My fortieth birthday had come and gone, and I had finally accepted in my mind and heart that I would bear no more children. My husband and I prayed for seven years for one more baby blessing, but after a few conceptions and heartbreaking losses, after all the tears and wrestling with God, I told God I understood. His plan was not what I wanted, but I would be content and move on.
Last summer I sold every last baby item except for the most sentimental little things.
Then it happened. The rush and busyness of Christmas and New Year’s had made me tired, but the fatigue didn’t end in January. So I decided to take a test.
It showed not one thin blue line, but two.
Pregnant? Wait, what?
I braced myself for the worst, but then I realized we had already made it farther along in this pregnancy than the last few. I really was pregnant–and completely stunned.
Several times I have experienced the feeling that God wanted me to open my hand and let go of my vision for the future before he would answer my prayer. This didn’t–and doesn’t–mean he’ll answer the way I ask, or that he will do this every time, but whenever I have finally let go, he has stepped in and wowed me with his grace. I believe he does this so he, not I, will get the glory.
When I think about how returning fertility at forty doesn’t make sense, one verse immediately comes to mind: “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:9 ESV). I laugh with joy and fear mingled when I think of how we thought we were in control, planning and attempting to have another wee one. And when our plans didn’t work out, I thought I’d have to wait for grandbabies. Oh, what a gift when God steps in and reminds us in a tangible way that his ways are higher than anything we can imagine.
Isn’t this just like the rest of life in so many ways? Relationships, jobs, financial status, parenting—we think we have it all mapped out. Just plan the steps and follow them and everything will fall into place. It’s kind of the American Dream, isn’t it? I’m so thankful that while I’m scheming and dreaming, God is there, constant and steadfast in his plans for me. He will not be changed or moved even if I move away from his voice. His ways are perfect. I must not forget.
This pregnancy is just now becoming real to me as I feel little baby flutters. In a few months, I will have my fourth C-section, and I admit there is fear in that. Serious complications can occur, but I am working on simply praising God. He has done this great thing, and I don’t want to be ungrateful by fretting with fear. I just want to lean into him and his goodness and rest in the knowledge that all the aspects of the pregnancy and this child’s life will fulfill his plan.
Friend, when your plans seem to be failing and you don’t know what to do, when you are in a season of doubting God’s goodness and hope seems to be lost, remember he is fully sovereign, and his love for you exceeds all your fears.
Walking in faith, following each footstep he lays down for me, has been a true adventure. I don’t want it any other way.
Gina Grizzle is a wife, mama, and aspiring writer who has a passion to share her life with other women in order to encourage them to be the best they can for the kingdom. At home in East Tennessee, Gina loves to fluff her nest, squeeze her sweet kids, and read books. She blogs at ginagrizzle.blogspot.com.
Photograph © Bethany Beams, used with permission