Tuesday, August 26, 2014

If God's Plan Was Different...

If God's plan was different, I wouldn't be writing this blog. My guess is that it would have never evolved from more than a thought in my mind and the things that God is teaching me would still be floating around in my head, instead of floating around on the internet. Maybe one day I would blog. I doubt it would be now.

If God's plan was different, I wouldn't have paint under my fingernails. My hands wouldn't be stained with blues and greens and yellows from painting the Earth and Sun with my 11 school babies today. I wouldn't have taught them about the Earth and how it rotates around the Sun and what a miracle this life really is. It's a hard concept to explain to 1st and 2nd grade loves that we are actually floating on a big ball of a planet in space. Even more so, explaining that we rotate around the sun, and so sometimes its dark, and sometimes its light. Because sometimes, the part of the planet we live on, is hidden from the sun, we experience darkness. And if God's plan was different, I probably wouldn't correlate this elementary science lesson to life and the season I am walking through.

You see, if God's plan was different, I would be 8 months pregnant right now with our tiny one. Our tiny one who lives in Heaven. Remember our angel baby- the one we thought would be born on 10-12-14 ? If you are new to my blog, you can read the story of our little one here- Our Angel Baby.

If God's plan was different I would be putting finishing touches on the nursery that would have our tiny ones name displayed on the wall, which is still currently the craft room/office. Our angel baby doesn't need a nursery in our sweet little home, because our dear one has the greatest home they could ever know. A home in Heaven with sweet Jesus. And though I don't always feel like that is true, I can believe it is because of God's grace and mercy I have so evidently seen over the last several months.
(If you know someone who has had a miscarriage and they haven't heard this song send it to them- it's hard and real and I bawl every time but its so good and so true-  Glory Baby .)

So friends, if God's plan was different, my life wouldn't look anything like what it does right now.  I would be in the final stages of preparation for being a stay at home mommy to one angel baby instead of being a teacher to 11 school babies.  I wouldn't be working at the place I love so dearly with the people who have walked through this hard season so sweetly with me. I wouldn't have gotten to laugh today at one of my little men who loves to introduce himself as Michael Jackson or get hugs all day every day from children who are part of my heart now though we met only 3 weeks ago.

And as much as I love my angels and my school and my dear friends I work and live life with, there are moments, hours, and days, when I wish my season was different. I wish my season was preparing for late nights, exhausted feedings, and kisses from the baby who was one part Matt and one part me and every part our Heavenly Father's who took our baby to Heaven and because of that ruined MY plan to be staying home with our baby this year.

But God's plan is not different and though I don't always love it, I do believe it is good and perfect. I know I am not the only one walking through a season you didn't expect or plan for so I hope my story will be of encouragement to you and through it just maybe, God will remind you, as he has me, to live and invest fully in the season you are in. Here goes...

Matt and I found out we were pregnant the first week of February this year. I called the doctor, made my appointment, and excitedly told just a few people, including my sweet boss, that we were going to have a baby! My boss knew, because like I said, these coworkers of mine are so much more than "work friends," that when it was time for us to have a little one, I was going to be a stay at home mommy, volunteer with my sweet babies at Lincoln, and all would be perfect and in place. Right ?

So in February, I told my sweet boss, that I wouldn't be back to Lincoln as a teacher this year. She was so excited for me and even joked about putting a pack-n-play in the office so I would come visit often and volunteer ( she knows my heart for Lincoln and how much I was going to miss it when staying home!) After my first appointment, seeing our little one's heart beat on that screen, I came back to school, ultrasound in hand, so proud to show everyone else that we had a baby! My baby! We were all elated and joyful and it was so fun to enjoy and be excited with people I love so dearly. A few weeks later, we looked at the next ultrasound picture and squealed with joy together again. On April 4th, a Friday afternoon, the last bell rang, and I told all my sweet friends bye and I couldn't wait to show them the newest ultrasound on Monday.

You can guess what what happens here. God's plan was different and around 4:30 on April 4th, we found out our baby was no longer alive in my tummy, but in Heaven now with Jesus.

For the first few weeks after our miscarriage, I didn't even let myself think about the question of "next school year." It was painful and I just couldn't get there in my head. I didn't know what to make of potentially teaching another year, when MY plan was to be staying home with my baby. As much as I loved Lincoln, and honestly, dreaded leaving for a season, I had a baby and now my baby was gone and I couldn't imagine teaching again when my plan was to be mommy.

Give it a few weeks and a few doctors visits and the answer got harder but clearer. We found out that the type of miscarriage I had, meant that we could not try to get pregnant again anytime soon. Blood levels needed to be checked, months needed to pass, and a baby during the next school year, became no longer an option in order for the best health for me and our future baby. Knowing this, was extremely difficult, but part of how God spurred me into fully living in the season I am in.

Matt and I talked, prayed, I cried and cried some more, and finally, we knew that God was calling me to continue teaching my sweet little loves at Lincoln. After talking with my dear boss, it was decided and it was set, that I would be back, and be teaching, for the 2014-2015 school year. Through my wrestling and tears God reminded me that this year will not be in vain and that He has abundantly good plans for the time and seasons he allows me to walk through.

So on August 6th, school started, and I become a teacher once again to 11 precious kiddos who God allows me to love and teach each day. A week or so later our pastor spoke on Jeremiah 29 and in a small group of ladies we discussed it further the next Tuesday.  Jeremiah 29 is a letter to people living in exile- a place they didn't plan to be and in a season that was very different than what they were used to or expected. God clearly speaks to them in this place when He says :

" Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare." Jeremiah 29: 4-7

He tells them, instructs them, to not just be content in the season or place God has them, but to live fully in it. To thrive! To pray for the season they are in, to invest in it, and ask God to help you live well in it. It's not easy. Exile wasn't easy and our lives won't always be either. The season I am in, is nothing like I planned. Yours may not be either. But God continues to remind me as he did in Jeremiah 29 that where He has me is good and perfect and I am called to invest, love the people around me, serve with every bit of my aching heart that longs for our baby and LIVE fully right where I am. Right where I am today.

So, just like the Earth that revolves around the Sun that I got to teach my 11 babies about today, God continues to teach me that my life does not revolve around me and the plans I have. He keeps the planets in motion and us floating through space and shows us that the darkness of night never overtakes us because He keeps us moving. He keeps us pressing on and moving forward and though night comes- though hard comes- though pain comes- DAY comes- LIGHT comes -HE comes. He is present and pressing into us to LIVE.  He meets us where we are and helps us to invest in HIS purposes wherever you are today. Live where He has you today my sweet friends. If it's hard, pray for Him to help you. He knows our hearts and loves us with the same unwavering love that keeps us circling that big ole Sun- Keep pressing into the Son and though darkness will come, remember He is our Light and in Him there is always reason to invest, thrive, and LIVE.