Who's Plan is it Anyway?

By Lisa Catherman

When I got married, I had a plan--four children by the time I was 30.  As the years passed with no children I realized that my plan was not in line with God's will.  I struggled, mostly with God.  My deadline was less than a year away and still the infertility were insurmountable.  Fertility treatments didn't get me any closer to my plan either.  It felt hopeless.

However, just a few months before my 30th birthday God began our family. I thought I would be childless but God said we were just getting started. In May 2006, we brought home our oldest son, Asher. He was a healthy beautiful 10-week old baby whose biological mother had chosen a life for him that she was unable to provide. We were thrilled God lovingly chose to bring him and us together as a family.

In late 2007 I started amending my plan and we began to prayerfully consider the possibility of growing our family. We decided to try fertility treatment again. After four months, we saw our first positive pregnancy test in nearly a decade of marriage. We shared our joyful news with everyone we knew and some we didn't. At our 8-week ultrasound we saw a little heartbeat and rejoiced in the life growing inside me. Although we didn't know the baby's gender, we felt that it was a boy and had chosen the name: Matthew.

At my 12-week visit the doctor informed me that our baby had likely died just a week after my previous visit. I was sent home with a prescription to induce the miscarriage. It was a grueling weekend. Physically, the pain was beyond anything I'd ever experienced. Emotionally, I cannot express what it's like to watch what you know was your baby being flushed down the toilet.

After nearly a year of grieving and severe depression, We were ready to try adoption again. We finished our home study in May 2009 and notified our contact.  On July 29, 2009, we picked up our son, Daniel, from the hospital. He was two days old.

At that point, we felt like we were done. We were blessed beyond our wildest expectations. We agreed not to do fertility treatment and we both felt like we couldn't afford the financial or emotional toll again that came with each adoption process. The likelihood of another pregnancy seemed impossible given that I hadn't been on birth control for years.  I was settling into God's plan and felt blessed.

But while we thought were were done, God had other plans.  We were beside ourselves when in the summer of 2013, we had a positive pregnancy test.  It was only the second after 15 years.

The pregnancy seemed to be going perfectly. We saw our son Titus on our 20-week ultrasound on November 18th. To our shock and horror, he was born the next day.  Titus lived only a few minutes.

In the following Spring, we found ourselves staring at another positive pregnancy. The impossible was possible and happening, again.  It's a little different this time. I'm considered 'high risk.' I've had a cervix cerclage. There are weekly progesterone shots to help prevent preterm labor. I've seen my doctors every two weeks since the beginning and they've had a look at the baby every time. Now we're nearing the end. Our daughter, Lydia, is due in January 2015. I'm not arrogant this time around. I'm thankful for every day we have with this little one. I know anything can happen.

My plan was much like those of my friends. Get married--spend my twenties having babies. Be happy.  But God had a different plan.  For a while I thought there would be no children, but that wasn't God's plan either.

My family may not look typical. On the surface, I appear to be a pregnant mother with two boys, but I know differently. I'm a mother of many. God in his sovereign mercy and grace has seen fit to bless me with many children.  Each life, each story is a beautiful miracle. Each child has blessed me with tears of joy and tears of heartache.  All these years later, I'm thankful that God's plan was not my plan, that His ways are higher than mine. I'm thankful for the testing and sanctification through fire and tears.  Believe it or not, I wouldn't change a thing.  And, I'm thankful God has allowed me to be a mother in His timing, His way.  I'm thankful for God's plan.

*Photo is from Pixaby.com and used with permission.