I am a planner. I always have been. Planning is not wrong, in and of itself, but flexibility is something I am still trying to learn.
Fourteen-and-a-half years ago (almost FIFTEEN!), I had everything all planned out for my son’s impending birth. I had picked out my doctor, and the plan was to induce me at 38 weeks. Once my husband and I found out we were having a boy, we picked his name, and started changing our office into his nursery. His bed was set up there because he was going to sleep in his own bed, in his nursery. I was going to nurse him, and in the process, quickly shed all the baby weight. Every detail was planned, and I was certain things would go according to that plan. (Aren’t we all perfect parents before we have children??)
And, then something happened.
I started feeling uneasy with the OBGYN I had chosen. He said some things that made me uncomfortable, and made me question his care. So, at 8 months, I searched for and found a new OBGYN.
I should have known at our first exam that things were possibly not going to go according to my plan. His exam revealed that my bones were “narrow.” And, while he probably knew what that meant at the time, I didn’t. I continued on, believing that things would still progress as I had planned.
As my due date approached, I was going to the doctor three times a week to check my progress. I had my suitcase packed and after each visit, I would walk out to the car, and drive my suitcase home. Long story short, despite my best efforts (push-mowing the yard, running, jumping), I failed to progress. “Failure to progress” was written on my chart as the reason for my need of a C-section. And, I certainly felt like a failure.
A C-section was not a part of my plan. I was honestly devastated. I felt like I had quit running at the end of the race.
Even on the day of surgery, I did not realize how out of control I was, but I quickly learned.
This sweet baby that I had carried for 40 weeks and 5 days….the one we had named….the one who had an infant carseat in my car and a nursery waiting at home….was not well.
And, when he was born, and I listened for that first cry, I knew: something was wrong.
His cry was weak and sounded like gurgling.
“He’s having a little trouble breathing, so we are going to go down to the nursery to access him,” said the pediatrician I had met only moments before.
I just nodded and asked my husband to go with him.
He had to be transferred to a hospital with a NICU. They had us complete his paperwork and name him before he was transferred. I thought, “They are doing this because they think he is not going to live.”
I was transferred later, by ambulance, alone to the hospital where he was.
It seemed each day the news was more serious. He had fluid on his lungs. The drops that are put into a newborn’s eyes did not get into his very well (due to the shape of his eyelids), and he had eye infections in both eyes. He had two holes in his heart. He had jaundice. And the list went on and on.
I didn’t hold him for two days. Instead of holding my new baby, I continually studied the polaroid the nurses had given me.
I felt completely alone and out of control. Not one thing had gone as I had planned.
Not. one. thing.
I did the only thing I knew to do. I prayed to the only One who could help.
You see, the thing is, my plan never mattered in the first place. God’s plan was completely different from what I had imagined. Psalm 139: 16 (NASB) reads,
“Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.”
I was taken off-guard by everything that happened, but God was not. He knew every day of my son’s life before the foundations of the world. He knew the problems his little body would have at birth, and He knew that those issues would be healed (by Him or by His power through physicians.)
I was out of control, but God was not. He was never fearful. He was never surprised. He was always, COMPLETELY in control.
Friends, if you are experiencing a trial in your life, and you feel completely out of control, go to the One who is in control at all times. Go to the One who knows exactly how you feel. Go to the One who can calm your fears and give you strength to face your trials.
Go to Him.
He is waiting for you.