Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Our plans are not our own

It is hard to believe sometimes just how crazy life gets around the holidays. Every year at this time I think the same thing- "how is it ever going to get all done?!" This week alone we have been busy getting another load of baskets ready to take to the hospital for Granting Hope, baking Christmas cookies, finishing up the shopping, taking Jake to school, working, writing Christmas cards, and going through the daily routines of life. As busy as we are, our thoughts are never far from a little boy who isn't here...who should have been here...but is not.

I think that I miss him even more this Christmas than I did last Christmas. Maybe it's because I was still in shock, or still taking sleep aids and other medications, I don't really know for sure.
I see him everywhere. I see him sitting on Santa's lap next to his brother; I see him in my mind's eye playing on the floor with my niece; I saw him just last week in front of the church Christmas tree in between his big brother and the little boy who is the same age as he would be- the little boy who would have been his friend.

My mind goes back to our recent Disneyland trip last May. We had planned to take both Jake and Grant together, once Grant was a few months old. That was BEFORE the nightmare; BEFORE the diagnosis that would change our lives forever. Several months later, we still went to Disneyland- without our beautiful baby because we wanted to take Jake somewhere away from the pain, to the happiest place on earth where we wouldn't have any reminders- and yet, the thoughts of what should have been still plagued our minds.

The words to another one of Steven Curtis Chapman's songs comes to mind. "This is not how it should be; this is not how it could be; but this is how it is, and our God is in control." As much as we think Grant should be here with us, for some reason the Lord had another plan for him. How often do we make plans for ourselves and then we are upset that they haven't turned out quite like we wanted them to? It doesn't have to be the dream of a child- it can be anything, even something as small as planning to meet a dear friend for coffee. The Bible says that He controls the times and the seasons- how is it then that we trust Him to control this but we fail to trust Him when He is at work in our lives? The answer, I believe, is our human nature. I am so thankful that the Lord knows our human nature and He is merciful and patient with us.

My favorite part to the song I mentioned above goes like this, "This is not how it WILL be, when we finally will see, we'll see with our own eyes, He was always in control. " Kris and I planned to have the best marriage, and to have two or three children, and to be financially stable. Well, it didn't turn out quite like that. We began our marriage with the trial of infertility, and incidentally, we are still dealing with that trial. On top of that, our finances crumbled when we spent over $15,000 to conceive our miracle Jacob. This continued through two more frozen embryo transfers, and soon after, the precious life and death of our second son. I don't think anyone can even remotely understand what all of that can do to a marriage unless they have gone through it. Praise the Lord that we know and have known from the beginning that we were the exact one for each other and we have vowed to stick together no matter how hard it gets. And it has been HARD. Not at all what we had planned....BUT our God is in control. And ultimately, we have the hope that one day we WILL see why it all had to be this way. And the best part is we probably won't even care at that time. He will wipe all the tears from our eyes, and make everything new! He promised!

So the next time things don't go quite as you have planned, remember that God is still in control, and His plans are always better than our own. And sometimes, it is for reasons far above our understanding.


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