We were young. By many accounts too young. We met when I was 18, dated when I was 19, graduated college and got married when I was 21 (he was 23). We both had jobs but we were pretty much broke. “Going Out” was getting a pizza, eating turkey for two months (this is no lie), and possibly splitting a 6-pack of Rolling Rock in our backyard. At the time, we were struggling but we didn’t really care. Truthfully we didn’t know any better. Young and dumb. Those were the days.
…. And then we decided to start a family. We had a plan. We were still young (and dumb) and probably didn’t consider the possibility that just because you decide to start a family it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Life was beautiful. I mean who doesn’t love trying to have a baby? I got pregnant, and we were over the moon, as you would expect. It was right before Christmas and our families showered us with baby things galore…it was magical. (Think baby crib, sheets, paint on the walls- we had gotten a little ahead of ourselves don't you think? That's what you do when you're YOUNG AND DUMB.) Right after the New Year we went in to hear the heart beat…COULD. NOT. WAIT.
But there wasn’t one.
Truthfully, at the time, words didn’t apply to what we were feeling. There were none, as we were completely taken off guard. I thought for those weeks that I had this beautiful baby growing inside of me, but I didn’t. I felt lonely and empty. I was scared. To be totally honest I didn’t feel worthy and I was fearful that if I couldn’t give my young, handsome, husband a baby that maybe he would trade me in for a better model. (He NEVER made me feel this way, but these were the honest thoughts going through my mind.) I felt broken, both physically and emotionally. I didn’t trust Gods plan, heck I don’t even think I was considering if he had a plan because I was drowning in my own dark waters.
That time from January until our daughter arrived that September (the most beautiful story saved for a different day) I learned the hard way that growth doesn’t come from getting what you want. Growth is derived from being denied what YOU want, what you think is best, and instead being immersed in God’s plan for you. (Sometimes whether you like it or not.) HIS plan is always greater and much more beautiful than you could ever plan for, or create, for yourself. Trust me on this one, even though that may be true…..being in the trenches can feel like your own personal hell.
I wanted to have a baby. I couldn’t understand how people who didn’t really want babies had them, and yet we so desperately wanted one, but we were being denied. We loved each other and we had a terrific family that would do anything for our baby. We weren’t rich but we could provide food and shelter and an abundance of love. We loved the LORD for goodness sakes. DONE DEAL IN OUR HEADS. But GOD said ‘NOT SO FAST.’
The truth is that we weren’t ready. God knew that we needed to look to him FIRST. He had a plan much greater than our own. We needed to be reminded that in all ways he is in control. Our plan was just that: OURS. HE KNEW that we needed to grow in HIM before we could give life to another. (I praise him, NOW, for this.) We weren’t denied because we were young and dumb. We were denied because he KNOWS ALL and knew exactly what we needed at that time and always. He KNEW our hearts so clearly that he was preparing us for another birth… one that we didn’t plan for… didn’t know about… didn’t grow inside of me but in our hearts and out of HIS GREAT LOVE for us and for our daughter. It was HIS GREAT PLAN... the one that was so much better than OURS could ever be.