Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Back on Birthcontrol?

In my first year of teaching in the public schools I remember hearing some terrible stories about what the students in my schools had to deal with at home. Some of those kids lived in horrific situations, worse than I could ever imagine. I remember coming to the realization that in our lives we get to choose who we spend our time with. We are used to the quirks of our families because we grew up with them. We pick our friends based on how they act, look, smell, how much money they make, or whatever other quality may be important to us. But, when you work with the public, you interact with all kinds of people. You don’t get to pick and choose who you teach. You are taken out of your safe comfort zone and reminded that there is a whole world of different people out there that you might never choose to hang out with.

One day, in my sixth year of teaching, I was watching the Kindergartners playing at recess right outside my classroom window. I was smiling as they were chasing each other around the playground, thinking about having one of my own one day. Then, one boy went over and shoved another boy down on the ground and started pounding him with his fist. A little while later two other little boys were gesturing guns with their fingers and pretending to shoot each other. Around the corner a boy pushed a little girl up against a brick wall and made a very sexual gesture to her with his pelvis. I sank.

What was I thinking? Could I bring a child into a world like this? This was a five year-old’s concept of playing! Would it be possible to raise a child that would reject these ways of thinking? How could we be responsible for the spiritual well being of a child in this cruel, fallen world? Should I go back on birth control and just forget the whole thing?

It was like my eyes had been opened to a whole new way of thinking. I thought; we’re so young! Thank God He didn’t give us a child back when we first started trying! We could have never handled it way back then, heck we can’t handle it now! How do teenagers manage when they get pregnant?!

I began to understand the couple that waits to have children because they’re not ready and they have so many other things they want to do first. I started thinking about graduate school, mission trips, moving somewhere exotic, vacations, etc. I started working out again. I looked back on the past three years and realized I had been living bound to this dream of having a child, and every plan I had made was in consideration of this child we didn’t even have yet! Wow, I had missed out on a lot of living!

I was confused. Was it good for me to think I didn’t want a child, or was it selfish?

I’ve since wondered if my reaction was a defense mechanism. No one can go on for years on end enduring the emotional torture I had put myself through, and I know that children are a tremendous blessing from the Lord. But, thinking of having children in this light made me feel better about not having any. I found myself paying close attention to how difficult it was to be a parent and taking comfort in that. I began at that point to feel thankful that God had not given us children.

Next Post: 5/3/07


jimmy (dge.y.m.ie) said...

Keep writing. I'm encouraged by both of you. Anything that gets to the heart of our woundedness is precious.

Looking forward to tomorrow night!

Anonymous said...

Andy Peevy said a while back that it may be one of his 2 boys that would make a difference in the world. All he and Leslie could do was to instill in them the values that they were raised on and take them to church and pray and let God take it from there. He said he didn't feel like God would have given them the kids if He didn't have a work for them to do. So, one day, it may be a little Mays/Crissinger that makes a difference. I totally understand where you're coming from. I worry about my 2 constantly about what they'll have to go through, but I wonder if someday they will touch someone the way so many people have touched me and I get chills.
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