What’s the Plan?

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
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”

It has only been in the past year that I’ve (reluctantly) started giving things over to God. I’m naturally inclined to want to plan everything and be in charge of everything and see that everything is done the way I want it to be done. My way is the best way. My plan is the best plan.

With all the drama surrounding our old house since this past January (will they refinance it? will they sell it? will they default? will we have to move back in? what’s the plan?) I finally gave in and said “You know what, God has a plan. Whatever happens is what is supposed to happen and it’s all part of HIS plan whether it’s what I think I want or not.” After all, we didn’t want to sell that house via owner-financing. But we did it, and look where it took us! We managed to pay off all our debt and build up our savings. If I look further back to the summer before we sold the house, that’s when our precious Corgi Momo died. The house that we moved into after selling the house did not allow pets. We definitely would not have moved into that house if we couldn’t take Momo with us, but downsizing to that house was exactly what we needed to do to pay off our debts. After we moved and our car died, our proximity to everything made it possible for us to replace that car with a bike. If we had been in our old house, that wouldn’t have worked. I see God’s work in the entire situation

During the summer, once we found out that the people we sold our house to would not qualify for a refinance and they were trying to sell it instead, we planned to move back into the house. What else could we do? We weren’t ready to buy again.

We had been talking about expanding our family, and we decided that July was the time to do it. So we tried and less than two weeks later we found out that we had a baby on the way. We were so excited that we could only keep it a secret from our girls for two days before we just had to tell them. They were so excited. There were screams of delight and they immediately started talking about what the baby would be, and what we would name it, and how they would help take care of it.

At this same time I found our dream house. Exactly the right size for three kids and two parents, for sale or for rent. So we changed the plan. Let’s rent out the old house, move into this new house, and buy it next year once we’ve had a chance to save up the down payment. The girls chose their rooms, and showed us which room would be for the baby.

My friend Lori got pregnant at the same time that I did. Besides my in-laws and one other friend, she was the only one who knew about the baby. We spent time talking about our pregnancies and our plans, and how much fun our babies would be, growing up together.

My friend Sarah who is a master organizer came over to help me pack the girls’ room on August 12th. We had fun, and I desperately wanted to tell her about the baby. But I kept quiet, knowing we had decided to wait to tell everyone until August 23rd, when we would see the baby’s heartbeat and get checked out by the OB/GYN. After Sarah left, I continued packing and discovered that I was spotting. This had never happened to me before, so I immediately called the doctor and went to lay down. I almost didn’t tell Josh, because I didn’t want him to worry, but I called and told him I was resting and had called the doctor. He came home to sit with me on the couch while I tried not to cry.

To take our minds off this unexpected turn of events, we went out to eat. On the way to La Margarita, Josh urged me to call the doctor’s office again because it had been two hours and they hadn’t returned my call. I called. They had lost my message and were so relieved to hear from me. I was reassured by the nurse that spotting is perfectly normal and she told me to take it easy. Take it easy? We’re moving this weekend! But I agreed, because nothing was more important to me than this baby inside me.

The next day, the spotting was worse. I rested a lot and that night our girls slept over at their Gigi and Papa’s house so that Josh and I could finish up the packing and go on a date. We went and saw “The Help.” In the movie, one of the characters loses a baby and she asks “Why is there so much blood?” I almost lost it. I felt so scared.

The next day was moving day. I carried some clothes, oversaw the moving, and sat a lot. The spotting now seemed more like bleeding to me.

On Monday morning, I called the doctor again. The nurse said it was probably nothing, but if I was really concerned I could come in for some bloodwork. I was babysitting for a friend, and my father-in-law had come over to help unpack things so I could keep my feet up. Josh came to get me, and we left my father-in-law to oversee the two seven year-olds and two five year-olds. We drove to Austin and did the bloodwork. I asked the nurse when we would have the results and she said “a couple of days”. I told her I wanted to see the doctor, that I was 8 weeks and I wanted to SEE my baby and I wasn’t leaving. I was on the edge of hysteria, and Josh held my hand to keep me calm as I cried.

All the doctors were out, but one was supposed to be back around 3 p.m. We went across the road to a couple of stores, but came back early because it was hot and I wanted to sit. The nurse put us in a room with the sonogram machine and we waited. Finally one of the doctors got back and came to see us. It was Dr. Harris, a woman. Not my doctor, but I didn’t care. She asked me what was going on, and for the millionth time that day I recounted my symptoms and my worry. I lay back so she could find the baby on the ultrasound.

I saw my baby on the ultrasound. It was like a little bean, and I knew immediately that was my child. She didn’t say anything, but started clicking and taking measurements of my precious angel. I looked for the flicker of the heartbeat that I had always seen when I went for my first check-up with my other babies. I didn’t see it, and my heart seized up inside of me and I thought I might die. Finally she said that at 8 weeks she would expect to see this and that, and that the measurements were more along 6 weeks. My baby was gone.

The shock that tore through me was surreal. Never in my life had I thought I would lose a baby. It had never even crossed my mind. I had thought of things like “what if it’s a difficult pregnancy?” or “what if this baby isn’t healthy like our others?” I had even thought “what if Mickeyis upset that this baby is going to arrive so close to her birthday?” I had thought “it’s so great that I’m not feeling sick, it must be a boy this time!” and “dang, I wish I could have a glass of wine right now!”

As I sit here, writing this so that I will never forget, I feel like I’m back on that table, having my future ripped away from me. Everything changed in that moment. Everything I had planned, everything I had thought would happen since the moment we made this baby was taken. And I felt broken. And I felt responsible. And when we got home, we had to tell our babies that their baby brother or sister would be waiting for them in heaven, but that it would all be alright. And they cried, and I broke some more.

So many songs I listened to that week spoke to me, and helped to begin a healing inside me. I heard things like

‎”I need you Jesus, to come to my rescue. Where else can I go? There’s no other name by which I am saved, capture me with grace”

and I felt like I was being spoken to. I heard Jars of Clay sing “The Valley Song” and I knew I was in a deep dark valley but that God would rescue me. And eventually, I began to let go and believe that God knows what he is doing and that I will be okay. My family will be okay. My girls will be okay.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
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”

One thought on “What’s the Plan?

  1. Elisabeth says:

    Thank you for your post. It's funny…just yesterday I had lunch with one of my very close friend who gave birth (at 37.5 weeks) and due to complications, the baby went to heaven at 3 days old. So many of us have been struggling to understand…we are all faithful people who prayed over her pregnancy and over Colton for 9 months. Why God needed him was, and still is so hard. But as you said…God knows what His plan is for our life. I will pray that God will help to heal your heart and will give you all baby #3 in His perfect timing. xo, Elisabeth


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