Tuesday, June 7, 2011
I haven't smiled much lately. It's not that my life is so bad, it just hasn't turned out to be what I had worked toward. Sometimes I forget that God has a much better plan than mine.
My youngest daughter called her dad early last week to let him know that she and her husband would be coming to visit. They live several hundred miles away and we don't see them nearly often enough. I hadn't even spoken to my daughter in a few weeks, which is unusual. I was starting to take it personally, but I also knew she was going through a lot. She works long hours as a nurse in a hospital, and lately she has taken on extra shifts. They were trying to prepare their home for sale, not knowing where they would move but knowing it was time for a change. Then recently she was devastated to learn that she and her husband would have a very difficult time conceiving a child. Being a mother has been her dream for several years now. My heart ached for her. She was learning to cope as best she could. But then she decided to make the most of this road block and completely change the course of her life. Rather than starting a family, she was now focused on turning her life into an adventure. While I was sad for her and her husband that babies most likely weren't in their near-future, I was relieved that she was ready to move forward with other possibilities.
The day they were to arrive, I was out running errands when my daughter called me from my house. I cut short my "errands" (code word for time- and money-wasting shopping excursions) and rushed home.
When I walked through the door we exchanged hugs and talked about ordering pizza for lunch. As I was putting away groceries (sometimes "errands" really do include errands), she stated that she had some news. Trying to put on a supportive face, I braced myself to hear that she had been accepted into the Army. Being the wife of a National Guardsman, she had decided that if she couldn't become a mother, she would challenge herself much the same as my son-in-law had a few years earlier. She was actually looking forward to bootcamp. We're alike in many ways, just not this one.
As she made her announcement, it became clear why she hadn't called lately. This was news she wanted to give in person, and she was afraid if she spoke to me on the phone she wouldn't be able to contain her excitement.
That's right--they were having a baby! I'm not sure what happened next. I think I asked if this was happy news in light of the new plans they had made. I think they responded that yes, this was good news. All I know for sure is that I smiled a big goofy grin that probably lasted longer than was comfortable for anyone watching. But I was happy. Extremely happy.
When I first learned of the fertility problems my daughter and son-in-law were having, I prayed for a miracle. I prayed more faithfully than I have in a long time in spite of the fact that I was pretty sure God was sick of hearing me whine about one thing after another. This was different. I had to be tenacious for my daughter and her husband. And just a few short months later, I find my prayers were answered. Oops, I forgot to withdraw the request when plans changed. I hope my daughter will forgive me. Judging from the smile on her face, I'm pretty sure she will.
Sometime in January, I plan to welcome my third grandchild into this crazy experience we call "life". It isn't always what we want, but if we can find a way to gratefully accept everything God places in front of us, somewhere between all the heartbreak and disappointment we will find an abundance of His blessings.