AN: Hey everyone! Sorry for the radio (internet) silence these past few months! I recently welcomed into the world my third son in three years, Felix Esperanzo, on September 18, 2020. It’s been a very busy few months, to say the least, but as we get back into the swing of things at home, my goal is to upload more frequently. Thanks so much for bearing with me!
I’m pretty sure I speak for everyone when I say as far as years go, 2020 has been a pretty lousy one.
COVID-19 has turned just about everyone’s lives around. And we still don’t know when the end of this dark season might be in sight.
I had written a post a while back about being angry with God. In that post I danced around what it was in particular that I was upset with Him for. Well, the reason I was upset is likely going to seem silly to most of you, but here it is:
I was upset because I had found out that my third child was going to be another boy when I had been desperately praying for a little girl to call my own.
Now that he’s here, of course, I can’t imagine life without him, and of course, I was always thankful for another healthy child to add to our family. But for many years now I have yearned for a daughter.
To make matters worse, I had to stand by and watch two other families we were close to, who were due the exact SAME month as me, get little girls after having boys. Furthermore, everyone else around me who I had known personally on social media was being given their own pigeon pairs this past year.
And I don’t like to be presumptuous, but in my jealousy, I just felt like they likely hadn’t prayed for that as fervently as I had been…
Now fast forward to the birth of my third son. I had just been admitted to the hospital when the doctors had asked me if I’d had any complications during the birth of my other two.
“My second had shoulder dystocia for a minute, but otherwise no, everything was great,” I answered.
The doctor’s slight smile (I assumed she was smiling under her mask) dropped. The team in the room checked my file. After a bit of deliberation and an emergency ultrasound, they determined that it was best I have a c-section. My biggest fear (at that time).
For his safety, I went through with the procedure. It went well, and baby and I were healthy as can be. All you can ask for, right?
Then later that night I had issues breastfeeding. My newborn was screaming at me day in and day out for the entire three days of our stay. I ended up having to allow the hospital to provide him donor milk.
Yet another one of my fears was coming true–what if I couldn’t feed him now?
I lay there the third night of our stay, the sixth anniversary of my marriage to my husband, who now had to attend to our family vehicle that wouldn’t start…for what felt like at least the 50th time since having it less than a year.
From my hospital bed similar to these home healthcare hospital beds, bleary-eyed from lack of sleep and from tears of searing physical and emotional pain I simply asked God, “Why?”
Nothing had gone according to plan. One thing after another had unraveled before my eyes. I felt slighted. After this terrible year, I felt like I couldn’t get a single win.
“Why?” I asked again. Why couldn’t even just one thing go right?
I already knew the answer, and I already knew I couldn’t possibly comprehend it.
“Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for Him; do not be agitated by one who prospers in his way (Psalm 37:7).” I have NOT been good about living out the message in this verse. I have been every shade of green with envy towards everyone with little girls, ‘perfect’ birth stories, ‘perfect’ post-baby bodies, ‘perfect’ kids, etc.
Notice the repetition of the word, “perfect.” I’ve been so obsessed with things not going “perfectly” in my life that I’ve been projecting it onto other people. I’ve been bitter because I’ve felt like God has been giving them everything and had forgotten about me. Or maybe He was punishing me for something in my past.
But for real, nothing in this world is perfect, no matter how carefully filtered on Instagram. It can’t be. If it were, what would there be to look forward to after this life is over?
Psalms once again comes in clutch with all the verses on all things disappointment or hopelessness.
It tells us, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and courageous. Wait for the Lord.” (27:14). It repeats the command to wait in the same verse. That’s how important it is for us to wait. God’s timing and His plans are both, in fact, perfect. All we have to do is wait.
And that has been SO hard for me.
Waiting to get my oldest son into the program he needs, waiting for my family to be “complete,” waiting for things to make sense, etc. It’s been so hard to wait.
And it’s been even harder to accept. Which is exactly what the enemy wants.
When I write these articles, I always look for the right verses to apply to them, and to help me get through what I’m going through. And often I find articles written by other Christians that resonate with me. This was one such instance:
I came across a post written by blogger Jaquette Gilbert titled “12 Bible Verses for When Life Isn’t Going as Planned.” It was perfect for what I’ve been going through. It was like she was speaking right to me.
“Satan wants us to focus on problems.” Gilbert writes. “He wants us to be led by our emotions; however, we are called to be different, sis.”
Let me just tell you, this past year in particular, but all my life, really, I’ve been playing the wrong game of Follow The Leader.
Gilbert continues, “When you’re hit with an unexpected left hook, I encourage you to take captive all thoughts that are contrary to God.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 is a well-known passage, but a good one in this instance. It calls us to trust the Lord with all our heart, warns us not to rely on the way we think things should be, and to think about Him in everything we do. It also reminds us that He will guide us on all the right paths.
Sometimes God puts overwhelming desires in our hearts. Sometimes He meets them, and sometimes He has something better in mind. But every time, this desire in one way or another leads us to what He wants for us, what is best for us.
“For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end, it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. (Habakkuk 2:3).”
Basically, all of this to say, when things don’t go according to our plans, we can rest assured they are going according to His.
We just need to be still (Psalm 46:10).