I’ve come to realize (although I definitely still struggle sometimes at putting it into practice) that the only prayer one can pray, for any and all circumstances, is simply for God’s Will to be revealed in their life and at the time of His choosing. Anything more specific than that, and we step into a realm where we think we know better than God does. But if we don’t try to control (or barter for, or set our hearts on) what we believe the outcome should be and when, we and all those around us will be better off. Even if the eventual outcome is sad or difficult or anything else less than optimal in our own minds, because God’s perspective is eternal, using everything for our good and toward the realization of His Perfect Plan for our lives… and that is what ultimately brings confidence and comfort.
Thirteen years ago when my sister Julie was first diagnosed with cancer, was one of the most vivid times I remember trying to negotiate with God. I had been with her for a couple straight weeks beginning the morning after she became ill, including in her hospital room a couple of days later when the oncologist brought in the initial test results (while my niece Kayla was sleeping peacefully on the other bed). Those first couple of weeks were consumed with learning about cancer, talking to doctors, and deciding on a game plan. It wasn’t until I had to leave Julie, for a business trip, that everything hit me like a ton of bricks… I was driving to the airport, crying my eyes out on my cell phone to a dear friend of mine (who talked me into scrapping the trip and going back to be with my sister). On my way back to Julie’s house I prayed with all my heart to God, “please put me instead in Julie’s spot, she has a husband and a daughter who need her.” It took me a while to figure out, if that’s what God had intended He would have made it so.
I matured in my faith during my sister’s 21-month illness, both through witnessing her and my brother-in-law Bryan, but also because that is exactly what God intends our struggles to do for us… if we trust and turn to Him. Julie’s life was perfect, for exactly the number of days she was with us, and her testimony continues to live on.
As I look back today, over the last six years of my life, I’m continuing to see how the pieces are coming together perfectly… not in a way I had ever endeavored or thought they would, but in my heart I know without a doubt the pieces are definitely in alignment with God’s Plan.
When Scott asked me to marry him five and a half years ago, I had just settled into my dream city and my dream job that had taken me years to reach. Getting married was nowhere in my game plan, let alone to a man with three children who needed to move 2,500 miles back home as quickly as possible. But instead of worrying about what I would be losing and how difficult it might be (which is exactly what Satan wants us to do!!), I trusted that God had given me the right answer. I said yes to Scott even though I had no idea the challenges we would face, or how the rest of our lives would play out. I just knew God had beautifully woven my life this far, and believed He would continue doing so for Scott and me.
There have indeed been challenges, but Scott and I have faced each one with an ever-growing sense of faith. Instead of being anxious about our circumstances, like “will we be able to have children??!” we waited patiently (most of the time) on God to show us His Perfect Timing and Plan… which He has done immeasurably beyond any specific prayer we could have prayed. I feel like the advent of embryo adoption was happened-upon just for us. I had it on my heart to wait for Scott’s children to find a sense of balance in our new family, rather than rushing that process. At times, we didn’t know when our next step would come, and likely because of our waiting we passed the opportunity to conceive naturally. But what ended up happening as a result, when we waited on God, is the five of us now feel as if we’re all adopting our twins together, and that’s a beautiful thing for a blended family. As I sit here today with our twins in my womb, if God gave me the choice to give them back for two that were conceived with my own eggs, I would say no without hesitation. And then I would thank Him, as I do everyday, for answering my prayer from thirteen years ago, just not in the way I had intended it… but rather by giving me the blessings of a wonderful husband and two precious daughters. Phil 4:6