A couple of months ago I was asked to give a talk in church on trusting in God. At the end of my talk I told a story about an experience I had and then when I got home from church, I typed the story in blogger draft. Then I chickened out and didn’t post it. I don’t know why… because it was from a church talk? Because it was too personal? Because it happened over six years ago and really isn’t relevant to my life right now? I woke up this morning thinking about that story and how relevant it actually is to my life right now and how the lesson I learned from my experience will stay with me forever. And I guess I’m feeling a little bolder today so I’m now going to hit “publish post” and share my story with all of you.
Kenny and I got married young, but despite our ages we were an extremely responsible couple. We are both planners and we had a “life plan” all mapped out. I would teach school and get him through law school, we’d save every penny, get his career started, get into a house, and then we would start our family. We followed our plan to the letter. He attended UVA Law school in Virginia while I taught Elementary school. We moved to San Diego and bought our first house. I continued to teach while Kenny passed the California Bar and started his career at a great law firm. Finally after six years of getting things in order, we were ready to start our family. I got pregnant immediately and we were thrilled. I was beyond ready to have a baby. Because we are both the oldest in our families this would be the first grandchild for both families. We told our parents at Christmas and everyone was ecstatic. So excited. I found out a close friend of mine was also pregnant and we were thrilled to be going through everything together. I had waited so long and been so patient and it was finally happening. A BABY! I had wanted to be a mom my whole life. Kenny and I went straight out and bought a brand new Honda Pilot. We were finally starting our family and would need a bigger car with more room.
I still remember how giddy and excited I felt sitting in the doctor’s office at the beginning of the second trimester waiting to hear my baby’s heartbeat. I still remember the shock and overwhelming pain I felt the moment I realized it wasn’t there.
I had miscarried. This was NOT part of the plan. I was completely devastated and so depressed. Because it was my first pregnancy I was also scared. Scared that something was wrong with me. Scared that I would always have difficulties carrying a child. I remember the day after I found out about the miscarriage the phone rang and it was the man who had sold us our Honda Pilot telling me that the car had come in and we could pick it up anytime. I started crying on the phone to him. Sobbed on and on about how we had bought the car because I was pregnant and now I wasn’t. Poor guy. I’m quite sure he thought I was a complete lunatic on the phone. I remember him saying “you’re still buying the car, right ma’m?” We did buy the car and I remember driving it to work everyday and how sad it made me. It felt so big and empty and was just one big constant reminder of what I had lost.
I remember praying a lot. And listening a lot. Trying to understand why. I knew that I had no control over the situation – which is such a difficult thing for a planner who likes to be in control. I knew that God was in control and I would just have to trust Him. I would have to trust God and remember that things happen for a reason. Even if it was hard to understand the reason at that time.
Months later I got pregnant again and was a nervous wreck the whole pregnancy. Everything went textbook perfect and on January 19, 2004 Ellie was born. I can’t imagine life without my Ellie.
I ended my talk saying “I’m still driving that Honda Pilot we bought 8 years ago. Now when I look in the rear view mirror I see my three beautiful children. All scrunched in next to each other. Their faces remind me every day to trust God — that things happen for a reason.” At this point in my talk I was crying and added “In fact, we are now getting ready to upgrade to a minivan — which is probably the real reason for all of these tears.” ;)