A Change of Plans

I had plans. Really nice plans. Well thought out, very reasonable plans. If everything went according to my plans, we would sell our home in February or March. Move to our new home in April.

Lincoln, your nursery would be all set up for your arrival in May. I would spend June and July bonding with you and playing with Neala while the baby slept.
Like I said, pretty nice plans right?

I suggested my plans to God. (He needs so much help with planning you know.) My daily prayers often ended with, “Please let our house sell soon so we can move before Lincoln arrives.”

In February a woman made an offer on our home. Yes!! Everything was going according to my plan. In her offer she put a contingency for her home to sell. But I wasn’t worried. I knew her home would sell. I just knew she was our buyer.

In April her home finally sold. But a few days later she sent an email saying she had changed her mind. Her reasons were legitimate. She hoped we understood and weren’t upset.
I replied to her email and told her thanks for nothing. She had completely wasted our time and energy. I told her I hoped she drove her car off a cliff.

No, not really.

I wanted to say those things. But I didn’t. Instead, I told her we understood and wished her well.

Her email came the same week I was put on strict bedrest. Lincoln, you tried to come at 34 weeks. (Read one of my previous letters for more on that.)
I thought bedrest was challenging.
Pft! The past three weeks make bedrest look like a vacation package.

My Dr. finally took me off bedrest and told me to take a long walk in my neighborhood. This will most likely throw me into labor.
So I walked. And walked. And walked. Until my little toes screamed up at me to stop.
I thought May 10 would be a cool birthday for you (5-10-15). So I walked some more.
No labor. Just swollen feet.
I did the same on 5-15-15.
No labor. And my feet became marshmallows.

Finally, I accepted the fact you would come when you were good and ready. I also accepted the fact you would be born while we were still in this house and finally set up your nursery.

Here’s where things started getting crazy….

On Wednesday, May 13 we had a realtor friend come to the house. Trying to sell a home with a newborn was not exactly something I wanted to do. So we bit the bullet and signed papers that night.
Saturday, May 16 our realtor called and said we have a cash buyer who wants to close as soon as possible. What??!!

You’d think I was happy we sold our house in three days.
I was but I wasn’t, if that makes sense.

You were born Tuesday, May 19th.
The realtor came to the hospital May 20th so we could sign the final purchase agreement.
We brought you home May 21 and the packing began.

My dreams of quietly cuddling you on the couch dissipated. Instead, I sat on the couch telling friends and family what would be packed up for storage, and what would go to JoJo’s. (We don’t close on our new home until the end of June, so we are living with JoJo right now.)

On June 6, only two weeks after you were born, we moved.

Longest. And. Most. Emotional. Day. Ever.

I don’t even have the time or energy to tell you about our storage unit fiasco. It can be summed up in a few words: ghetto, dirty, ghetto.
A friend helping us move said it best, “I’m from New York and I wouldn’t put my stuff in there.”
We quickly decided not to use this unit & got a refund.

I forgot to mention a week after you were born I got an infection. When you read this as a young man I don’t want you to be embarrassed, so I’ll say this delicately.
You didn’t exactly nurse very well. And when babies don’t nurse well, mommies get infections.
The medical name is Mastitis. But moms around the world call it torture.
I prefer to call it “horrible, awful, when will it end pain”.
Delivering 28 babies would be more enjoyable than mastitis.

A few days after we moved into JoJo’s I was starting to feel better. No more packing. No more people in and out. I was ready for cuddle sessions on the couch. At least, that was the plan…

You may have heard this old quote, “When it rains, it pours.”
In my case, it rained a kidney infection.

That’s right.
Kidney infection. So your daddy and I spent half a night in the hospital trying to get my fever down. Again, this was not in the plans I suggested to God.

There was one more thing I didn’t plan.
When I was in the hospital with the kidney infection your uncle Eliot dropped in to visit. He is a chaplain and had received a call. I asked him to tell me about it.
A young mother had given birth on Sunday. Her baby was very sick and immediately put into the NICU. The baby died in her arms Wednesday night. The night I was there with a kidney infection.

I have to be honest. At this point I had become a little bitter. Ok, a lot bitter. Invitations to my pity party were about to be sent out.
“God, why?” was a question I had begun crying on a daily basis.

Hearing a young mother lost her baby in a room not far from me quickly offered a different perspective.

Was I still in pain? Yes.
Do I still wonder why God allowed all this chaos the past few weeks? Absolutely.
Am I going to complain? No sir.

Because the last three weeks could have been a lot worse.

All I could think of the rest of the night was that young mother. I cried for her loss. I prayed she find peace. I thanked God for my two healthy babies.

Neala & Lincoln, your lives will not always go according to your plans.  Your lives will have pain. As much as I want to shelter you from any heartache or pain, it is inevitable.
My advice to you:
Don’t stay in your pain.
Don’t waste your pain.
Trust God’s plan.

Proverbs 16:9 says, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.

Sometimes the steps will  be difficult.
The unexpected will make you want to quit.
Don’t.

Bumps in the road will try to sour your attitude and steal your gratitude.
Choose joy.

When your plans don’t come about, accept God’s plan instead.
Look beyond your pain.  Trust the bigger picture.

I’ve decided to quit suggesting my plans to God.  He’s made it pretty clear I’m not in charge. My hope is for you and Neala to learn this sooner than I did.

I can’t promise you will always agree or enjoy God’s plans.
But I can promise you He will walk beside you everyday.

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