Friday, July 27, 2012

Divergent paths

Two roads diverged . . .

Lately it feels like my life has two roads--one is the road with a (surprise!) fourth child and all that entails; the other is a road with three children, but with the fourth one mysteriously and suddenly absent.

Sometimes I lie in bed at night pondering each road. I should be halfway through my pregnancy now, wearing maternity clothes, putting on weight and changing shape, visiting my OB monthly, and we should have had the ultrasound to tell us if it's a boy or girl. I should be rearranging the house, painting a bedroom, planning the next few months and asking for help with Ben when the baby comes. I should be buying newborn and size 1 diapers, sorting through Ben's clothes (or asking my friends for girls' clothes), mulling over names and their meanings.

But the road took a sharp turn on April 16 when my baby began his own journey--a new life in heaven with God. The road we'd been on came to a T--the kind of stop where you have to choose which way you'll take next.

Yesterday, the girls were watching the Veggie Tales movie, "It's a Meaningful Life," which is based on the old classic, "It's a Wonderful Life." In it, a train engineer takes the main character, Stewart, to a place where the tracks diverge. He is able to see the differences between what his life is like now and what it would have been like if he'd just caught the football at the final game in high school. On this alternate route, he doesn't marry his high school sweetheart and she's still single. His twins have never been born because he didn't get married. The girl he and his wife adopted is still in the orphanage. The boys from the current football team don't have a mentor and are acting in unkind ways. Stewart realizes through the alternate look at his life that the one event that he thought would have made his life so much better actually would have made life worse for him and for so many others. His life now is full of love from his wife, twins, and adopted daughter. He's a mentor to those boys on the football team. He may be a regular guy, but he's so blessed.

God reminded me through the movie that He has perfect plans for each of us--including me. His plans are so much bigger than I realize, are farther-reaching than I will ever know. And His plans, His route is what is best for me and for others in my life. 

After our miscarriage, God showed me how He had been preparing me for that moment through Bible studies in which I got to know Him and His character better, and through a previous miscarriage experience. Afterwards, He was able to teach me so much about Himself and His sovereignty. He used this awful event in my life to mature and grow me in my faith in incredible ways. It is possible that hurting me in this way made me more open to the lessons He was ready to teach me.

I'm so thankful for the brief time I had with my baby. I wish desperately, at times, that he were here with me, growing in my body. But since I know where he is--in heaven with God as his Father and in a body that will never know pain or sin or suffering--I would never wish my baby away from that life. I am joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer (Rom. 12:12). And all this because I know God has great plans for me (Jer. 29:11). The paths may have diverged, but the path I'm on now has taken me straight to God's heart so I can know Him better. There's no better path for me--or for you.

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