Sunday, October 9, 2011

Today was supposed to be...

"Today was supposed to be..." That is something I say to myself a lot.

"Today was supposed to 36th week."

"Today was supposed to due date."

"Today was supposed to baby shower."

As my google calendar mercilessly reminds me of what was supposed to be, I wince and curse technology for being unaware of what's really going on. Yes, today was supposed to be...but today wasn't.

It is not an easy thing to accept, when your plans completely derail and you are forced into a direction you not only never wanted to go, you have no idea how you'll survive it.

One year ago, I was mourning the loss of my first miscarriage. I was in a pit, but as I thought about where I would be a year from that moment, it certainly wasn't here. I was not even capable of imagining that I would have had not one, but two more losses under my belt, and Josh and I would be starting down the path to adoption.

That was definitely not on my google calendar.

Yet here I am. I can honestly say that pretty much nothing in my life has gone according to my plan, according to my calendar. I did not plan to be a mother of twins at age 22, and I did not plan to have my children in heaven outnumber my children on earth by age 27.

After my second loss I didn't even sign up for those "Your Pregnancy This Week" emails, because there is nothing like getting an email describing what your baby looks like today when you're driving home from the hospital empty-handed. Talk about a punch in the gut.

If nothing else, I have learned to not plan. To make sure I do not put anything on the calendar too far in advance lest something "happens" and I am then reminded of what didn't happen when the day actually comes. This might sound pessimistic, but I think it is more realistic. Things rarely go exactly as we plan. And if they always have for you...I think you might be in for a rude awakening someday. Life is unpredictable.

But God isn't. He is the same. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is. And if anyone on earth needs one thing in her life to be unchangeable, I do. The roads in my life are going to continue turning unexpectedly, I have learned that much over the years!

And every time the road turns unexpectedly, I have a choice. I can dig my heels in and refuse to walk another step, or I can continue. I can continue kicking and screaming, or I can continue in faith.

I have done all of the above over the course of my life, believe me. But by far the most painless was choosing to trust the Lord's heart, His promises to prosper me and not to harm me, and to just keep going. A friend recently wrote in a card to me, "You may have questioned His plan, but you've never questioned His Sovereignty."

Well put. I question His plan all the time. Daily. Hourly even. But I know, I know, He is in control, and He loves me. I am not going to spiral off beyond His sight or care. I am always in the palm of His hand, no matter what my circumstance. No matter how I'm choosing to react in that moment. Whether I am praising Him at the top of my lungs in the car or curled up in the fetal position on my bed, sobbing and asking God "Why" over and over. I know no matter how great or how little my faith is, He hasn't gone anywhere, He is the same. That is comforting.

It gets easier, having your plans changed for you. You learn not hold so tightly to them that your knuckles turn white. You learn to plan, but with the internal disclaimer that things might change. The unwanted experience of having the rug pulled out from under you teaches you not to stand so firmly on rugs that fly. I have learned the only thing stable enough to put my faith in is the Lord. He will not change, ever. And though my circumstances change, His love for me will not.

So I have one plan glorify Him in my choices, in my life. To let God show Himself to others through me and my walk. I fail miserably at times...a lot of times....most of the time...but when that is my only real goal, to glorify Him in all that I do, the actual circumstances in my life can change all the time and not matter so much, as long as that one desire remains the same.

I have no idea where I will be a year from now or what my life will look like. But I know one thing for sure, I will still be right in the palm of God's hand. No matter my circumstances, my attitude, or my faith. And it feels good to confidently put one thing in my calendar.

2 Timothy 2:13
"If we are faithless,
   he remains faithful..."

Hebrews 13:8
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Numbers 23:19
"God is not human, that he should lie,
   not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
   Does he promise and not fulfill?"


  1. Well put Karen. Love you!

  2. Karen, This was so poignantly and beautifully written. You are purely honest and vulnerable yet very encouraging. If you haven't already, you should pray about writing a book to encourage others who have lost children or are considering having them, adopted or otherwise.
    We'll be saving change and praying for you as you go through this journey.(We don't need a bottle).
    Julia Stevenson