Why Did You Have So Many Kids?

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Photo copyright 2015 Melanie Jean Juneau. All rights reserved.

 

After the birth of our fourth child, Michael and I struggled to understand exactly how we were meant to live our lives. We were discussing an article by an author whose main premise was that letting go of control and trusting in God was not some abstract principle but a day-to-day practical call that included the surrender of our fertility. Of course, we practised natural family planning but I was one of those rare people who could conceive long before ovulation.

As my doctor said once, “Ah, I remember reading about a woman in New Zealand, two years ago, who conceived five days before ovulation.”

I raised my hand and chirped, “Well, you can add me to that list!”

Although we could not imagine how large our family would become, the words of that article resonated within both my husband and I. Guilt lifted off us and a surge of excitement, a sense of purpose welled up from within. Although it took time to really believe that none of our children were simply a failure of the natural family planning method, many small experiences kept reinforcing the truth the for us that God called each of our children into being with our co-operation. We’d stumbled blindly at times and then a burst of clarity would shine light on our purpose.

For example, twenty-five years ago, I once again slipped into panic mode, worrying if I was pregnant with my fifth child. Suddenly a wave of peace enveloped me and my whole body relaxed.

I heard these words within me,

“This is your call. This is your vocation. This is your witness to the world.”

All sorts of objections rushed into my head,

” What on earth do you mean a witness, a witness to what?- stupidity? People don’t understand. They just think we are irresponsible or idiots…”

Then unexpected joy bubbled within me and I sensed these words in my spirit, “I am with you.”

Once again, a blanket of peace wrapped like a blanket around me. It was an actual physical sensation and I was at peace; my mind calmed and my spirit felt strong.

That was it for me; I understood and I said “yes.”

Though I still cringed under disapproval from society, I always understood that my children were saving me by compelling me to dive deeper into my spirit. They challenged me to dig deeper, discovering the power of eternal Love at my very core–a love that can stand strong against all opposition.

Copyright 2015 Melanie Jean Juneau
Photo copyright 2015 Melanie Jean Juneau. All rights reserved.

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About Author

Melanie Jean Juneau is a mother of nine children who blogs at joy of nine9. Her writing is humorous and heart-warming; thoughtful and thought-provoking. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life. Melanie is the administrator of ACWB, the Editor in Chief at CatholicLane, CatholicStand, Catholic365 , CAPC & author of Echoes of the Divine.

7 Comments

  1. Melanie, this is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I felt such comfort, as I read this, because it helped me to realize I am not alone. You see, I am one of those people, too … Having 6 children in 8 years, including a set of twins, I can relate to your waves of panic when you thought you might be pregnant … again. We look crazy to the world. Our life is not neat and pretty. Saying yes to 6 children means we have said no to other things that the world deems valuable … I’m still not always peaceful about being the mother of 6. I often ask God if He is sure He asked the right woman to take this on. I like order and quiet, and He has invited me to be more flexible and forgiving. When our life’s mission takes us out of our comfort zone, I think that’s a good sign that it is God’s plan. I know I would not have thought of it on my own …

  2. This article was just what I needed to hear. We are a young family, but it is already growing rapidly. We recently had our 3rd son on 3/5 and our middle turned 1 on 4/15. Our oldest is 4, but he came during a different part of our lives when we didn’t realize what God was calling us to do and who He wanted us to be, thankfully our first born changed our direction. My husband and I chose NFP to enhance our spiritual connection with one another and our covenant with God. At our pace of being fruitful, it is challenging to see the big picture, especially with both of our careers. The social stigma and pressure of others, including family members and Healthcare workers, to use another method, is discouraging and gives me doubt. It was so refreshing and reassuring to hear your story it made my night and gave me peace.

  3. Melanie, you are, in the words of Anne of Green Gables, my “kindred spirit!” I could have written this article, or one very similar. My only regret in having 9 children is that upon realizing that I was pregnant I was never really excited – though the excitement and joy soon follow as soon as I resigned my will to God’s.

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