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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

God's Plan

Here is my heart today.

I’ve been thinking of writing this post for a week now, ever since stumbling upon another blog, but I haven’t had time to sit down and spew.

I finally have a bit of spewing time.

Those of you who are with me in the “Blog Stalkers Club” know how interesting it can be to navigate to different blogs from those you often read. I sometimes do some blog surfing when I feel alone, because I always seem to find SOMEONE walking in similar shoes. You’d be surprised how many parents of special needs kids are out there in the blogosphere.

One of these moms touched my soul in a special way. Like me, she wears her heart on her cyber sleeve and her blog posts are fabulously raw. One post in particular made my heart sigh, as she asked people, especially those whose dreams have had to be revised, to explain “God’s plan” to her.

She asked, “Those o f you who have disabled children, yet still believe in God’s plan for your life, PLEASE explain to me how you can accept this? How do you get to that point? Because I’m not there, and I’m in awe of those who can still believe in God when this happens to such beautiful kids.”

I am one of those who believes in God. I am one of those who has a beautiful kid who deserves to have a ‘working’ body. So, I will answer.

Start from what you know.

Those are familiar words to the ears of those who know me well. I say those exact words when my heart is chaotic and troubled. Perhaps the control freak in me needs this creed because knowing SOMETHING for sure makes my heart feel more organized and calm.

I know that God loves me.

I know it because I have literally felt His love. I have felt His love while on my knees weeping and pleading for Him to reverse Ellie’s brain damage. He was in that room. And He was holding my heart. There were no promises of healing, of easy roads, or even of full acceptance. But there was love.

I know that God loves Ellie.

Sometimes I think that no one could ever love Ellie the way I love her. No one could stand in awe of her beauty the way I do. No one could melt at the sound of her giggles the way I do. But, somehow, I KNOW that God loves her even more than I ever could. My love for Ellie is still human. God’s is supernatural and omnipotent. I know, know, know that He loves her.

I know that God has given us free will to decide what we’ll do with our lives.

I truly believe that God’s love for us is what determined His creation of our hearts. He wanted us to CHOOSE Him.

I know that God is there no matter which path I choose.

This is really important to me. I hate it when people (myself included) put God in a box and think that His “plan” is of a single direction. I don’t believe it! I believe that God’s given us the free will to decide which path we’re going to take at different junctures in our lives. God would have been with me at the University of North Dakota as much as He was with me at Union University. Had I gone to UND, maybe I would have fallen in love with someone from Fargo. You all know how much I love Richard, but I don’t believe that he’s my soul mate. I don’t believe in soul mates PERIOD. I am speechless with gratitude when I think of our paths crossing, but I also believe that both Richard and I would have been happy marrying other people, had we never met each other. God would have been with me, guiding my decision to marry Fargo-man, just as He would have been with Richard, guiding his decision to marry a Bama girl.

God was with Richard and I when we decided to move to Dallas. Richie actually interviewed for a job in Ohio at the same time, and had that one been offered to him first, he would have accepted and we would have driven our U-Haul up to Columbus instead. And God would have been just as real, just as loving, just as PRESENT with us in Ohio.

I know that this is going to be the controversy-of-the-day, but I also don’t necessarily believe that “God’s plan” for my life specifically included Ellie. I believe God’s hand-grasp would have been just as tight had Richard and I decided not to have biological children. It sounds very romantic and dreamy to say that I was “hand picked” to be Ellie’s mom, but I don’t think I was. I know that our decision to try to procreate was made prayerfully and that God blessed us tremendously when I got pregnant with Ellie. But to say that this was part of His plan for my life from the beginning of time? I’m not convinced. Perhaps I’m not convinced of that because of what that would mean for subsequent children. What if Richard and I decide not to adopt and Ellie remains our only child? If God had “hand-picked” a child for us that we end up not adopting, what happens to her or him? Do they get “plan B” parents? Are they orphaned?
For this reason I truly believe that God’s plan for our lives is fluid. Or, perhaps, that His plan is non-specific. Maybe God’s plan for our lives doesn’t include names of spouses. Maybe God’s plan for our lives doesn’t include specific kids. Maybe God’s plan for our lives isn’t geographically-narrow.

I know that God’s plan for my life centers around my relationship with Him.

God’s plan for my life is about being His. No matter where I go to school, who I marry, how many kids I mother, which job I accept, His plan for me is about living for Him. The rest is inconsequential.

THAT’S how I accept His plan for me, dear friend.

Because I DON’T believe that God sat down one day and said, “That Chrystie, I bet she’s strong enough to handle a kid with cerebral palsy. In fact, she’s stronger than that, so I’m gonna throw some infertility in there too!”

Because I DON’T believe that God had anything to do with Ellie’s brain damage. I think He had EVERYTHING to do with her life, and with the first intubated breaths she took on March 15, 2005, but He had NOTHING to do with her stroke.

I accept His plan for my life because I know He loved us so much that He gave us intelligence and free will. Unfortunately, those very gifts have resulted in an often evil and heartbreaking world. It’s a world that I can’t even imagine walking in alone, without His peace and presence.

So, to me, accepting God’s plan for my life is exclusive of accepting Ellie’s cerebral palsy. I’m not there yet either. I know that without the knowledge of God’s presence in my life, His love for me and Ellie, and His unconditional guidance, I would be a really bitter and constantly sad person.

And there, my blog friend, my kindred spirit who’s walking in similar shoes, is my answer to your question.


Erin said...

Love this post. Spoke to me, as I know it will speak to other friends of yours whether or not they have disabled babies. I think this may be your best post to date. You have a gift, my friend.

* ~ *Jessica* ~ * said...

Here's my new blog link. Old one won't work- blog safety concerns:

Erin said...

This is a great post and very heart warming and touching.

Deborah said...

Thank you for posting this.

I came across your blog from my sister's blog.

I needed to read it. Sometimes God steers you in weird directions to make his point.

Been struggling. Thanks for giving me a little peace.