My week was planned out almost to the hour. Not a usual thing for a creative free spirit like myself. After a week of family time out of state there was a boat load of laundry to do, the weeks bread to be made, house cleaning, economics class lesson preparation, a deadline and Christmas decorating. All my work had to be done by Thursday because of MOPS and out state company who were arriving on Friday. There was not only a long list of needed activities and goals but, gasp, a schedule to get it done! My list making husband would have been so monumentally proud.
Then BOOM, sick child. Very sick child. ER trip turns to emergency pediatric gastro Dr. visit which turns to an hour long drive to a children’s hospital. A very long hour drive. Watching the iv specialist struggle as yet another vein collapses, holding long strands of hair back as the bodily fluids violently return themselves in a rushing torrent of pedilite and water, holding a little trembling hand as the pain twists the belly again and again. Gone was the important list. Gone was the need to focus on gift shopping. Gone was the push to decorate with mangers, tinsel and garlands. Gone was the pressure to make things perfect for the guests. Gone. All gone in an instant. Four days in the hospital listening to the code blue announcements wiped away the frivolous thoughts of Monday morning. The ‘must be done’ things evaporated.
We had tests, lots of them. We are waiting now for biopsy results. So the anxiety nips at me like a woodpecker diligently pecking away at the oak. Ever present, constantly chipping away with diabolical rhythm. I have to say this is yet another chapter in the ‘Not What I Had In Mind’ manuscript of experiences. It is one of those screeching halts that throws skidmarks all over the road of your plans. Big black ugly skidmarks. Ones that take you close enough to the cliff to peer over.
Isn’t that how it always happens? We make the list, we make the plan, we do our best to plot the course from here to over there. And it is a good plan, list and course. Then something happens. Not what we had in mind. A layoff, a heart attack, a betrayal, an accident. Boom. The list is up in smoke and we are left there with a handful of ashes. Or a heart full. And all we can do is stand there sucking wind trying to just keep breathing.
But take heart my friend, remember this simple and comforting fact. God is never surprised by the things that surprise us. God never says “Didn’t see that one coming”. Our heavenly Father knows the road ahead and He has promised that He will never leave us, or forsake us. Just because OUR plan is gone, does not mean HIS plan is. So buckle up, it may be a rough ride. But we are not navigating this alone. The storm will not last forever. We will get to the other side. Just not the way we had plotted out. And getting to the other side is what matters, not how we got there. The name of the boat is not ‘Surprise’. The name of the boat is ‘Fathers Hands’ Lets stay in it.