I can’t help but smile as I remember how my husband and I sat up at night, early in our marriage, planning out every step of our lives. See, we are planners! My husband is the visionary and I’m the get it done, put our plan in place partner. We would sit in our little duplex of a home and talk about kids and ambition and ministry and oh how we thought we had it all figured out.
Grand dreams of being our own bosses, a fairy tale home with a house full of kids running under foot, and elaborate plans to escape the drudgery of the jobs we called our own….me, a human resource director at a Casket Company (yes, we built burial caskets…..such an uplifting place to work every day, wouldn’t you say), and my husband’s work as a child abuse investigator.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out we were less than inspired in our lives and spent countless hours dreaming of a better version of ourselves (of course these are worthy and honest career choices and much needed in our communities). But we were young, and expected, bigger and better everything!
And here is where God’s very real and active sense of humor poured over our lives, saturating our plans with His!
We are Christ followers so we take seriously His leading in our lives. We presented the Lord with our very thought out and orchestrated plan for our lives, and we quickly realized His plan was not about making us more comfortable or providing us with the ultimate American Dream life.
Through a series of events, the Lord led us to Dallas Texas so my husband could attend Dallas Theological Seminary, in hopes of one day becoming a Navy Chaplain.
Dream 1 down…..forget the idea of “being our own bosses.” Now the US military owned my husband, and they told us so often!!!!
Second dream came out of order……The Lord blessed us with our son just as we were attempting to get through my husbands masters program on one income….talk about messing with the timing of our plans.
Oh how God must have been laughing!!!!
Finally, we believed we had put God in the driver’s seat of our lives and began following God’s bigger and better plan for our lives. But how easy I forget and quickly take the wheel from the Lord every chance I get. Talk about a back seat driver!!!!
Our son was five and we were settling in to a new military life. We had not “not” been trying to have another baby for four years now and I was getting impatient. So we did everything we could to have another baby. Doctors, temperature taking, ovulation kits….need I go on?
Seven times. That is how many times we got pregnant during this three year time span. And seven times, our hopes and dreams were dashed and our confidence in our Lord’s plan waivered just a little bit.
Sometimes you can’t see the big picture until you step away from it and look at it from a distance.
After we lost our seventh, I had reached my limit. I could not handle the up and down emotions that came with trying again and again. The doctors conferred and broke the news to me that the chance of us having another biological baby was near impossible. Talk about veering off plan!!!! Where did secondary infertility factor in to our plan for our family???
And so we sat at the Lord’s feet and yielded our plans once again. We trusted Him with our hearts and desires and His plan was oh so much better.
A year after placing our plans at His feet, His bigger and better plan was gently swaddled and placed in our arms, in a small government office in Nanchang China. Our daughter Grace was and continues to be a visible reminder of God’s trustworthiness, and great love for us.
And yet He laughs……Four months after adopting our sweet Grace, the Lord poured laughter down upon our family with a pregnancy so unexpected and surprising, we still marvel at it. Bethany Joy joined our family exactly 13 months after we brought Grace home.
So, on the days I want to hop out of the backseat, push the Lord aside and take over the drivers seat, I need only look at those three smiling faces that call me mom and remember God’s plan is indeed perfect!!!!