Although Kenji and Bonnie Gjovig loved each other dearly, they had a tremendous amount of conflict. It was a marriage with a high degree of difficulty. At times, the presence of children was the only thing that kept them together.
Once their third child, Annika was born, Kenji was ready to be done having children. Bonnie wasn’t though. She felt like God wanted them to have more.
In fact, the discussion about having another child became yet another source of conflict. So much so, that they had to stop talking about it and just swept it under the rug.
Fast forward to three years ago. Kenji decided that things in the marriage had improved to the point that they could have the conversation about kids.
When Kenji approached Bonnie to discuss the topic, she was open to having the discussion. That alone was a major victory. A few weeks later Bonnie told Kenji to go ahead and have the surgery. Kenji did the happy dance for a few minutes feeling ecstatic that Bonnie was ok not having more kids. This was great news! What a major turn of events! However, then Bonnie dropped the bombshell by saying, “Oh, by the way, I’m pregnant.”
God had other plans for Kenji and Bonnie.
This was a big shock to Kenji. Their third child, Annika was already 7 and would be almost 8 when the baby was born. Life was overwhelming with three school-age children. What would it be like to start over with a fourth? How could they survive the chaos?
Kenji knew that God had a plan for their lives. It obviously wasn’t his own plan but it was God’s perfect plan. There was no better place to be than in God’s plan so Kenji and Bonnie leaned in despite their anxiety.
As God would have it, a new baby coming into their lives was exactly what the entire Gjovig family needed. God knew that the presence of a new baby in their lives would not be the destroyer of peace but the very cause of it. Solomon, in Hebrew, means ‘Peace’. The Lord used Solomon to bring His peace into their marriage and family. A peace that they had not known before. Solly brought the entire family closer together and the last three years have been the best three years of their 18 years of marriage.
Although Kenji and Bonnie had no idea that they needed a fourth child. God knew that the very thing Kenji feared the most was exactly what he needed to experience God’s peace. Only God could work in this way. Now Kenji, Bonnie and the family know God’s peace that passes all understanding.
Kenji is a member of the Mariners Church steering committee.
By Jon Yoshimine, Volunteer Storyteller