From a note Sonya posted to Facebook today:
Today our oldest daughter, Beth, turns 28. As I was reflecting on how our lives changed so drastically when we went from young, carefree, newly-married couple to “what do we do with this little being who is depending on us to get it right” I couldn’t help but think of a memory that is forever burned in my heart and mind as I sat in an oncologist’s office.
Marty and I had only been married about three months when we found out I was pregnant. To say we were a little surprised would be an understatement. We certainly wanted children and had already planned our lives out to include several. We really believed God wanted me to quit my job and stay home with them as long as they needed me home. At the time, I had a pretty decent job (for the 1980s) but we certainly weren’t rolling in the dough since both of our salaries were needed to pay our expenses. Our plans were that we would save as much as we could for a couple of years, buy a small house and begin our family. Being pregnant after three months of marriage didn’t go along with “the plan.” Maybe God hadn’t gotten the memo about “the plan.” Nevertheless, we went on to have our beautiful, happy, precious little girl and were thrilled beyond measure. I did quit my job and Marty received a much better job that he began on my last day of work at my job. (Isn’t God funny like that? :) No we didn’t have a lot of money. Yes, we were still in our small apartment. And, we were so happy that God didn’t get the memo about “the plan.”
Fast-forward a little over two years later: After several months of unexplained weight-loss, night sweats, and bone-wearying fatigue, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease. For those of you who don’t know, this is a type of cancer that is usually associated with lymphoma. I was diagnosed at stage 2. (Walking through that minefield of emotions of being diagnosed with cancer when you are in your 20’s with a two-year old is another story for another day.)
After some exploratory surgery and having my spleen removed, I was to begin 10 weeks of radiation therapy. Sitting in the doctor’s office that day going over what my life was going to be like for the next few months as I went through radiation and the recovery, my oncologist dropped the “Oh, and by the way, if you get pregnant during this time, we will strongly advise you to have an abortion due to the amount of radiation you will be receiving and the danger of letting your cancer continue if you choose to stop the treatment due to your pregnancy.” I don’t think I heard much else after that statement. My mind kept going back to “the plan.” Our plan of waiting two years. Our plan of having all of our ducks in a row before we ventured forward. Our plan that really didn’t include much faith in a God who has promised to provide for his children.
Sometimes you get a life lesson in a very unusual way that stays with you for the rest of your life. That day I learned something huge about God’s timing. We can’t see what is ahead. We can’t possibly know what is better for our life than God. The blessings He has for us are immense. What may seem poor timing on our part, is perfect when God is behind it. And isn’t it just like God to use a baby to teach us this?
Feel free to share your stories in the comments. Sonya will reading and interacting there today.