EVEN IN THE UNEXPECTED
As I sat rocking my precious last born son the night before he turned one, I was hit with a few different emotions. Of course I was feeling nostalgic and emotional as I wondered where in the world did the time go. People always say that, I know, but seriously, where does it go?? This time last year I had just walked about a mile in the mall with my husband as everyone and their mother….LITERALLY……stared and pointed at my very largely pregnant belly. Then we went and ate the spiciest Chinese food we could find. I was determined to help my little man make his appearance sooner rather than later.
But as I sat in that rocking chair breathing in his scent, I also had to go back a bit further than that in my mind. I had go back to when I found out I was pregnant….again. One of my best friends was in town for a night due to a flight cancellation, so we went out and grabbed dinner. I started telling her how sick I was feeling and the headaches I’d been having and like any good friend would do, she looked at me and asked, “are you pregnant?” After having 3 kids already, I do know how my body reacts when I’m pregnant…..exactly the symptoms I had just described….but I hadn’t allowed myself to actually go there in my mind yet. I mean we had told numerous people that we were not planning on having any more kids. Our 3 boys were….and still are…quite a handful and with our busy ministry lives, we felt our family was perfectly complete. And we had always liked the idea of possibly adopting in the future. AND I was finally starting to feel like I had a handle on life again. Our boys were 5, 4, and 2 and I was actually just starting to be able to leave my house with them by myself to run errands and still keep my sanity!! You may think I’m joking, but I’m completely serious. However, just one month after my (then) youngest turned 2, I started having nausea and those blasted headaches again. My friend talked me into picking up a pregnancy test and sure enough within about 2 seconds I was looking at a plus sign.
I will truthfully admit that about everyday for the first 4 months I cried because I felt so overwhelmed by the thought of 4 kids. I would only occasionally cry in front of my husband because I was afraid he would start thinking something was seriously wrong with me. I know people have four or more children all the time, but for me, I was scared to death. I worried I wouldn’t be a good mom to that many kids. I will be painfully honest again and say that at that time, my “light at the end of the tunnel” was that maybe we would have a girl. I wasn’t saying this out loud….in fact I kept saying all the “right” things when people would ask if I hoped to have a girl. But inside my heart I was certain this baby was going to be a girl. I mean my house was already so loud and so full of energy and noise and non-stop action. I really did not think I could handle anymore. Plus I thought my boys and my husband would be so sweet with a little girl. I also had Placenta Previa this time around, which I had never even heard of before, and was on bed rest for part of my pregnancy and told I may have to have a C-section. Did I mention I was already overwhelmed??! The day I found out we were having another boy, I cried so hard that my husband actually got upset with me. We had found out a week earlier than we were supposed to so we kept it to ourselves, and I had a week filled with A LOT of prayer time. During those seven days, God really began shifting things around in my heart. In April I attended a women’s conference in Dallas and heard the Hillsong United song “Oceans” for the first time. I came home and started playing that song every chance I got. I really felt like that song accurately described my feelings. I was scared, I was out of my comfort zone, there was a huge unknown, but I did know deep in my heart that God would be faithful and He wouldn’t fail us. He would lead me and guide me and strengthen me to be the best mom that I could be. The opening lines of the song say “You call me out upon the waters, the great unknown where feet may fail. And there I find you in the mystery, in oceans deep my faith will stand.”
I was scared to fail, but God was once again inviting me to draw my strength from Him. He was and is and always will be in control. Just because I don’t see or understand how something is going to unfold, doesn’t mean it’s going to fall apart. It doesn’t mean I’m going to fall apart. But I had to be reminded to trust. I had to be reminded that God shows up in the unexpected ALL THE TIME!! In fact, that’s most of what the Bible is full of. Stories where the Lord showed up in unexpected times, in unexpected ways, doing unexpected things that people didn’t understand at the time or have the chance to plan for. Yet He changed their lives, He breathed hope into their situations and met them in the middle of these unexpected things, and He still does that ALL THE TIME today!!
I can personally look back over my life and see His hand at work in so many things I didn’t plan for. And each time I was scared and overwhelmed and wondered how everything was going to work out. When will I learn that those are some of the best times to see God at work?? I’m so thankful for His patience, His faithfulness, and His grace. Even though I can’t see the whole picture, He does. Even when life doesn’t go as planned, He is still in the midst of it. And if we’ll keep Him at the center, than those unexpected things can turn into the greatest blessings.
My fourth little man is one of those blessings. I cannot imagine our family without him. I truly am grateful for my four sons and to God who chose to give them to me. I really do love having all boys, and I’m completely in love with this youngest son of ours. 365 days now I have held him, comforted him, nursed him, kissed him, stared at him, and cherished him. I have wondered at least a hundred times what his little voice will sound like when he starts talking and how it will feel when he can really hug me back. I wonder what he’ll look like with hair because so far he’s still pretty bald, and I wonder how he’ll interact with his older brothers who adore him. I wonder what his personality will be like, even as I’m beginning to see it peek through now. I am in awe of the Creator who shaped this little life in my womb. He is a gift. And as I held him that night I was reminded that I need to trust God more. I don’t have to have all the answers as long as I know Who to go to when I’m feeling overwhelmed…..when life throws an unexpected.
Yes I’m writing this as my baby turns one, but I’m also writing this in the midst of my mom having stage 4 breast cancer that has metastasized throughout much of her body…….another unexpected. And this one is overwhelming and extremely scary too. There are many days where I feel like my feet and my faith may fail in these times. I know God isn’t causing this, and yet I also know it may not turn out like I hope. I have to make the choice in this hard and confusing season to continually seek God out. To continue to trust that His hand will uphold me. He has before, He is now, and He will continue to do so….no matter how deep the water gets.
Life is full of the unexpected and if we don’t learn to look for God in the midst of it, we’ll be overwhelmed by the uncertainty of it.
I’m not completely sure what my days ahead will hold with these 4 energetic young sons of mine, or how much more time I will get with my mom, but I am beyond grateful for the daily reminder that God can be found even in the unexpected.