In a moment all was shattered, changed forever.
But what shattered was not my faith.
The broken pieces of my dreams lay around me,
These, and no more.
We hold our dreams so dear.
A hope, a vision, a picture of things to come.
But we are short-sighted in our dreaming.
(Kristen Carmitchel, 2003)
One early morning in 2002, while I was praying , I heard the Lord speak to me. He said one word: “Sons.” At the time, we had two little girls, and had been debating whether we wanted to add to our family or not. Although I’d not really had a particular yearning for boys — I enjoyed my two girls and they kept me quite busy — I felt a sudden joy and excitement when the Lord spoke. It was an excitement from Him alone, the kind you can only experience when you KNOW that you heard His voice. I told Jason about this, and we began to anticipate the arrival of these little boys. We even felt like one of our sons should be named Isaac, which means “Laughter” and “Son of Promise.” Not too long afterwards, we learned that another little one would be joining our family.
I began to dream, and this is how I pictured my life: I would have twin boys, and our family would be complete. After all, the Lord had promised me sons, and I only planned to go through one more pregnancy. His idea + my idea = twin boys. I had it all worked out.
Only that’s not exactly how it happened. Because I wasn’t pregnant with twin boys. Instead, God gave us a single little girl — and she had a severe chromosome disorder.
I could not understand it. He had specifically told me we would have sons. What was this? Some kind of test? Had I heard Him wrong, or made up some kind of crazy word from God out of my own head?
When we got the diagnosis, I put the thought of sons out of my head to deal with later and focused on the reality in front of us. But in the back of my mind, I kept wondering –why did He mention boys to me, if this was the way things would turn out?
I wondered all the way through the last months of the pregnancy, knowing I would give birth to a very sick little girl. All the way through her short life. All the way through the next numb year of mourning. I wondered about a lot of things that year. ( In my first post about our experience with Isabel, I talked about another word the Lord gave me — about the “why” of our Trisomy 18 baby. You can read it here — First Face I Wanna See. )
See, God doesn’t tell us everything. He told me I’d have sons. He just didn’t mention that they’d come after a daughter. The Lord was faithful to His word — He gave me two sons after Isabel. Isaac, our first one, brought us laughter after a time of mourning. And Joseph, who surprised us, has been the completion of our family, the fulfillment of God’s promise to me years before. He did not lie to me, and I didn’t invent these sons off the top of my head. They just arrived later than I expected, and in a different way. And as an added bonus, we were honored to have Isabel, whose life changed mine in ways I could never have predicted.
Looking back on those days when I wrestled with the destruction of MY plans, I am thankful for the foundation I stood upon — that God is good, no matter the circumstance. I knew that in my heart. I didn’t understand the situation, and I certainly didn’t like it. But sometimes when I’m watching my boys play, I think back to that clear voice I heard that morning, the promise that seemed like a mistake, and I am awed. God truly does work all things for our good. His thoughts toward us are deep, and beyond our imaginations. But they are so, so good.