Tuesday, January 20, 2009

An Unexpected Twist of Fate

On New Year’s Day, my husband, stepdaughter and I went to the movies to see Marley & Me. While I fully expected to see a movie documenting the hijinx of a naughty pup wreaking havoc on a young couple, I did not expect to watch a commentary on family, the futility of trying to plan out your life, and the changes that having children brings to a marriage. To be honest, I left the theater feeling a little shaken but very happy with the state of my life as it is.

After the movie, the three of us went out to coffee with our dear friends Dan and Melody, who are expecting their first baby this April. “I am just afraid to ruin what we have because I love our marriage the way it is,” I told Melody as she laughed and nodded her head. I shared with her the reservations the movie gave me about starting a family and, as always, she reassured me that God is in control and that all things work together for good. I agreed and laughed off my apprehensions, noting that it wasn’t anything I would need to worry about for a long time. I am in my third year of law school after all, I added, and M is still working on his engineering degree. And besides, I have endometriosis and there are no guarantees that we would ever be able to have any children of our own anyway. This settled my troubled mind and it was not long before this conversation (and the worries and concerns the movie had sparked in me) faded out of my memory.

You can imagine how ironic this conversation seems now, in retrospect, as I now know that at the time we were having this engaging conversation, I was already four and a half weeks pregnant. Here, I was discussing a movie, based on a true story, that clearly demonstrated that life happens in spite of all our planning and I was ignoring the central message I had clearly identified (and have written on before): “Man plans and God laughs.” I have to imagine that God was just sitting up in Heaven shaking his head and chuckling as He listened to me go on and on with my own ideas about what our life would and should be like. Apparently, He had bigger plans in store for us!

And so, M, V and I have spent the last few weeks adjusting to this unexpected news and preparing ourselves for all the things there really is no preparing for. It has given me a new perspective on so many things. Here, I thought I had it all figured out – but it was no sooner than I had come up with a master plan, that God shows me that His are always better.

I have been procrastinating for too long in blogging. I had been meaning to write an entry for some time now on the futility of fear, as I have finally conquered my fear of driving – something I could do with God’s help alone. In the past four months, I not only got my own driver’s license, but I got my own car (a gift from M for my 27th birthday in November).

Looking on all the drastic changes our lives have taken in the past year (moving from the city to the suburbs, from an apartment to a house, learning to drive and getting a license and a car and finding a Bible study group whose members have small children that are welcome to attend each Friday night), I can’t believe I didn’t see what God was preparing us for. And I guess, I still don’t know what the future has in store and I guess that’s the moral of the story (at least as I see it): We can only live day to day and seek God’s will in what we do and wait expectantly for God to show us where we need to be. That said, I am very happy to be where I am, in spite of the horrific morning (noon and night) sickness that at 7 weeks and a few days along, I have still not grown accustomed to!

For all the downsides of pregnancy I have been experiencing this early on, this morning changed my perspective yet again: when M and I not only saw our baby and his or her tiny beating heart, but we heard it! It was the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard. And while our baby looks like little more than a little blob, I can’t believe how much love I feel for something so very small. And for all the worries I have had concerning how early on my pregnancy is, I remind myself that God is in control.

“For you formed my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. My soul knows that very well.
Psalm 139:13-14