This Isn’t What I Planned

Can you remember turning 16? How about the infamous 80’s classic “16 candles” starring Molly Ringwald?”

Whichever the case, picture with me that momentous occasion- finally coming of age, the rest of your life yet to be written.

Perhaps as you blew out the candles at your 16th birthday, you imagined a glamorous, exciting future ahead- driving a car filled with friends, graduating high school, your first job, getting married, having kids, and ultimately the notion of finally doing whatever you want.

Our sweet, young, and naive selves don’t look into the future thinking about the heartache to come from our first break up, getting passed up for the dream job, misscarrying the child you loved in your womb, sitting in the doctors office and receiving a diagnosis, or watching your husband take his last breath.

We don’t foresee any of this, and so much more to come- we don’t see the devastation that life can bring.

When Kyler and I began planning a family, I started looking at how much delivery would cost. On the website for our insurance I scrolled down to see how much we’d pay out of pocket for a “normal birth.” Below that, were averages for added procedures like a csection. I didn’t even bother looking at those numbers, knowing I’d have no need for a complicated birth…

Fast forward twenty weeks later– Kyler and I sat confused at the doctors office as various health professionals came and went: each squirting warm gel onto my stomach, sliding around a device to get a clearer look at my baby boy’s heart.

It turned out that my optimistic hopes of an easy and normal delivery were out the window, as my husband and I mourned over the news that our child had a deformed heart and would need open heart surgery.

This was certainly not the start to having children that my 16 year old self imagined. Rather than squeezing my husbands hand as we breathed in unison and contractions flared, my reality was being prepped for surgery, and seeing a purple-faced child who never made his first cry. And instead of him being placed on my chest, I watched as he was whisked away to have breathing tubes put in, and rushed to the NICU.

This was not the life I wanted , this was not how it was supposed to go. And I know that I’m not the only one feeling this. I know that you, reader, have felt the exact same way. ALL of us have experienced various disappointments, and I’m sure many of us are currently living in the midst of “this isn’t what I planned.”

I’m sure many of us are currently living in the midst of “this isn’t what I planned.”

So what do we, people who proclaim to know and love God, do in these major upsets and disappointments?? We look at everything that isnt good and turn to the One who is. We set aside the things that aren’t perfect and turn to the One who is. We lay down everything we’ve lost and focus on the One we have found.

The thing is- God makes something beautiful out of the heart-wrenching sadness of this world. He creates good and beauty where there schoudnt be. In the book “It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way” by Lisa Terkeurst she writes:

“The piercing angst of disappointment in everything on this side of eternity creates a discontent with this world and pushes us to long for God himself— and for the place where we will finally walk in the garden with him again.

If we weren’t ever disappointed, we’d settle for shallow pleasures of this world rather than addressing the spiritual desperation in our souls”

Seeing what’s WRONG in this world allows us to lift our eyes to gaze on what is RIGHT. The only “perfection” that we will ever know is Jesus. We can wait with great anticipation and excitement for what is to come in heaven, but we can also experience it here on Earth.

Watching Brody go through open heart surgery was the LAST thing I wanted. Many prayed for God to work a miracle, for there to be healing. That healing didn’t come in the pregnancy, it didn’t come shortly after birth, but it DID come in ways we could not expect.

Thanks to the power of our many prayers, Jesus worked his great healing and brought perfection to a broken world THROUGH surgery. Brody was supposed to not come home for 4-6 weeks and instead was in his car seat and out of the hospital just 11 days after birth. God allowed for HIS kingdom to shine here on Earth as it is in heaven to be a testament of what is to come to countless nurses, surgeons, friends of friends, and even strangers.

Bringing Jesus into the situation allowed for us to bring in HIS healing, peace, patience, and so much more. Like the author of “it’s not supposed to be this way” said, when we are disappointed by everything on this Earth it causes us to long for perfection, to long for Jesus. So, my challenge to all of us is that the next time that we are stung by the pain and suffering of this world, look to Jesus.

Envision His glorious work here on Earth and the good to come:

1 Corinthians 15:55-57

Death is swallowed up in victory.

O death, where is your victory?

O death, where is your sting?

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

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