Tuesday, January 17, 2012

When Life Just Isn't What You Planned

We all go through seasons in our life, don't we?
Seasons of happiness and joy.
Seasons of change.
Seasons of despair.
Seasons of suffering.
Seasons of financial gain.
Seasons of financial loss.

Life changes.
Life sometimes moves along just fine for a while
and then something happens that changes it all.
Our life becomes something we never expected.
Never planned for.
Never dreamed of.
Maybe even never wanted.

But there it is...a life that is ours that must be lived.
For better or worse, we must take whatever our current situation is and live our lives.

We often don't understand why things happen to us that ultimately change our course.
We may grieve a {long} while at what should have been.
Or what could have been.
But in reality, it wasn't.

I have to stop and think about this.
Isn't it me that is saying what could or should have been??
Yet, it wasn't.
So, isn't it just possible that what is is part of some greater plan?
Part of some greater vision?
Part of something that is bigger than us?
Isn't it possible that it's not us at all who should be saying what could have or should have been?

I'll be the first to admit that I've had my share of time spent mourning the could haves and should haves.
I still do.  Don't think for a second it doesn't pain me every day that I'll never hear Peyton utter the words I love you Mommy {or any words for that matter}.
I could write a book on what I mourn over when it comes to Peyton.

But does it really do me any good to live in that space?
Does it benefit anyone, really, to live in the land of if only?

I've come to realize that while they weren't a part of my plan, there are events in my life which led to some pretty sad seasons of my life which may have been a part of a bigger plan.  Perhaps God planned for our family planning to turn out the way it did so that we could be of encouragement to others going through infant loss or stillbirth.  Perhaps God planned for our son to be stillborn so that we would experience the loss of a child which might ultimately prepare us for what could happen one day with Peyton.  I don't dwell on the length of time she could be with us because we just don't know!

I know that having a special needs and medically fragile child was not a part of my grand vision for my family when I daydreamed about it years ago.
But she is what God gave us.
She is who God entrusted us with.
To care for her the best we possibly can until He calls her home.

You see, there's a bigger power at work here.
God has shown Himself through countless people in the 5 1/2 years since Peyton was born.
Peyton has taught me more than I could ever dream of teaching her.
There is so much in my current life that just would not even exist if it weren't for Peyton.
Wonderful stuff.
Amazing stuff.
Incredible stuff.
And the people.  Oh the people God has brought into my life!

And God Himself.

I would not be where I am at on my walk with Christ if it weren't for Peyton.
I didn't dream of having a child like Peyton.
I didn't plan for that.
Yet through her existence...through this unplanned adventure...
I have received some of the most amazing gifts in my life.

Yes, there are sad times.
Yes, there is still the ebb and flow of the seasons of my life - the good and the not so good.
Yes, things still happen in life that we just hadn't planned on.

I'm just sharing one example of how something that was so not part of my vision for my life many years ago has turned into one of the most richly rewarding experiences of my life.

God is such a loving and merciful God.
He loves us.
He knows our strengths and our weaknesses.
He desires for us to lean on him during those difficult seasons.
He desires to help us through our challenges.
He wants to give our weary souls rest when we feel our burdens are too much to bear.
He also wants to show us how much He loves us
and how much more He has in store for us.
We may have to endure a hardship to get to what's on the other side.
But it's there.
There are blessings there.
There are blessings in the difficult seasons and blessings on the other side.

Trust in Him.

Source: rushofjoy.tumblr.com via Sarah on Pinterest

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