I 'm certain no one in the history of prepackaged pregnancy tests has ever been as shocked as I was to see the plus sign appear on the stick. After hoisting myself up off the floor, I called to my husband to come look. His eyes glazed over and he appeared to enter some type of altered state of consciousness. The words "How did this happen?" tumbled out of his gaping mouth, then he slowly shuffled back to bed in a sort of stupor. After one more positive test, it began to sink in. Eight years after my husband's vasectomy, we were going to have a baby! They say vasectomies have a one in a thousand failure rate. Somewhere, 999 couples could breath a sigh of relief.
When the youngest of our three boys started kindergarten, I mourned the end of my mother-of-a-preschooler days. But before long, I became comfortable with my newfound freedom and decided to make the most of it. I started working on a bachelor's degree in psychology. I took the time to write and record some songs I'd had floating around in my head for years. I was well on my way to fully embracing this new season of my life when I noticed my pants were getting tight and I was two weeks late. Suddenly, in the middle of my carefully planned route, I was facing a detour.
Dealing with detours is something we moms do on a daily basis. Sudden fevers, last-minute homework projects, urgent pleas for taxi service—we do well to heed the old adage, "Blessed are the flexible." And while most of us can handle the small shifts, we can get completely thrown by the big ones—a job change, a move, a plus sign on a stick.
When we run into a detour, questions abound: "Will I ever get a full night's sleep again?" "When will my husband find another job?" "What happens if something shows up on the MRI?" As we search for signs to point us back to the main road, we can find hope in God's words to us in Jeremiah 29:11, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" When I find myself wandering an uncertain path, I get this mental picture of myself frantically pacing back and forth saying, "I don't know what in the world is going on with my life!" Then God steps in, looks lovingly into my eyes, and says, "I know." Suddenly my need to figure it all out isn't so pressing.
After adjusting to the idea that we were going to become a family of six, I began to relax, knowing that God would pave the way for us. And sure enough, our little surprise—a beautiful baby girl—has brought great joy to our lives. Her brothers love to let her slime their hair. Her dad could not be more in love with her and she with him—oh, the way they gaze at one another! And I wake up each morning (albeit much too early) to snuggle with the sweetest baby girl in the world. Not a day goes by that we don't thank God for that plus sign. Yes, my plans had to be adjusted a bit, but, as always, God's plan has satisfied my soul more deeply than anything I could cook up.
A detour is never a mystery to the transportation worker who carefully designed it. And your detour is not a mystery to the God who loves you and created you. He sees the final destination and knows the best way to get you there. Remember, no matter what detour signs pop up along your journey, someone is guiding you along the road, bringing you exactly where you need to be.
From Elisa: Dear Mom, what detour are you currently facing? What never-dreamed-of turn in the road is causing you to pause and send questions sky-ward? Throughout Scripture, God comforts us with this reminder, "Nevertheless, I will … " He knows the plans he has specifically for you. In fact, he knew them before you rounded this bend only to stop short in surprise. What response does God desire of you in this spot of uncertainty? What message is he longing for you to receive from his lips? As you seek answers to these questions, God will continue to light the path he's set before you.
Lisa Johnson is a writer, speaker, and recording artist from Southern California. Learn more about her at www.candykissesmuddyhugs.com.
Elisa Morgan is president of mops International. Call (800) 929-1287 for information about a mops group in your area.
Copyright © 2002 by the author or Christianity Today/Christian Parenting Today magazine.
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Summer 2002, Vol. 14, No. 3, Page 64