This past year has brought a number of new babies to our family and close friends, so every few months, our boys were hearing about another baby being born. Either they were seeing those adorable newborn pictures in my Facebook feed, watching Mommy edit newborn pictures from the two sessions she did, or they actually got to meet and hold their new cousins or friends. (Holding the babies is their favorite part)
It should have come as no surprise then that Elijah decided that our home needed a new baby, too. He was almost three when Josiah was born, so he remembers the everyday of having a new little one around for him to play with and watch grow. However, Josiah, being two-and-a-half now, has apparently grown past “baby,” no matter how much Mommy told him to slow down. (He’ll even tell you, “I not a baby! I a big boy!”) Now Elijah is eager for a new brother or sister.
When Elijah began telling me that I needed to have another baby, I told him that that was something for God to decide, and we needed to ask God if that was part of His plan for our family.
That night, when it was time for Elijah to pray before bed, the very first request out of his mouth was, “Please let Mommy have another baby.”
Brad and I laughed but also looked at each other. Our child was now praying for God to give us a third child.
Elijah prayed the same thing the next night and the next. He didn’t forget it.
A few days after he’d started beseeching the Almighty for another sibling, Elijah came up to me and began pushing and poking on my belly.
When I asked him why he was doing that, he said, “Well, I’ve been praying that you would have a baby. I’ve prayed three times! I’m just checking to see if I can feel a baby yet.”
Part of me was, like, “Haha. Oh, my.” Clearly, he remembered when Mommy was pregnant with Josiah and feeling Josiah kick. I laughed and told him that even if Mommy were pregnant, he wouldn’t feel a baby yet.
The bigger part of me was, like, “But, uh-oh. Oooh, my!” This boy was SERIOUS. Very serious. He had so much faith that God would answer his prayers that he was already looking for proof that it was answered.
It’s not that Brad and I don’t want a third child. That’s kind of always been in our thoughts. However, we weren’t sure when or if that was in God’s thoughts for us. So, we’d been praying for direction.
Some might say that Elijah’s prayers are confirmation. They might be. We still don’t know yet.
Either way, there is a delicate balance to achieve when you explain to your 4-year-old that sometimes God doesn’t always give us everything we pray for.
You want to encourage and nurture their faith because, truly, “with God, all things are possible,” and He tells us in Mark 11:24, “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”
Jesus meant that. So, yes, Elijah, pray and believe. Increase your faith. Trust your God to do big things because He will.
And yet, we also want Elijah to realize that sometimes God says, “That’s not My plan for you.” We have to trust THAT just as much as we trust Him to do the big things we ask of Him. Sometimes trusting His plan when it doesn’t match up to ours is even harder than having the faith to move mountains.
I have to say, though, that I have been kind of impressed. Elijah understands that God might say, “No,” or “Not yet,” but he still prays EVERY SINGLE NIGHT for a baby. (By the way, he would prefer a sister, so he says, but he’s leaving that up to God, too.)
He’s also praying for a new car. I had told him that if we have another baby, we’d need another car, so if he was going to pray for a baby, he needed to pray for God to provide a new vehicle, too, so all the car seats will fit. He has no problem with trusting God to meet every need we might have.
I almost want to have a third child just so that Elijah’s faith is rewarded. I mean, he would be able to say, “For this child I have prayed” and prayed and prayed and prayed. It’s funny, sweet, and inspiring all at once.
It’s also a little daunting. Because what if God says, “Yes. Sure. Here you go, Elijah.”
I know that children touch God’s heart. I know that He hears their prayers and answers because those little ones faithfully, unwaveringly believe.
But my little believer won’t be the one up for nighttime feedings, or changing endless diapers, or dealing with some of the less-than-pleasant things about pregnancy and childbirth, no matter that he has volunteered to take care of the baby for us since “I’m the one praying for it.”
That’ll be Mommy, with Daddy’s help. Having already done this twice, knowing what I’d be getting into can be a little unnerving. It’s almost worse, at times, than when we were first-time parents who didn’t know anything.
Of course, we also know the good side of having children. Babies are precious, beautiful, miraculous gifts from God. They bring so much joy and delight. Watching each child become their own little person is amazing, and I truly love being a mother.
So, now I’m praying, but my prayer is this: “Not my will, but Yours be done.”
I guess, my big boy and I are learning to trust God’s plan together.
Feature image picture courtesy of Picture Bliss Photography.