There’s a line from Hamilton: An American Musical that’s been playing itself over in my head lately that doesn’t exactly fit with what I’m about to share, but it’s worth mentioning.
“You have no control who lives, who dies, who tells your story.”
A few weeks ago, just a days after she shared the news that she was expecting a baby boy, a food blogger I follow delivered her sweet son, Afton, at just over 23 weeks. He died the next day.
I was crushed for them. Although I feel closure and healing from our miscarriage in October, the empathy still flows fresh. I grieved for these people I’ve never met, knowing I’ve only tasted a hint of what they’re going through.
This experience of watching this loss unfold online solidified what I’ve been learning the past five months: adding children to our family is so absolutely beyond our control. This woman lost her baby at 23 weeks. A coworker of mine went into labor around the same stage of her pregnancy, but ended up delivering a healthy full term baby months later. Who was in control of one baby’s life and another’s death?
We got pregnant without hardly trying. Others try for years and never get pregnant. We lost our baby. Teenagers have babies they don’t want. Some babies are born perfectly healthy while others have rare genetic disorders or die from SIDS when they’re a few months old. International adoptions fall though. Some couples are shocked at how quickly they are paired with an adoptive child and scramble to prepare. Foster placements that seemed for sure end abruptly. People who were told they were infertile are surprised with good news.
It’s all. out. of. our. control.
Sure, we can chart and time intercourse and take supplements and eat the right diet and avoid the wrong things and fill our applications perfectly and make enough money and pass the home studies … but ultimately, we can do all these things and still not have a child. It’s ultimately not up to us.
Honestly, it sucks. We may never understand why one baby lives and another dies, while a couple desperate for children can’t have them, and someone who doesn’t want a child ends up with one. It’s not in our control to know. It’s complicated and can be confusing.
At first this seems so negative, so futile, but as I think of it more, it frees me. This is beyond my ability to control or even understand; it is in God’s hands and in His plans entirely. We will bring a child home in Him timing alone. I don’t have to worry and fret and cry and wonder. I just have to trust Him.
“I am Yours, do what you wish. I am Yours, I am Yours, and I know this: whatever happens next is in Your hands, in Your plans, nothing less.”
I’m not saying this is easy; heck no, it’s not easy! But I am saying it’s true. And it reminds me of something else that is out of my control.
There is nothing I can do to make God love me more, and there’s nothing I can do to make God love me less. Nothing. He loves me just the same. And that’s freedom.
There’s nothing I can do to bring a child into our home any quicker than God will allow our family to grow. Nothing.
So I can relax. I can practice trust and patience and remind myself of God’s perfect plans. It’s not easy, but it is good.