I believe every trial we go through has a lesson to teach us. Now, before you stop reading- hear me out. Bad things happen to good people all the time! The wonderful and fantastic moments, dealing with grief and sorrow is all apart of life we will never escape. But, changing your preservative by looking for lessons during the hard times can make dealing with the hard parts in life easier to handle.
Trust that God Sees the Bigger Picture
For nine years I pictured the kids I would one day dote on in my home, two boys and two girls. Every time my husband and I went into the ultrasound at twenty weeks, the tech was just reaffirming the sex of the baby I already knew deep in my heart. I was feeling confident with my child baring years, with my dream pregnancies, my one girl and one boy. Then my plan started shifting out of my control and into God’s control when I had a miscarried at ten weeks.
My world was rocked. I am a healthy person, why would my body betray me like this? I went through a stage of grief, my heart hurt. In time, I understood what my body was doing and needed to trust my capable body. Eventually, I became pregnant once more and our son was born two weeks before his due date. Baby number three was born at the perfect season of the retail world- Thanksgiving break. Eek! At first I was mad at God for doing this to me. God knew my husband worked retail and the BIGGEST time of the year is…Black Friday!
Merely seven hours after our little man was born- my husband the manager dashed back to work- because he’s a phenomenal employee. Reflecting months later on our third little man’s birthday date, I realized God allowed this baby to be born when he was so that I had the help from people who already had work off for the holiday. In the end- my kids played with cousins over the Thanksgiving break and I was mama to one precious newborn for ten glorious days. God saw the bigger picture and it was an even better plan for me. Hmm, imagine that?!
Fast-forward Two Years
My husband and I decided to have another baby. We conceived quickly and our hearts were full with excitement. And then, I miscarried again at ten weeks. Why would God do this to me again? Have I not proven myself? My heart hurt all over. My pregnancy was finally timed perfectly with a sister (in law) and I was thrilled. For the first time, I would have a baby bump picture with a relative and this child would be days apart. But, this miscarriage changed everything- again. I was so angry. How dare God take this righteous desire away from me again!
In time, I forgave my body and thanked it for bringing three healthy babies into this world. I knew God had a bigger plan for me and my family. I knew I needed to trust in Him while I worked through my grief. In the meantime, I realized our third baby was my rainbow baby after my pregnancy and a beacon of sunshine while I worked through my newest grief.
Fast forward another six months
I became pregnant – this time it felt like our baby was going to stay. I was elated. The final puzzle piece to our family was coming and I couldn’t wait to meet her. Yes, I knew it was our daughter. I dreamt about her so many times and she had a name. I was anxious to pull out the darling girlies clothes I’d held onto for eight years. Anxious to finally purchase the matching sister dresses and to restart that phase of adorable girlie things. Oh my girlie-loving heart could hardly wait. If you know my family- you know what happened next… and to be honest I’m still working through it.
The day of our final ultrasound for baby number four I wasn’t worried. I knew this little person was a girl; we were just confirming it for the kids. The tech excitedly smiled as she announced, “it’s a boy!” My heart plummeted. “Ummm are you sure? Check again!” As the tech positioned her tool I felt my world come crashing around me. All of those dreams to pull out the girl clothes and bows and pink frilly things was crumbling with each millisecond we waited for the confirmation. No doubt, it’s another boy. Instantly I thought- What happened to my daughter? I was so certain our family would be perfectly balanced with two girls and two boys- this was not the plan!
I felt my husband squeeze my hand- “He’s healthy, that’s all that matters.” The tears rolled down my face, “healthy. Yes, I know.“ A healthy baby is beyond important and he chose us! I loved the little boy already. But… but my plans! And what about the relationship my daughter would miss out on because she didn’t have a little sister? Would I be enough? My hurt ached as my nine-year plan shattered in seconds.
Change of Plans
For the rest of my pregnancy I was emotionally exhausted with guilt. Moms are really good at feeling guilty about everything. Goodness, I felt guilty that I was sad we were having another boy when other moms would have been happy with a baby! However, I felt horrible for my daughter would miss out on the strong bond in a sister-relationship. I felt guilty for caring so much about the gender, even when I told myself that it didn’t matter. Since we were having a boy, I felt embarrassed for purchasing and collecting little girl clothes for nine years because I was certain there was one more girl coming to our family. My self-confidence was shaken and I felt like I couldn’t trust my intuition again because I was wrong!
Our third boy was born at the end of March. I had everything figured out, a great birthing system, but I would be lying if I said everything went according to plan. Natural labor and delivery was so incredibly exhausting due to a terribly placed baby-head and it took twenty-four hours before I could hold him on my own. He was beautiful and looked just like his brothers. But, he also cried so, so much. The hardest nine months of my life were with a colicky baby. I prayed he would not be a repeat baby of the naughty one I endured already. I tried so hard to accept that I was having a third boy, but if this boy was as awful as my second, I didn’t know if I could be glad about his arrival and frankly, survive those tough days again.
Something I learned after having our second child was- there are always lessons to learn behind a trial. I know I learned so much as a mother and a person from my colicky son the first time. But, what was a colicky or fussy child supposed to teach me this time? We went immediately to child chiropractor– life saver. But, the list I have compiled this time around is different, but there are plenty of repeat reasons. Apparently I’m not a perfect student and have forgotten those important lessons. Although I am still learning and trying to accept my plan is different from his plan. I know that I can trust God. He knows why he sent me another son. I believe I will see those two babies I lost in their infancy again. I believe those little babies are keeping my sweet mother in heaven company.
What I Know
God knows what he’s doing with my life. I often compare God to the conductor of a grand symphony of life. There are sooo many instruments performing all at the same time that only the conductor has the full sheet of music. And here I am in the corner of the room filled with talented musicians holding the symbol. I have no idea when my part is coming, but the conductor does. He has the full sheet of music in front of him. My job as the symbol player is to sit and watch. The conductor wouldn’t make me play my solo at the wrong time.
God knows what he’s doing with my life. He knows why I was gifted a third boy. He knows my daughter could come in a different form. Perhaps the daughter I have felt for those nine years will come to me as a daughter in law? Maybe my daughter will have a best friend who feels like a member of our family? I don’t know. I’m not sure what the future holds, but I choose to trust in a loving God.
I don’t have answers. Perhaps that’s the hardest part about this trial we call life. We may never know the reasons behind our grief and hardships. I know my life is perfectly orchestrated in God’s hands. He sees the whole picture, my future. He created my life to be incredibly busy- with three boys and a daughter and I’m excited!
Choosing to trust Him always,