Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Plan

I don't know about you, but I'm a planner by nature. I make to do lists, sometimes just so I can feel the satisfaction of scratching something off a list. You know the type. After two months of dating Michael, we had "the plan" all laid out: get married, finish school, get jobs, save money, buy a house, have two kids no more, no less(we had names already picked out for a boy and a girl), and live happily ever after. The plan morphed and changed somewhat over the course of the seven years we've been together, but for the most part we stuck to that plan.

Just prior to deciding to start trying for a family, we both were very naive about this plan. In particular, we both had somewhat superficial mindsets about how having kids might affect our lives physically, emotionally, and spiritually -- how my body would change, how much more stress we would feel, losing the ability to spontaneously go on dates, how would we raise children under God's principles, how terrified I was to throw up a lot if I were to get pregnant, how sick we would get all the time (you know how kids seem to carry the plague).

When we got married, I was on the Pill, and stayed on it until the summer of 2009 (total of about 2 years that I used the Pill). We decided to switch to condoms because the Pill was greatly affecting my hormones. Sure, my cycles were more regulated, but I was really, really, really emotional and feeling depressed as well for no reason. Then in December 2010 we decided to start trying for a family, according to The Plan.

But after going through so many months of disappointment, and realizing that The Plan was not going to happen the way I had thought it would, God started working on my heart and gave me a new plan: To Not Have a Plan. After all, as believers, God's plan should always be our heart's desire, so I take great effort to keep that the focus of my heart (like everyone, I have good days and bad days).

Jeremiah 29:11
'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'

It's important to remember the above verse when struggling with infertility - God has not forgotten about you. He has a plan for you, and it is not meant for you to experience pain - there is a purpose, and you should focus on the future with a heart of hope.

Romans 5:1-5
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Are you a planner? I still am a planner by nature and that comes in handy with my work and ministry, but as a result of this struggle, I am much more flexible about our daily lives and our future together. Michael and I both feel strongly now that we hope to never use any form of birth control or prevention ever again...if the Lord chooses to bless us with 10 children, then how amazing is that! That thought used to really scare us, but the Lord has taught us that there is so much more to life than "our plan"...this life is meant to build a legacy of following God and bringing glory to Him. He is the Lord Most High, and He is worthy of praise, each and every day...during triumph and during struggle, during fertility blessings and trials. There's so much freedom in giving up "your plan" for God's plan - whatever He chooses it to be. I look forward to seeing what God's plan is for our lives!

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