i have always imagined us as a family of four. i already had the baby girl of my dreams, so the addition of a baby boy would make us complete! ideally, my kids would be a couple of years apart: close enough in age to be good friends and far enough apart for my sanity. i also imagined that ideally i would be done having kids by the time i turned 32 (this year.) everything was falling into place, just as i had planned.
Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails. ~Proverbs 19:21
i was so excited to find out we were pregnant again and our due date was the exact same due date i had when i was pregnant with kate. i immediately began praying for our new baby, that he or she would be normal and healthy. that was all i was asking for. if God wanted to make him/her cute and smart in addition to healthy, well, i was OK with that too.
as you can probably imagine, once i knew something might be wrong with our baby, i was flooded by waves of guilt. i searched my memory for anything i had done wrong while i was pregnant. was it the caffeine i had before i realized i was pregnant? was it the time i ate way too much seafood in one week? was it because i didn't take enough folic acid? was it because i was around cats? was it because i don't eat organically grown food? i mean, everything was suspect.
and then we learned that our baby's problem was chromosome-related. our baby was created from cells that carried faulty DNA. every single cell that makes up his tiny body carries 3 copies of chromosome 13 instead of the usual 2 copies, causing a chain reaction of chaos during the development of every significant part of his being. when you get down to the science of cell structure and multiplication into tissues, organs, and recognizable body parts, you begin to have a greater appreciation of the mystery of creation. it truly is a miracle how we are woven together, cell by cell.
i still didn't understand why this had happened to me. once i was able to see that there was nothing i did during my pregnancy to cause this disorder, i then began to feel like perhaps i had done something that deserved severe punishment from God. during that time, on two separate occasions, friends reached out to me with this specific verse that might as well have been Jesus talking directly to me:
“As [Jesus] went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.’” ~John 9:1-3
i believe with all my heart that this verse was sent to me for my own reassurance during the days when i was full of guilt, of sadness, and of confusion. in fact, during this entire journey so far, every spiritual need of mine has been met in ways that can only be described as God using family and friends to encourage me. when i was in a fog and unable to muster the strength to search for the scriptures myself, i would receive the one i needed for that very moment via email. or, i would receive a book in the mail that contained the very spiritual food i was hungry for. when i was unable to pray for myself, i had people praying on my behalf. and, i have had friends tell me that they were praying for a specific need of mine before i had even expressed that particular need. the Lord had gone before me.
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. ~Deuteronomy 31:8
today there is still that same comforting reassurance when i read John 9:1-3, however, now i am able to see the greater meaning. i realize that it's not about me at all. instead, i see there is a beautiful and grand plan in the works that involves the very life of my son. even this tiny being, who is considered medically "not compatible with life," has a purpose. while i may never understand the "why" or "why me" and the full purpose may never be known to me during my lifetime, i do know that God does all things for His glory.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. ~Isaiah 55:8,9
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. ~Romans 11:33-36
Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to
receive glory and honor and power; for You
created all things, and because of Your will they
existed, and were created. ~Revelation 4:11
by faith, i believe that God's plan for my life is far better than my own. i have long given up that plan of mine anyway. i am full of excited anticipation to see how God is going to use jonathan's life to "display His works."