Wednesday was not just Star Wars Day. More importantly, it was our son Daniel Joseph Mullet’s 11th birthday.
I missed his first birthday ten years ago. Daniel and his three older brothers – Josiah, Elihu, and Solomon – were back in Ohio with Lauren, but I had gone back to my home state of Montana to look for better opportunities for work in the Bakken oilfield in the midst of the boom.
As of this week, then, it’s been a decade since I got that first real job in the Oil and Gas industry as a lease operator. But would I have gotten that job if Daniel had never been born?
The startling thought is maybe not!
Times were tough back then, and we really were not making ends meet. More to the point, I was not making ends meet. But we were kind of getting by, and also not really. All at the same time, we had a place to live and clothes and food, but the circumstance was not sustainable, and it was very uncertain, and we knew that, and the realization pained us.
Then Daniel came along, and we were thankful. We wanted to honor the Lord with having children, but we were also feeling weak and vulnerable. Then with our fourth addition the pressure increased just enough that when the advice was given me by an aunt back in my home state out West to call my cousin Brent working in Williston and talk with him about better opportunities there, I jumped on it.
Next thing we knew, I was there and looking for work, then finding it in short order. It took some months to find a place to live, but before we knew it we were buying our first home in Sidney, and trading in our Chrysler Pacifica for a Ford E350 because Evelyn was on the way.
Now that I come to think of it, would Evelyn have been born in the first place had we not moved to Montana? And what about Enoch and John and Andrew? And would we be here in Colorado today, knowing all these fine people we have for friends? Maybe, but more likely not.
Daniel Joseph, then, was a kind of tipping point. The Lord used the fact of his simply being in our lives to push us off dead-center, to get us to stop riding the fence, to nudge us just over the line into needing to up our game and think outside the box.
Now here we are with me doing systems integration work, working seven days on and seven days off, mostly from home. But had we kept on just barely getting by, I don’t see how this would be our reality.
That is to say too that if there were an opportunity to do it over again, I would not trade our son Daniel for all the world, much less a little more comfort and the appearance of security in it. Being uncomfortable, as it turned out, pushed as to grow and expand our horizons, meeting new people and seeing new sights we otherwise never would have.
And with all the talk right now of Roe v. Wade being overturned, this is something young people who find themselves pregnant and scared need to hear. The Lord provides. God gives wisdom to those who ask in faith. Our Maker is also a Sustainer and Healer.
“But He gives grace to the humble,” it says. And in another place, “But He gives more grace.”
The wisdom of the Proverbs cannot be ignored: “Trust in Yahweh with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.”
If I could tell the young folks stressing about unplanned pregnancies in trying circumstances anything it would be this – that sometimes the answer is not a lower head-count and to cut back. Rather, sometimes the answer is to increase your carrying capacity and increase your capabilities. This too is one of the ways God uses children in our lives. But we have to recognize this blessing as from the Lord, and relate to it as such, in order to reap the benefit.
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