But when children don't come...then there are so many questions. Which moral medical treatment do we pursue? Do we pursue any treatment at all? (since it's not obligatory, of course) Which doctor do I see? How much are we willing to pay? What about adoption? What kind of adoption - domestic, international, foster care? Are we willing to adopt a child of a different race or who has special needs? (When you conceive a child, you take what God gives you!)
And what if we're not called to adoption? We still want our marriage to be fruitful...and we don't have unlimited funds to adopt and do some other demanding work of service. Should we do mission work? Focus on our careers and how they can improve the world? Be available to friends and family who need us? Not having children does give you more time and possibly more money...how should we use it?
Of course I'm over-simplifying a bit when it comes to conceiving and raising a child. I know there are many questions associated with that: What kind of birth? To vaccinate or not? How to educate? and so forth. But still, when you get pregnant, you're a mother. And God-willing when the baby is born, you know your job is to take care of that child. That's the very concrete way that your call to be fruitful is lived out. For us, it's so much more open-ended! And that's kind of daunting. I'd rather have less choices, really! Just tell me what to do, God, and let me get to it.
With that in mind, this passage from "Interior Freedom" stood out to me:
"When uncertain about God's will, it is very important that we tell ourselves, 'Even if there are aspects of God's will that escape me, there are always others that I know for sure and can invest in without any risk, knowing that this investment always pays dividends.' These certainties include fulfilling the duties of our state in life and practicing the essential points of every Christian vocation. There is a defect here that needs to be recognized and avoided: finding ourselves in darkness about God's will on an important question - a large-scale vocational choice or some other serious decision - we spend so much time searching and doubting or getting discouraged, that we neglect things that are God's will for us every day, like being faithful to prayer, maintaining trust in God, loving the people around us here and now. Lacking answers about the future, we should prepare to receive them by living today to the full." (my emphasis)
I feel like I can take a deep breath after reading this: God will guide us, just live this day in trust, loving God and others and doing what He's already asked me to do (loving my husband and my friends, doing my job well, creating a happy home, etc.)