As many times as I’ve doubted the impeccable quality of God’s timing (and trust me, folks, I’ve doubted it plenty of times . . . Thomas might as well be my middle name), there have been as many times (or more) during the past few months when God has dispelled my misgivings.
This might surprise some of you, particularly those of you who are secretly judgmental but outwardly loving and supportive (as we all tend to be), who are wondering how someone who got married two months AFTER getting pregnant could possibly claim that God’s timing is impeccable.
Nevertheless, it’s true.
First of all, I decided to go back to school to pursue my Master’s degree in October 2011, on somewhat of a whim, I might add. After mentioning the idea in passing, flippantly at best, I found that I had strong support emotionally and practically from my partner in life to pursue this dream. Pleasantly surprised, I decided to go with the notion that I’d keep walking through open doors until they closed in front of me. I prayed continually as each one swung open without any resistance.
I’m so grateful I decided to go back to school. When I found out I was pregnant at the end of March, I had moments of this-was-not-planned-and-I-am-a-planner panic attacks, but ultimately, I realized that I’d be able to very easily complete my Master’s degree within 18 months, despite the arrival of our bundle of joy this coming November. I know myself, and I know that if I’d hemmed and hawed any longer before going back to school, I would have managed to rationalize my way out of it. God knows this about me, and He hewed together the perfect combination of inspiration, confirmation, and support to nudge me in the direction of “DO IT!”
The beauty of completing my degree before my child is a year old is that it will allow me much more flexibility in career options, allowing me to teach as an adjunct and stay at home to raise my child, which has always been my Plan A if possible.
Secondly, after relocating to my hometown in December 2010 in order to be with the love of my life and my family, I felt God discouraging me from accepting a follow-up interview for a grant-writing/fundraising position with a great local organization. Anyone who knows me knows that this is precisely the kind of position suited for me. However, something didn’t feel right, and I declined going any further in the process. I’d spent the past 10 years pursuing higher paying, more impressive jobs (which resulted in higher stress and a diminished ability to enjoy life). I knew it wasn’t right for me. Instead, I accepted a lower-paying but much more flexible and fun position at a friend’s medical practice. After less than a year, a part-time position opened up at the community college where I’m now employed. This was a no-brainer, and again, after praying for God to open the right doors and close the wrong ones, He guided me into the place I currently reside. Had I taken the grant-writing position or kept applying for similar jobs, I’d be tied to working full-time, relying on my job for its salary and benefits, and afraid to take the plunge into full-time motherhood this fall.
Lastly, those who’ve known me for years may recall countless times when I scoffed at the idea of having children, or at best, questioned the logic of doing so. While I have been cursed with a healthy dose of tokophobia, the true root of this fear of having children stemmed from two places deep inside of me: the lack of a strong, healthy, and supportive partner, and the untended weeds of grief choking out my inner joy and contentment, subconsciously and quietly. This grief grew from unbearable sorrow inside of me, a sorrow unto death, that I’d buried within me after being raped at 16 the first time I had sex. The grief continued to rear its ugly head in all sorts of sad ways throughout my life for 16 more years until finally, after hearing God very clearly urging me to uproot it, I sought counseling. I finally told my mom, which was honestly harder for me than any counseling session I’ve ever experienced. I made peace with the rapist in an odd turn of events, thanks to someone very brave who knows him well. God effectively excavated the grave I’d dug inside myself years ago and cleared away the debris, making room for new life.
Finally, going through two divorces didn’t entirely fix my partner-picking problem. I also benefited from a few years of intense soul-searching and behavior-modifying in a twelve-step program and am eternally grateful to the people who repeatedly assured me that if I took the actions, the feelings would follow. I did, and with the help of the program (and God, who worked seamlessly through it), I found myself making better choices. A few years later, I’m married to the man of my dreams. By writing that, I’m not exaggerating or throwing in a cliché in order to avoid searching for a more accurate description. He is literally who I have always hoped for and never believed God would provide me with; I didn’t even believe men like my husband existed. A month after we started dating, I tentatively showed him my “list” of qualities I preferred and needed in a man, which I’d worked on for months after getting divorced in 2009. He met all 32 of my criteria, even the silly ones.
I would never wish to erase my past experiences because they taught me invaluable lessons about myself which I desperately needed to learn. I also gained the love of a 16 year-old girl, formerly my stepdaughter, who I will always consider my first child, who I will always support and never abandon.
But I do believe there’s a reason I never conceived a baby until now, and part of that is because I believe God was watching over me and doing for me what I could not do for myself. He miraculously fit the pieces of this complicated life puzzle together so that when He began knitting together the priceless creature in my womb, there would be no need for a plan. And no unrequited dreams. And no room for fear.