn’t tell me. She said she was ashamed for crying and didn’t want to tell me. After more coaxing, this happily married mother of three boys and amazing Christian woman told me she thought she was pregnant. She was crying because she said she was exhausted and could not imagine having another child.
She was right. I was stunned.
If you know my sister, you know she is Super Mom, an angel, and an administrative genius all rolled into one. She felt horrible that she was crying instead of jumping up and down. And then my single-status self with no birth children was trying to wrap my head around how she could be feeling.
If my older sister could feel this then it was safe to say that other American Christian women were feeling the same thing, too. Let me clarify by saying that abortion was never a thought in her head. I am talking about the idea of having or raising more than three children. Again, let me clarify, raising one child is a feat cradled in the grace of God, let alone three. I am not negating the incredibly hard work and exhaustive time it takes to nurture and raise a child. I work with over a thousand children for my job and as I get to love on them for just hours a week, I’m incredibly aware of the sacrifice and dedication it requires to raise children.
That all being said, I knew that if we as Christian Americans were already tired from raising our own, tired to tears, then what would happen to the orphan?
Personally, I always knew I wanted an unreasonable (in the eyes of America) amount of children. God put that desire in my heart when I was young - to have many children … both birthed myself and adopted. So that is why when the shock of my “Super Mom sister” seeped in, I worried that most of America felt the same way. And if they felt the same way, then who would be left to adopt the orphan? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, America’s Families and Living Arrangement, in 2010, the average number of children per household was less than one, it was .94. Americans live in more luxury than most nations, yet our family size on average is diminishing.
My sister was not pregnant, after all. But God has a wonderful and unusual way of making a situation a catalyst for asking for more of His purpose and plan into our lives.
That next year, I was hearing the exact opposite of what I heard in the back bedroom that day. My sister called and told me she was praying that God would begin using her and my brother-in-law in a new way. She was ready to know what God had for her besides the day-to-day plans that she already had perfectly orchestrated for her family. I remember listening to her and staring out the kitchen window with tears rolling down my face as I heard her heart to do whatever God told her to do. She wanted to be stretched for more of Jesus’ love to flow out of her. I kept staring out the window up at the sky. She’s always been an amazing sister but she was my hero that day.
God answered their prayers in a big way and gave them the dream of one day having an orphanage-type center in America. She calmly says, “That’s in the ten year plan. Mel and I want you to be a part one day.” But this year brought the sweetest personal dream for me in the realm of adoption. She announced that they are adopting their first little girl. I cannot explain the joy that announcement gave to my heart, and the hope that it placed in me for the rest of American Christian families.
In this hour of America, Christians need to rise up and counter the lie that children are a burden, a financial hazard, and a dream killer. Even our government echoes the lie that America cannot handle children. They tell you this lie so they can try to diminish their mounting debt by filling their billfolds with blood money from inflicted abortion policy taxes. The word of God says, “Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift? The fruit of the womb His generous legacy? Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children! Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you; you’ll sweep them right off your doorstep.” Psalm 127.
How far even Christians in America have strayed from this verse? We not only stop the coming of our own children, but we have closed off the idea of taking in the fatherless. I am praying for the move of God in America for families. God’s glory is seen best in the face of a hopeless cause. And right now, with the abortion rate rising, the amount of children sold into sex slavery, the amount of orphans, and the family average being .94 … this is the epitome of a hopeless cause.
So I’m praying for you and asking you this: Do the same as my sister did. Ask God for more. Ask Him for the plans He has for you beyond the realm of your understanding or foresight. Ask Him to show you His heart for more than what you have imagined for your life or your family. Ask Him for “more” and I promise you this, you will see the blessings of the Lord fall from heaven. His plans come with blessing and they come with the legacy of His Glory.
Natalie has been the Bound4Life Birmingham Chapter Leader since 2008. She works as a curriculum writer and volunteer coordinator for the children’s ministry at her local church in Birmingham, Alabama. She’s on the leadership team for the Birmingham Prayer Furnace as a prayer leader and serves as a weekly counselor for Sav-A-Life, a local pregnancy test center. Natalie longs to teach and provoke the hearts of the next generation for Jesus’ righteousness, intercession, and justice! Reprinted with permission from Bound4Life.com