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Good Intentions Aren’t Always Enough

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Today is day three of confirmed pregnancy and already we have had comments and questions that I wasn’t quite prepared for this early on. And no, just to ease the thought you’ll have at the end, “it’s not just the hormones”.

Yes, we are only 3-4 weeks along in our pregnancy. Yes, it is very early. The question was posed to Lance, “Why are yall telling people so early? I mean, what if something happens?” I’ll say it for them, what if I miscarry? Lance’s response was amazing, just simply beautiful. “So what? We are not going to live our life in fear of “what if”.” Man, I could have grabbed him up and kissed him right there!

The other caught-off-guard question wasn’t really as much of a shock as I thought it would be. We had actually just discussed this exact question a few weeks back with another couple. “So what do you want: boy or girl?” Our response: “Whatever God decides to bless us with.” And then it came, “Oh cool, just as long as they’re healthy, right?” And I responded the only way I knew how, just politely smiled and acted like I didn’t hear the question, or comment… I’m really not sure which it was because they smiled and then walked off. But it’s not all about that. I guess the most irritating thing to me about that particular question was that had it been asked an hour earlier, someone with a special needs child would have been standing within ear shot and heard it.

We live in such a fear-based, unrealistically “got-to-be-perfect” society and people are perfectly ok with it. Lance and I were eating lunch one day and at the table next to ours was a group of ladies. One lady had her son and it was apparent that he had a form of autism. So I posed the question to Lance, “Is it wrong to pray for a perfectly healthy baby without any special needs?” He didn’t really have an answer. Not long after that I ate my words when I realized that some people we have recently become friends with have a special needs child along with four seemingly healthy children. I felt guilt, shame and pride all rush to my face and I was pretty sure that everyone sitting around me could see it. Psalm 139:13 says, “For you created my inmost being and knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” Knitting takes a long time, each piece intricately woven with purpose to produce the finished product. God doesn’t make mistakes. He knits with precision and perfection, spilling His love into every weave. What He creates can not be disputed as a mistake, as blemished, as no good, “for we are God’s masterpiece, created to do the things He planned for us long ago.” [Ephesians 2:10] Masterpieces, the MASTER PIECE, takes the artist the longest time to complete, carefully adding each detail, until it is perfect. So how can you even think that a child with special needs is anything less than a master piece of God? It was a spiritual check for me that night and there was a shift in my outlook. No, I wasn’t pregnant then or even anticipating being pregnant, but I knew in that moment, watching that beautiful little girl, always smiling, laughing, interacting with her siblings and others she didn’t even know, I knew that she was something God had spent a lot of time knitting together and that He counts every single child as a blessing, whether our society does or not. So if I could answer that question, “No… he/she doesn’t have to be healthy because we know that whatever God gives us is exactly what He saw as perfect.”

I guess the last thing that has been on my mind is that ones we expected to be excited for us really haven’t been. They were subtle, but the shock, confusion, worry and disappointment was all there, masquerading as cheap excitement with unheartfelt congrats. I can’t say I blame them though. Society already said that I was nuts getting married two weeks after my 21st birthday so to get pregnant 10 months later, well my whole life is going down the drain! Society sees children as a curse, taking all of your freedoms away: no longer can you be spontaneous, you can’t just go hang out in public places for hours, and so on and so forth. Now you’re tied down to tending to a child, all of your energy and time is focussed on the baby. But God’s word is so very clear in Psalm that society is just wrong. “Children are God’s best gift, the fruit of the womb his generous legacy. How blessed are you parents with your quivers full of children! Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you!” How in the world can someone argue that children are a curse?! In Biblical times, a woman was considered cursed if she DID NOT have children, thinking there was sin in her life or that she had made God angry. Society then looked down on women who didn’t have children because without children there is no one to pass on the family heritage, blessing or name. Now, it’s the complete opposite and women are looked down upon for having children.

I didn’t write this post with the intent of putting guilt on the people who asked these questions or reacted in the ways they did. My whole purpose is that we, people who claim to follow Jesus and take on the title of Christian, are very much swayed and deceived by what society says, whether we want to admit it or not. A lot of our conviction comes from “what we were taught” by those older than us, even those in the church, rather than what God actually says in His word. We say things, believe things and then teach things that just don’t match up with the Word of God. That’s not to say that there isn’t heart or time put into it, but good intentions just don’t cut it when it comes down to what God has to say about it.