When our lives become rocked by shocking and unexpected news, we learn profound lessons about ourselves and our Maker. I had one of those lessons when I was a young mom and relatively new in my faith.
We were expecting our third baby and headed into our OB/GYN’s office for an ultrasound that would help us learn if we were having a boy or a girl. We had two healthy boys, almost four and two at the time. They both wanted a little sister.
My husband and I had a grand plan for our family. We hoped for four children and thought a boy and then a girl, another boy, and finally a baby girl would be perfect! Each baby was prayed for and planned.
We even had a book called “How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby,” which explained ovulation and made scientific sense. We gave this book to friends who were starting families, and the planning worked well for all of them.
For us, God had another plan. We were blessed with our first son and then tried for our girl. Nope. Another baby boy! We were excited and modified our plan, thinking, “Okay, God… even better! We will have two boys and then two girls.”
As I lay on the table, ultrasound underway, my husband and boys stood eagerly waiting to find out who would join our family.
After a few minutes, our technician announced that we would have a baby boy. My little boys groaned with disappointment, but my husband took the news in stride.
The rest of the ultrasound went smoothly, and my husband took the boys home for my routine appointment.
Alone in an exam room, my doctor came in and explained that the ultrasound showed an enlarged kidney on our baby and that this is an indicator of Down Syndrome. He said that I would need a high-tech ultrasound the next week and may want to consider terminating the pregnancy.
I was in absolute shock. There was no way I would terminate my pregnancy. I didn’t care that I wasn’t having a girl; I only wanted a healthy baby! Listening but barely believing, I wished my husband had stayed with me for this news.
All my emotions were welling up inside of me, and it took everything I had to keep it together through the office and out the door.
When I got into my car, I lost it. I cried so hard that I could barely see to drive home. Once I made it home, which was a miracle in itself, I found my husband working in the backyard with our boys. Still crying, I couldn’t speak and could barely breathe. It was the ugly, hysterical cry when it all came pouring out and wouldn’t stop.
My husband approached me and tried calming me down by saying, “It will be okay. We’ll try again for our girl.” I just shook my head, trying to get out that that wasn’t it. He finally helped me calm down enough to explain, through sobs, what transpired once he left the office.
My calm and rational husband reassured me that we’d get through this and everything would be alright. I prayed, “Please, LORD, if you are teaching me a lesson, please help me to be a fast learner.” My husband and I accepted the Lord after we were married and just 22 years old; this was the first significant trial we faced as believers in Jesus.
The next day was my Women’s Bible Study, where I shared with my small group what we were facing. My small group of ladies prayed for me and carried me with prayer all that week.
The unbelievable peace that filled my heart and mind as I waited for the special ultrasound was unlike anything I had ever experienced. I should have been anxious, worried, and lost sleep. Instead, I had the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, and it guarded my heart and mind in Christ Jesus! (Phil 4:7)
The following week, my husband and I went in for the high-tech ultrasound. We learned that our baby boy’s kidneys were completely normal. The tech told us that our baby may have needed to urinate, so the kidney was enlarged.
All I knew was that God used this experience to teach me to trust in Him and that He is faithful. I quickly understood that my baby was a gift, and to appreciate a healthy baby over having the girl I always wanted. I was ecstatic and filled with awe and joy!
I vowed right then to be a “fast learner” whenever my world turns upside down with the unexpected.
Learning early on that God is faithful grew my faith roots and anchored me for the future storms that would rage and rock my happy world.
This defining time shaped my faith, and for that, I am grateful to have gone through the fear and the “what if’s” to refine and fortify the foundation of my faith in God, who will never leave or forsake me.
Our baby boy, Grant, was born healthy on June 17th, just days before my birthday. As we celebrate our birthdays this month, I am reminded of James 1:17a, “Every good and perfect gift is from above” (NIV).
Which life lesson did you learn that made you grateful? Please share in the comments below.
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