Grace and peace to you all in abundance!
Some of you asked, "What was the 'pregnancy story' you were talking about in your last email?" So, I thought I would copy it and send it.
From "Don't Waste Your Life,"
As I have talked to women, there seems to be a common desire among them- to find out and fulfill God’s purposes for them. Nobody wants her life to be a waste! Most women want to leave a fingerprint on the world, to make a difference, to have an impact on others’ lives. We want to our lives to be special. Have you ever wondered what God wants to do with YOUR life? What His purpose is for your life? Does He have a plan?
Yes, God does have a plan for our lives! Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans for hope and a future. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.” So, YES!, God does have a plan for our lives!
Now, the funny thing is (and ladies we just have GOT to laugh at it at times!) our plans are not always God’s plans! His plans for us can look very different from our own at times. We are expecting our fifth child, and I can definitely say, A NEW BABY WAS NOT OUR PLAN! In fact, we were taking precautions to prevent any chance of another baby. We sold all of our baby things- carseats, strollers, clothes, bouncy seats, everything- in a huge garage sale last summer. We found out in July after a trip to Adventureland Amusement Park. We went when it was really HOT- in the 90's. Several times, I had to sit down because I thought I was going to pass out. I thought I had heat stroke! Well, when I continued to be sick Saturday, Sunday, and then Monday, I told Brian I needed to get a pregnancy test. His response was, "Why?" He just figured birth control was 100% accurate!
I can laugh now, but I have to be honest, when I first took the pregnancy test and it was positive, I did NOT see the humor in our situation! Since this is my 7th pregnancy, I have taken MANY tests. For the first time, that positive sign did not fill me with exuberant joy. In fact, if I were to be completely honest, I felt disappointment, anxiousness, and fear.
You see, I had my plans all figured out. I had thought, Aaron, my youngest starts preschool this fall. I am in new season of life! I finally have a little independence, I can concentrate more on writing and speaking. I can volunteer at school. I could even go have coffee with friends for the first time in 10 years! A new baby was the farthest thing from "my plan!"
You see, God’s plans may look so different than ours! We have an idea of what we’re going to do, how it should be done, and the timing of it all. The Bible says, “God’s ways are not our ways. But, God's ways are perfect." And, reminding myself of Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you (God knows what He's doing!), plans for GOOD and not evil, plans to PROSPER YOU AND NOT HARM YOU, plans for hope and a future." If God's plan was a new baby, then that was good! Even though it took us by surprise, it was a good plan for our family.
What really turned my thinking around, though, was Psalm 147 that says, "Sons are a heritage from the Lord. Children are a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate." Wow! I looked at my pregnancy in a whole new way! God was rewarding me! And, I felt badly because I had not seen this child as a "blessing.'' It was like that saying, "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth." I had taken God's gift for granted and wasn't thankful for it. Boy, does the Truth have a way of changing your thinking! I replaced the lie the enemy and my flesh had been deceiving me with, stealing the joy from this pregnancy with His Truth! Thank You, God for Your Truth!
As I was writing this, it occurred to me that if you are going through something similar (you may be thinking, "I hope I'm not pregnant!!!!!!!!!!)- living out God's plan when it is different from your own- what YOU had imagined or expected, always remember that He loves You. Remember that He sees the end from the beginning, and that He is "working all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose." Rejoice in hope, be steadfast and patient in suffering and trials, and be constant in prayer. (Romans 12:12)
"Forget what is behind, strain toward what is ahead and press on" my dear sisters! Be blessed!