Once upon a time, I realized I had some serious control issues. (Probably when I was in high school and my mother kept telling me I was going to have to become more flexible or I would have a heart attack.) By the time I was in college, I realized how much I enjoyed control. From controlling my behavior to controlling the behavior of others to having a melt down if I couldn't do those things, I gradually realized that I craved control. In an interesting way, God worked on my heart a lot to pry my need for control out of my tightly curled hands. There were of course some pretty big things like adoptions and family deaths. But really I think God worked the most in the small things. A trip to Romania where I was the only person my age, where I didn't know the language,where I was stuck in a situation completely outside of my comfort zone. Steady revelations on how grace affects us all, on how God didn't love me more because I could do a multitude of good things with a snap of my fingers. A marriage where I realized how my desire to control could become a source of friction. And last but not least, the lessons of motherhood where poopy diapers always cause major issues moments before you are walking out the door, where children never throw tantrums at convenient times, where your life gets turned topsy turvy as you realize just how much you must put aside your self centered focus while you care for your kids. (There have been times where I have honestly thought I would never eat a warm breakfast again.) All of those things I thought had eroded my need for control. I really thought that I was in a pretty good place as I took comfort in knowing that God was in control of my life.
And then, I found out I was pregnant. It sounds a bit callous to write that. (And forgive me if you are a friend who has struggled or is struggling with infertility. I know how much your heart wants to be pregnant, how you would give up a limb to be here, and I mean no disrespect for the gift God has chosen to bless us with.) It's just that I wasn't really sure I wanted the gift at this very moment in my life. In the last 4 years, we have had 3 kids. In the last 6 months, we have done a major move which we are still not completely settled from, traveled to China, and brought home a 2 year old. At the beginning of November, I actually said to D something about life slowing down and being able to just enjoy the slower pace for a while. I was really enjoying my time at home when it was just Zeke and I. I was finally feeling like I had some routine and normalcy.
And then there is this positive pregnancy test, one that caused both my husband and my mother to ask if I was joking. (Um, who jokes about that?!) My head of course started swimming, thinking of all the uncertainty that a pregnancy brings. From the major things like wondering who will deliver your baby and wondering when is the best time to tell people you are pregnant to the minor-but-feel-very-major-things like realizing you have no baby things and trying to figure out where you are going to find a maternity bra when you already have issues finding a regular bra. Not only did I think about the practical side of pregnancy, but it also made me think about the practical side of adoption. I really thought we would adopt at least one more time; God has not yet taken away that desire from my heart. But this baby fills our vehicles and our bedrooms so I have wondered if perhaps another adoption is just not to be. It all makes you feel a bit out of control. Throw in major nausea which literally puts you on the couch for months on end and not only are you mentally and emotionally off kilter, but the entire running of your household is out of whack.
Out of control. Surprised by how much I felt that way when I really thought all my controlling ways were pretty in check. Wondering why on earth God thought this seemed like a good idea because I was perfectly content the way things were. I knew in my head that it would be something that would take some time to adjust to and that it was okay to feel those things but I still was surprised by how much I felt out of control. Time, of course, changes things and while I don't have all my thoughts sorted out, I do believe there is something in this moment that is about God at work in my heart. It is not about pregnancy. It is about God giving me a "gift" of sorts. And I don't mean in terms of a baby. I mean, it's about God giving me what I need: 9 months (+) of a crazy, out of control, God's plan is different than my plan life.
Is there a good chance that it's not just as simple as that? Sure. But right now, that's where I'm at, stepping out to say that this surprise pregnancy has been not easy on a lot of levels, that my need for control is still there, and that I am trusting that God has a best plan for me, one that is better than any good plan I could have dreamed up on my own, a plan that God knows is just what I need.