Back in August, I was fortunate enough to attend the first ever (and perhaps only) Five Minute Friday Retreat. I met close to 20 amazing strangers who will forever have a place in my heart. One of my roommates that weekend was Kaitlyn Bouchillon. And ya'll, Kaitlyn published her first book this year.
I have just finished reading this precious book, Even If Not. And I feel led to share one of my even if not moments with you.
I'm a planner. It's not my job, but I love to plan.....parties, events, life.....putting details together to make something wonderful. I had a plan for my life: marriage, teaching job, 3 kids (2 boys and a girl). I had always believed that my plans would fall in line when God's timing was right and I would accept his timing. That's what I said, and I also said I trusted Him.
After being married for a few years, my husband and I decided we wanted to start our family of 2 boys and a girl. A friend of ours was trying to conceive as well and she was pretty upset that things weren't going as planned. She struggled to get pregnant. I told her that the stress didn't help her and that God would make it happen when the time was right. Words from a nonChristian to a Believer.
She soon became pregnant, and I thought, "See? I told you so!"
Then it was my turn.
After missing a period and taking about a million home pregnancy tests that were inconclusive, I made an appointment with my doctor to find out for sure. I had convinced myself that if I wasn't pregnant, it would be ok and that it would happen at the right time. I said I trusted God's plan.
I went to the doctor, took yet another pregnancy test, and was told, "No, honey, you are not pregnant."
My face grew hot and I felt outrage. What???? How could this be? I wanted to be pregnant! I knew I had to be pregnant. They were wrong. God, why are you doing this to me??? I'm ready to be a mom.
I had always said I trusted God's plan and timing. This was the time to prove it and I failed miserably. I raced out of that doctor's office, grabbed my husband, and took off for the car. I was heartbroken. Angry. Full of unbelief.
I had said that I trusted God even if I wasn't pregnant, and it was a lie.
At that point I realized the disbelief, and it hurt just as bad as not being pregnant.
Truth be told, I was pregnant. God didn't let me know until my first trimester was almost over. Why? I don't know, but I think it was to help my with my disbelief. Although I was not yet a Christian, those months were a growing time for me. Those months would shape my thoughts and beliefs for things I would experience later on.
When my second born would be rushed to NICU after birth, I had to believe.
When my third child was induced due to the loss of amniotic fluid, I had to believe.
When my husband was deployed to war, I had believe.
When my fourth pregnancy ended in miscarriage, I had to believe.
Each day, I have to believe, that even if God doesn't follow my plan, that He is still good.
And He is good, very good.
And I believe.
Kaitlyn, thank you for sharing your words and reminding us that we all have a story to tell....no....a story we must tell. God works in all moments, the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the messy. When we are broken, He is there. When we are whole, He is there. Even if life is not what we thought it would be, God is there. We tell these stories to share the love of Christ. We weren't meant to keep them to ourselves. Share we must. Blog it. Write it. Tell it across the dinner table. Whisper it in the darkness. But share it.
Friends, get you a copy of Even If Not. Read it. Share it. Tell your even if not story.