Grateful.

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While I would like to give an update of our last days and week at some point, today I'm reflecting on how grateful I am for all of the the ways I've seen God working lately.  The short update is that while we are not holding twins in our arms (or looking at them in incubators), we came close to meeting them a little earlier than we were expecting.  

Sometimes when things appear to take a turn for what we consider to be "the worst", what we need isn't for the situation to just go away so we can be in control again, but it is to shift our perspective.  God is completely good, completely sovereign, and completely wise about what and when to give us (what we would consider) difficult life circumstances.  When we lean on Him in those moments and trust in His plans, it doesn't mean our circumstances will turn out the way we expected, but it does mean that we can find peace in our trials.  He might even offer us glimpses of himself, deepening our relationship with Him and growing our faith when we can't see the whole picture.

This week I'm reflecting on God's perfect timing, will, and control in the midst of unexpected circumstances:
  • He gave Brad and I the wisdom we prayed for when we weren't sure whether or not to go to the hospital for my pre-term labor symptoms.  It turned out to be great timing because it was early enough for the doctors to act.
  • He provided excellent health care to us through medications, monitoring, and well-trained nurses and doctors. 
  • He provided trustworthy and perfectly timed childcare for Lewis when we and he needed it.
  • He provided lots nurses that were all veterans of their profession ( (25+ years of experience) who were extremely skilled, caring, and gracious.
  • He provided peace and trust in the outcome of our circumstances when we thought we might be transferred to a hospital in Des Moines.
  • He provided a good friend to come help give Brad an afternoon to go home and relax and give me some rest too.
  • He (in his perfect timing) allowed us to be here on a night when my personal doctor "just so happened" to be on call.  We were able to work directly with the person we've built a trusting relationship throughout the pregnancy.
  • He provided coverage for Brad at work.
  • He has already provided care for myself and Lewis for the coming week through available friends and family members while I'm on bed rest.
  • He answered our prayers to keep these babies in the womb just a little bit longer so they can continue to develop, a prayer that he didn't have to answer "yes" to.
Most of all, I've seen over the last few days that God's ways are higher than our ways.  Sometimes when circumstances don't look the way I think they should, I tend to wonder if God knows what He is doing.  Why go to all the trouble to bring us into the hospital for 2 days when I could have just stayed at home?  Why add those unnecessary complications to the story?  These are thoughts from the perspective of my flesh.  

I won't ever have the answers to the question of "why" but I can trust that God had a good purpose that is more complex and far reaching than I could ever imagine.  During our stay, we had lots of wonderful conversations with our doctor (even completely unrelated to babies), we got to know many nurses who we will hopefully see again soon, we hopefully provided a good witness and breath of fresh air to those coming to our room to interact with us.  God grew our personal faith and trust in Him when we were reminded again that we are not in control, and God's timing for the birth and outcome of this pregnancy is perfect.

Our situation so far seems like an easy one to look back and find things to be grateful for, because it kind of turned out the way we hoped it would in the first place.  It is easy for me to be feeling overwhelmed with joy.  I know that it is much harder for those who experience trials and circumstances where God's answer is not what was hoped for.  I know that we could go home tomorrow, and still have pre-term babies in Des Moines.  I know that nothing is sure.  But I also know that the bible says,

"Count it all JOY, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." (James 1:2-4, ESV)

Thank you to those of you who have prayed for us during this pregnancy, God IS working in our hearts and lives.  
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