I’ve had a few God moments in my life. You know, those moments that are so unbelievable, you feel as if time has stopped, you feel God’s presence, you may not know what He’s trying to communicate to you, but you know He’s trying to tell you something.
One of those moments was when I met Andy for the first time. I couldn’t figure out why I liked this guy?! I had a boyfriend and Andy was my age…I was never interested in someone my age. But I hung onto every word he said. I somehow knew he was special. I somehow knew he was important. He kept popping up in my life, but it would take two years for him to tell me that he felt the same way that day…that he had spent two years waiting for his shot.
Another moment happened when I was at our new church in Augusta. I’ve written about my faith story before. I was never a non-believer, but due to some really bad church experiences, I definitely had my doubts about Christianity. The church bulletin was advertising a 9-month Bible study. It was every Wednesday night (my Friday night) and it covered more than 80% of the Bible. I didn’t want to go. I’ve never been one for extra-curricular activities. But I knew I had to join. It was a game-changer, a life-changer.
The third was when we were trying to get pregnant for the first time. We were 24 and everything we had ever worked for in our lives, had worked out. We both worked hard in college, we both got the job and dental school we wanted. Getting pregnant would be no different! We would do everything the books said to do and Voila! A baby would come 9 months later. Needless to say, it didn’t work out that way. We tried for nearly a year. Several months in, Andy was reading the portion of Genesis where God tells Sarah that she will conceive a child. Andy says he doesn’t know how to explain it, it wasn’t a voice, but God told him that we would have a baby by April 12th. I said, “April 12th?? Of course we will have a baby by April 12th…that means 6 months more of trying!” When the second line appeared on the pregnancy test we immediately plugged in our information to an online calculator…her due date was April 12th. If a moment like that doesn’t make you a believer, I don’t know what will!
And then there was this second pregnancy. Unlike the first, we were not trying to get pregnant. Hours before finding out I was pregnant, we had received some pretty devastating news. After being told that we would “definitely” get a base on our list by higher-ups, we felt pretty confident that we would actually get a base on our list. I mean…it’s a list of 20…it seemed promising! We were so excited to get our next location; we were like little kids on Christmas morning. We loved our year in Las Vegas and couldn’t wait to see where we’d go next. The assignment came down and it was nowhere to be found on our list. In fact, Andy had to look it up because he had never heard of it before. We were shocked. We did all of those things you do when you’re shocked. We cried, we yelled and we cried some more. Then, I had this strange feeling. I was a tiny bit late and something told me to take a pregnancy test. When it came up positive, the shock, the fear (mostly) melted away.
I wrote about this here, how all year long I had been praying for 2 things: 1) I would figure out if I was supposed to be a stay at home mom or not 2) That we would move to a place that would be best for Andy’s career. It was so clear. We were moving to a place with no news station in sight AND I would have two children under 2. Andy’s bosses consistently told him that a small base would give him the best chance of getting into the Air Force’s orthodontic residency. It may not have been the way we wanted these prayers answered, but we definitely believed that they were in fact answered prayers. Even when we arrived in Alamogordo and were shocked by how small it really was; I had an overwhelming peace that this was God’s plan for us.
And now, I don’t know. If our son is born with Down syndrome we will have to move to a bigger base. In fact, the pediatricians here want us to move now and the entire process of trying to move before he’s born has been hell… on top of the hell of receiving his diagnosis. How could this possibly be part of God’s perfect plan? It seems to be the opposite of perfect.
Why did I find out I was pregnant the same day we found out we were going to Holloman Air Force Base? It felt like such a promise. It felt like God was saying “I got this”. Does He? When I get angry now, it has very little to do with Down syndrome and has very much to do with Alamogordo. Why were we sent to a place that could potentially be a danger to our son?
Cast all your anxiety on Him (God) because He cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
~1 Peter 5:6-8 (NIV)
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the devil. I don’t like to talk about Satan because it makes me feel awkward. I think it’s something that turns non-believers off. But if you have studied the Bible, you know that the enemy is very real. Andy keeps joking that he feels like Job. Although we can’t relate to the trials of Job, we now know what real pain, misfortune and having no control over your life really feels like. In the book of Job, God allows Satan to test Job by nearly ruining his life.
For us, it seems as if every time a part of this nightmare is about to end…it gets worse.
We received an email saying “You are definitely moving before 36 weeks gestation” and three days later we got another email saying, “Your application to move has been denied.” Wait, what? Andy prayed the next day that God show us that he was with us in this moving situation. A half hour later he received a phone call saying, “Something is happening…your application has gone through!” Wow! Only a week later we found out it was yet another misunderstanding. We think everything is fine with our son’s heart and then an echocardiogram says “Not so fast, he may have (insert a few heart defects) and we’ll know more when he’s born.”
So, this picture haunts me. As I try to figure out where I will live for the next two months to deliver our son, it haunts me. As I hear my husband toss and turn in the middle of the night, getting no sleep because this (potential) move rests on his shoulders, it haunts me. As I think back to all of the times during this process where we were lead to believe everything was fine with our son’s health, it haunts me. All day, all night, it haunts me.
So, was this part of God’s plan? Will it all be perfectly okay in the end? A few months from now, will we have that moment of clarity, the, “Oh, that all makes sense now,” kind of moment? Or are we being deceived? Is this all one giant test? A test we get a passing grade some days and a big fat F others.
I don’t know. What scares me is that I don’t know if I’ll ever know.
But I was recently reminded of a passage in Exodus. It was right before Moses was about to part the Red Sea, the Egyptians were getting closer and closer, all looked bleak.
Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.
So we will wait and we will hope. Hope has become a hard thing for us. Every time we’ve had our hopes up in the past year, they’ve been dashed. But we know God is good. We also know that He may not answer our prayers the way we want, but we will hope for the best. We will trust even when it feels impossible.