Babies and Being Content

I'm surrounded by pregnant women.

I don't know if there were always this many pregnant women around and I just never noticed before, or if there are really more pregnant women around me now than in the past.

I personally know eleven women who either are or have been pregnant in the last few months. Plus the two or three women I seem to see every time I go grocery shopping. Plus many pregnant patients that have come into the office within the past few months as well. Not to mention many different celebrities that I keep hearing about.

I'm telling you, I'm surrounded. This does absolutely nothing for the baby fever that I'm already plagued with, except to make it much worse.

It doesn't really seem very fair to have so many pregnant women put in my path right around the time that I'm starting to naturally think more about babies anyway, even though I can't even have a baby right now. It's like torture, considering the fertility issues I'm already dealing with. Sometimes it's downright depressing.

Last week, after a particularly depressing morning, I was wondering if I would ever even be able to have a baby in the future, and as I told the Lord how I was feeling a peace just washed over my heart. No other words or pep talks have given me that same sense of assurance, and I know it was a gift from God - that peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:6-7).

Since then I've been thinking about the multitude of pregnancies and babies that have been bombarding me as of late, and I realized that the Lord wouldn't put all that in my life at this precise time for no reason. When the same thing keeps hitting me over and over again it's most likely because the Lord is trying to teach me something.

I think I figured it out. The other day as I was mulling this over, this verse came to mind:

"For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."
Philippians 4:11b-12

Paul had been through many different kinds of persecution and trials, worse than anything most of us will experience, but still he was able to say that he had learned the secret to being content, no matter what situation he was in. I just realized as I looked up this verse today that he never really said what the secret was. Maybe it's one of those things that you can't really teach per say, but each person just learns it or doesn't learn it on their own.

However, I think contentment is one of those things that the Lord very much wants us to learn. He wants us to learn to be content and trust in Him, no matter what is going on in our life. Sometimes I think our trials or heartaches, or even something silly like being surrounded by babies at a time when you can't have one, are sent to us by God so that we can learn to trust Him and be content whatever the circumstances.

When that verse came to mind the other day, I knew the purpose in this was that very thing. I am not able to have a baby the way things are now, and there's no saying when that will change. I want to have a baby someday, and there are easily a dozen women around me right now that have the very thing I want and know I can't have yet. But I think I've learned to be content with my life, and where the Lord has me right now, in spite of that.

Rarely does learning some spiritual virtue come easily for me. It usually takes months or years of trial and error, of succeeding and failing, before I can make a good thing an actual habit so that it is just natural to react or think in the correct way. But somehow learning to be content in this situation came suddenly, without any practice or striving for it.

Maybe that's just the nature of learning to be content with your situations. It's not something that sneaks up on you through small, everyday successes, and then one day you wake up to find that you've largely obtained that quality, as it seems to work with patience or kindness. Contentment seems to be obtained through great inward struggles that build until you reach a point where suddenly it strikes you that God always has a plan and a purpose. Once you realize that, and actually believe it and trust God that it's true, then contentment is just a natural reaction.

In order to be content, you must first accept that God knows what He's doing, and He works all things out for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28), and then you must actively choose to trust Him - and once you've done that contentment is easy.

Sometimes I think it's easier to lean on the Lord and be content in the midst of the greater trials of life than it is to be content with small struggles or wishes that haven't come true. It seems easier to rely on His help for the big things, because you know He'll take care of you somehow, and you're already in a bad spot with no one to turn to but Him anyway.

But when you are hoping for just average, everyday things, like a baby or a better job, it's harder to trust Him, because the fact of the matter is He might not give you what you desire. He might say no. As Christians, we need to learn to accept that He might say no, but to also realize that even if we don't get what we're hoping for He still has a purpose that we may never understand, and He has good plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11). Then we are able to rest in contentment.

It's not easy to get to that place, because you have to learn to let go of what you want and instead accept whatever the Lord has for you! But once you're there, you wouldn't go back to clinging to your own way for anything, because His ways are always better.

For me, that means letting go of my anxiety about having a baby and accepting that whether I'm able to have biological children or not, the Lord has a great plan for me, and it's better than anything I have planned for myself.

I'm not saying that the next time I go through a tough time I won't have to remind myself of what it means to be content. I suspect that I'll have to re-learn to be content, to a certain extent, with every trial that befalls me. But I also suspect that it'll get easier and easier to learn with each subsequent struggle, and then maybe someday I'll be able to say with Paul that I've learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

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Amber said...

Oh so true. I know exactly how you feel! I have an appointment with a gynecologist next Friday to figure out what the heck is going on with me. It's making me crazy! I'll be praying for you!

Ange said...

That's really mature, Callie. Shucks, I love you. =)

chloƫ. said...

beautiful post, my friend.

God's timing IS perfect and His will IS awesome--it's just not always easy to remember that.

I'd love to sit town to tea or coffee with you and just talk about babies for hours and get it out of our systems. and who knows...maybe we'll get to do just that ;)

grace and peace to you today!

Lauren said...

Ughh...contentment such a hard thing to learn! So glad you're making it through & seeking God's guidance!

Brittney Galloway said...

Thanks, Callie! Great post and it really reminded me of what I need to be focusing on. Exactly what I needed today.

Anne @ Sincerely, Britches said...

Well said, my friend. It is always a good reminder that God is our source for all things...and that He calls us to strive for contentment. He will help you through...and help me, and all the other girls with baby-fever right now. We have only to lean on Him. Thanks for sharing this.

Anna said...

Callie, you're such a sweetheart! I love your desire to have children... and your desire to submit that longing to the Lord. I am linking to this post in my most recent post, which is about contentment in a different area. Thanks for sharing! And I hope and pray that you too will know the joy of motherhood when the time is right.

Unknown said...

Beautifully written Callie. I thin you would make a fantastic mother one day. I can only hope it happens in your future.

april said...

My name is April and I married last June (for the first time!) Since I'm 37 (38 next month) we decided to try for babies right away. So far, no success...and it kills me.
And here's what I hear God say to me: contentment is not the death of desire.
And that was so freeing for me. It made me thankful for what I have and still long for what may be ahead.
I'm a blogger, too:

Kara @ Just1Step said...

Awesome post Callie. :) I'm very proud of you! I may have to come back to this post in the future.

You are an amazing girl and I'm sure God has great things planned for you, ways that He wants to use you...just gotta wait and see what they are. :)

Jessica said...

What a great post. Contentment is something that is really hard to learn, and I'm really struggling with that as well! In addition to struggling with patience. Some things just take time, I guess. Thanks for posting this!

Emily Powell said...

I am praying to be content about "baby fever" as well. We've only been trying for 2 months and I already have doubt. I hate the fact that I doubt God because he NEVER let's you down...EVER!

cait said...

Callie, this was such a sweet blessing to me even though you wrote it months ago! I love how God works through our "yeses" in multiple ways! We're not trying at the moment...but baby fever has been in full force for me. And just when I find contentment, I feel like something else comes in my life and shakes it all up again. However, through it all, I know that God continues to remind me of His faithfulness and amazing love for me. I just need to wait on His timing. Thank you for sharing God's love through your words!

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