Recently I overheard my sweet Hattie “reading” to herself in her bed. She was looking at one of Edy’s 2nd grade readers—a book far above her Kindergarten skill level—but no problem! She just made up the story as she went. She’d overheard Edy reading from that same book earlier, so she had a rough idea of the what it was about: a boy named Jimmy and science class.
She read: The teacher asked “Jimmy, what is the definition of science?” Jimmy stood up and said, “Well, Teacher, Science is…”
Then Hattie paused her story. Long paused her story. Extra long paused…
Then, in just a whisper meant, I think, only for herself to hear, Hattie quietly confessed, “I don’t really know what science is…”
I laughed. A lot. And so did she.
Sometimes it’s hard to go on with our stories, especially when we can’t define just what we’re going about.
So in my last blog post I eluded to something in my life that God had unexpectedly handed me. I was intentionally coy about, but a few of you more brilliant souls caught on.
Yes, I am pregnant. With my fifth small human. (Insert wild-eyed, mouth-ajar, what-in-the-blazes-have-we-done picture of me here.)
Oh yes, something like this.
And then you didn’t hear anything else from me for a while.
As I tried to cutely tiptoe around this new baby, this nothing-short-of providential-change-in-our-life-plans-baby, I wasn’t being entirely honest.
Yes, I wanted to trust God. Yes, I know that His word says that He is a good father and that He gives only good gifts to His children. Yes, I know He does not make mistakes.
But ask a parent with a terminally sick child if it feels like God has given them a good gift. Ask a woman facing infertility if it does not feel that God has made a mistake.
And (on an entirely different and not at all equal level) ask three-months-ago-Hannah if this abrupt change in her life’s course did not feel like suddenly the future was closed for business. Like she would be forever nauseous, forever pregnant, forever the butt of the “You know how that kind of thing happens, don’t you?” joke. Ask that Hannah if God had dealt her a serious blow to her dreams and her hopes for the future.
If she were being honest, she would say yes.
I was mad at God.
I was sick, and tired (still am), and angry that I was here again.
Sure, Nate still has four years until Kindergarten, but I was already planning what life would be without an infant at home. Imagine the freedom…and now I had to face pulling those hideous maternity pants out of attic and back into my wardrobe.
I know all of you with grown children want to shout through the computer that I need to be grateful for these young years at home, and I am. Truly, I am.
But imagine approaching the end of the marathon. The finish line is in sight. You’re exhausted, but rest is coming so soon you can almost touch it.
And then someone moves the finish line back five years.
I was caught off-guard, and as much I wanted to say, “I know it’s God’s will,” all I could muster was a whispered confession to myself… But I don’t really know what God’s will is. I sure don’t understand it.
And so sometimes it’s hard to go on with our life stories, especially when we can’t figure out just what we’re going on about.
It was wrong for me to be mad at God, and I’ve told Him that I’m sorry. I’ve told Him that I don’t know why He’s allotted another baby for me, and that I don’t understand this twist in my life’s tale. But I’ve told Him that I’ll stop complaining now because I’ve said my peace.
And so has He.
As seen here:
So I’m still sorting through all this. But perhaps the moral here is that our life stories are not are own, no matter how want them to be. They are God’s and it is His right to assume full control.
I like being in charge. I like knowing the future. I like achieving my dreams and patting myself on the back for accomplishing what I’ve set out to do. But this one is out of my hands, and because of that, I will never be able to take credit for it. I will never be able to say, “Look what I have done!”
I will love this child, but this child will be more than just my fifth baby. This child will be God’s Plan in Action. A living testimony that God is in charge and that He does work all things for our good, even when it doesn’t look that way in the midst of it.
So I will rejoice when this child is born, and I will remember:
God’s plan for our lives is better than our own, even when it doesn’t feel like it.
Always. Always. Always.
“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21b)
Hannah….. How I love you and oh how I love the way you keep looking up to God for answers and direction. And He rewards those who earnestly seek Him….
And, oh, how I love you too, Laura. Now come home!
I know it’s hard to ask the Lord “why” with so many of life’s circumstances… but speaking as that “unexpected surprise” child myself.. they’re going to be the best 😉 xoxo
And what would life be like without Lydia?! Not near as much fun, for sure. And I’ll say that someday about this one too, I know. God gives good gifts..and who doesn’t like unexpected, unplanned gifts in any other case?? I’m so foolish to doubt Him. Thank you for your sweet encouragement.
I was a surprise, too–five and a half years after the last one! I can imagine how my mom must have felt going back to those diapers. I’m glad you’re working toward a place of accepting the unexpected gift! Congratulations!
Thank you, Heather. My parents had five too, and I enjoyed being part of a big family. I just hadn’t ever planned it for mine. But, wow! A five and half year later surprise would have some kind of surprise. But, man, I am so glad she had you. 🙂 Thanks for reading, sweet friend.
Amen! It is all in God’s hands. We don’t know what His plan is for us either…we’ve been sitting in limbo for much longer than we would have hoped while we wait for Him to show us our next step…but I know that the end is worth it. Congrats on the new addition. Hopefully the nausea has eased up a bit!
Yes, it has eased. (The nausea that is.) The feeling of being in limbo…well, that’s coming to. As I get more used to the idea, I’m grateful that I do have other children that delight me and I know this one will delight me to.
But, you’re right, the limbo is so hard. But, I assume, worth it in the end. For you and me both. 🙂 Thanks for reading, dear.
First, I have definitely been missing you at the M2M meetings. I love your wisdom and insight.
Second, I completely understand the feelings that accompany adding beyond the more culturally acceptable baby #4. Trepidation. Nausea at the coming silly remarks from people you know and love to complete strangers at the super center. Questioning why me because I could seriously point out many moms better at the mom business than I am!
My surprises #5 & 6 are as you suspect, precious. In fact, I’m pretty sure they know they are “extras” because they have(outside of that horrifying thing known as a diaper change) been so laid back that the real work of adding has been overcoming my hormonal moments.
You are wonderful and a gift to those around you. I can’t wait to see the coming joy at the surprise God handed you and what His plans are for him/her. Plus, you’re a terribly beautiful pregnant lady. ?
You are such a sweet soul, Tara. You know you came to mind immediately when I found out. I thought, “Well, Tara makes it look pretty do-able. And she does it in heels.” 😉 So, you’re kinda my inspiration.
Thanks you for the sweet thoughts, and for reading this silly blog. I’m honored you’d take the time to do it.
We planned 4. Number 4 ended up being twins! After twins & 5 children we were very comfortable with being done. God had other plans ?. 4 years after twins we had number 6. I cried the first 3 months I was pregnant. I was just so stunned & scared. 7 yrs later he is truly our best surprise/gift. He is an amazing brilliant LOVING child. He is the glue in our family that brings joy to us all. Congrats!
Jessica, I’m so sorry for the delay in responding to this comment. THANK YOU for reassuring me that 1.) this is survivable and 2.) it will turn out for good. Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment. Blessings!