I Said Yes

And Why I'm So Glad I did

I was scared.  I had so many doubts and questions.

I Said Yes

How can I do this? 

What will people think? 

What if I fail miserably and cause others to think poorly of Christ?

But I had this image in my mind I couldn’t escape of Jesus holding out His hand to me and gently asking, “Do you trust me?”

Oh, Lord.  How could I say no?  Considering who You are and all you have done for me, how could I answer anything but, “Yes, Lord”?  I can’t even put the words “no” and “Lord” together. They are utterly incompatible.

Still reason and my own obvious inadequacies tried to convince me to say “No, I can’t do what You have asked.  It is too hard.”  But my heart longed to follow Jesus on a wild and uncertain adventure.

Looking back now, when I felt God stirring me to trust Him to plan my family, I’m so glad I said, “Yes.”  Albeit very hesitantly.  I had no idea how this adventure would turn out.  I was terrified by my limitations.  I was bound by the expectations of my culture.  But I just couldn’t bring myself to say “No” to One who gave up His own glory to die a cruel death as a poor criminal for me.

I won’t lie.  It’s not easy to raise eight children.  It’s inconvenient to be perpetually pregnant or nursing or both for 14 years straight.  It’s discouraging to have so many people call you crazy…to your face…in church no less.  It’s hard to defy your own culture and do the unexpected.  It’s difficult to answer the same questions over and over again.

But, Oh!   What I would have missed out on if I had said no so many years ago.  I’m struggling to even come up with the words to describe to you how amazing it is to live with all these young people who just bless my socks off (and drive me bananas sometimes too).  They aren’t just children.  These little bodies hold the immeasurable treasure of eternal souls within them.  Very literally, Heaven and Earth are changed because they exist.  I am changed because they exist.

If my family had grown according to my plan, most of them would not be here.  That’s very sobering.  It makes me wonder what other adventures I may have missed because I didn’t follow Jesus.

If I said no

I’m so thankful God’s ways are higher and His plans are better.  I’m so thankful I said yes! 

I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  If I had it all to do over again, I would still say yes.  I would just worry less and enjoy it more.

What about you? 

What do you think God wants you to do? 

Is it scary? 

Is it different? 

Is it downright “crazy”?

What adventure might you miss if you say no?

If it’s God, don’t fret!  And don’t fear others’ opinions.

Just say yes!

 

A Wild Adventure

Blessings, Elizabeth

I’m linking up with Five-Minute Friday and Grace & Truth today.

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15 thoughts on “I Said Yes

  1. So grateful my life also looks nothing like I planned. 🙂 God is good. Thanks for linking up this post at #ThreeWordWednesday.

  2. I’m just in love with this God who calls us to roles that we’re completely scared of and ill-equipped for; for the way He grants us the grace to yield to Him in accepting those roles; for the way He thoroughly equips us for them; and for the way He walks with us every step of the way. Really, we can’t ask for more, can we?

    Thank you for sharing your testimony with us at Grace & Truth. It’s a powerful encouragement to others as we say yes to the hard things God calls us to. After all, the hard things often turn out to be the best things.

  3. First, you look too young to have eight children, but second-what beauties! I love both pictures! The second one really allows their unique personalities to shine through. And third—where on earth do you find time to blog??? Lovely post. It’s sad that people vomit their opinions all over us when we haven’t asked for them–as if there is a “standard” amount of children one should have.

    • Thank you so much, Mary! You are too sweet. I dye my hair and my kiddos all look like their daddy. I told him we will have to adopt to get a child that looks like me! My favorite photos are always the outtakes. There is always so much more personality there than in the posed shots. I usually write early in the morning or late at night. I’m working on scheduling 2 hours a day to write as I am also working on my first book. So glad you visited! You made my day.

  4. Your beautiful family is such a vivid example of what we miss out when we say no to what God wants/invites us to do. There have been times that I’ve hesitated for all the reasons you mention, and I’m sure that I’ve missed out. And there have been wonderful experiences of saying yes. I’m currently experiencing that adventure with a ministry to military women. Seeing that you are a military wife is such a fun connection!

  5. “Yes” is a beautiful word and so is your family. How many times I have said “No” and wonder what I have missed but each morning is new and His blessings never fail to come when we answer His call. So thankful you are my neighbor at Kristin’s today. I have been blessed.

  6. I am so glad you said, “Yes!” You have been such an inspiration to me and all my millions of questions seeking advice as our family grew.

    I know the feeling of being called crazy to your face and by God’s own people, nonetheless. However, when you have the love that happens in a large family, it’s so cool. Getting ready to welcome number 7 into the bunch here in a couple of months, I am learning to be better in my responses to those who don’t understand this calling that God has so strongly placed in my heart. And now having a baby who will be born with cleft lip and palette, I’ve felt even a call to adoption in the future for a baby who has the same condition. I know we probably won’t be able to for a few years as there are lots of restrictions when it comes to adopting a baby into a large family. But I definitely have heard God’s whisper.

    I was reading Restless by Jennie Allen and I like how she talks about pursuing the gifts God gives us. She says, “He built us uniquely, issuing different gifts and stories and places and people, then calls us to move as one. So whether our role is to mother or start a business or sponsor a child or sweep a floor or run a bank or teach little people how to read, we don’t want to miss it. His spirit will pour us into need, and who are we to judge where and what is the greatest need? This isn’t as much about what or where; his is about getting over ourselves and just doing it.”

    One of the big questions she asks is that “at the end of our lives, when we stand before God, did I do what God wanted me to be doing while I was here?” I love to think about that as I answer His calling to birth babies and raise them for His kingdom. It’s not always easy. It is definitely not about ourselves but about God.

    Thank you for writing about this, Elizabeth!

    Love ya,
    Carrie

    • Carrie, that sounds like a great book. I may just have to read that one. I’m so glad our family has been an inspiration to you. You have been such an encouragement and inspiration to me as well. Caring for my daughter with a cleft palate also led me to turn my heart toward orphans, some of whom are literally thrown away for having such a relatively minor birth “defect”. (I hate using the word “defect” when speaking of a child created by God.) As you said, I don’t know that adoption is an option for us since we already have eight, but I have certainly thought about it. I’m so glad you stopped by today. Have a great weekend and give all your little munchkins hugs from us!

      • Hey Ellie,
        I so enjoy your blogs. I still remember a conversation we had MANY years ago in a grocery store when I first shared with you this radical concept. 🙂 I think your response was something to the effect of, “That is fine if you live on a farm and need all of the workers, but it doesn’t make sense if you are in the Air Force”. I’m so glad that you said “yes” as well. Your children are amazing. 🙂