Sometimes it Can Take Decades Before God’s Plan Makes Sense

Sometimes it Can Take Decades Before God’s Plan Makes Sense October 28, 2019

My wife and I were married in 1994. For the first several years of our marriage, we were unable to get pregnant. Although at that point in our marriage we couldn’t really afford it, we decided to pursue fertility treatments. Eventually, my wife did become pregnant. We were so happy. We proudly showed the ultrasound pictures to friends and family, began preparing the nursery, and we picked out a name. She was to be called Hannah. Hannah would have been about 21 years old today. Alas, my wife suffered through a miscarriage at our home. To be honest, we don’t even know for sure what the sex was. The pregnancy was over before we found out. But in my mind, she will always be called Hannah.

That was a pretty dark time. We decided that we were meant to create our family through adoption instead. In 2002, we traveled to China to adopt our baby girl. Today, she is 18 and in her first year of college. The blessings she brought to us are immeasurable and I couldn’t possibly envision our lives without her. When it comes right down to it, biology has very little to do with family. From day one, we couldn’t have been more intensely bonded and in love with our sweet Molly if my wife had carried her in her womb for 9 months. She is forever our daughter and nothing can change that. She was and is God’s plan for our lives and we hers. That part was easy to understand from the beginning.

Raising Molly for the past 18 years made it easy to live life without dwelling much on the failed pregnancy. If I’m being honest–and I can only speak for myself now–I went years without thinking very often about that miscarriage. I’ve never asked my wife how often she thinks about it. It’s not something we’ve spoken about very much. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, it just is what it is.

But in the months since Molly has gone off to college, a three hour drive from home, I have been thinking about it quite often. The sense of loss that I’d not dealt with much for 20 years has suddenly returned to haunt our empty nest. I wouldn’t say that it’s causing me to suffer, it’s just returned to my mind and caused me to do a lot of introspective reflection.  This process, while not particularly pleasant, has been enlightening and enriching.

I have come to the conclusion that my family is a result of God’s plan and that plan was in response to where I was in my life during the first few years of my married life. In the interest of brevity, I’ll spare you the details of my story in this piece. I’ve already written that story in detail. You can read it here. For now, suffice to say that my life was in complete disarray during the years when we were struggling to become pregnant. Much of that I kept hidden from my wife. Had she known at that point what was was going on with me, she’d never have wanted to become pregnant in the first place. In short, I was not in a place in my life where I was in any way ready to be a dad. Not many people knew that, but God did. I believe God stepped in and saved our marriage with that miscarriage. In the ensuing years between the miscarriage and adoption, I hit bottom and began putting my life in order. By the time Molly came around, I was ready.

It took me more than two decades to come to the place where I was able to see this as clearly as I do now. Do I blame myself for the fact that Hannah was never born? Yes, in a way I do. But I don’t dwell on that because I can’t imagine my life without Molly in it. God had a plan.

But I do feel a responsibility for the loss. For Hannah, and for her mother, my wife. I have never properly faced that responsibility until recently. With Molly away from home, my thoughts have returned to that dark period of my life. I’ve written a lot about it in recent months. It has become clear to me that we often have to wait a large portion of our lives to finally see what was God’s plan all along.

And please understand, I don’t share my story in an attempt to imply that it is God’s will when tragic things happen to you. I only share my story to explain how I found my own path to some understanding of how tragedy can eventually open the door to a new plan and upon reflection, sometimes one can receive clarity about how and why certain events may have unfolded. This is not a one-sized-fits-all situation. Everyone works their way through grief and loss in different ways. This is understood on my end, as I hope it will be understood on yours, as well.

I’d like to close by sharing two songs that I have recently written and recorded about the miscarriage and the loss of Hannah. I will print the lyrics and then share the link to the music videos. I hope that these will touch some of you and some way. If nothing else, they helped me through the process.

Blood in the Water

By: Shane Phipps

Sons and daughters

There was blood in the water

Leaving holes in the heart

An end without a start

Loss and pain

Are pouring down like rain

There’s an empty room

Solemn as a tomb

Time leaves town

As you begin to drown

In the blood you shed

Trapped inside your head

Sons and daughters

There was blood in the water

Leaving holes in the heart

An end without a start

Grasping for hope

You will begin to cope

Memories will reside

As the pain subsides

You will find

If you are so inclined

That no one’s to blame

There’s no call for shame

Sons and daughters

There was blood in the water

Leaving holes in the heart

An end without a start

 

Love I Never Knew

By: Shane Phipps

Sweet Hannah where did you go?

I still feel you when the cold winds blow

There is great pain in the truth

That you’re the love I never knew

Your time with me came at a heavy cost

And brief as it was, I still feel the loss

And it’s a crying shame it wasn’t meant to be

But I can’t let you go, you’re still a part of me

I still close my eyes and try to picture you

But a hazy guess is all that I can do

Fate broke in and stole our time

And I’m still paying for that crime

Sweet Hannah where did you go?

I still feel you when the cold winds blow

There is great pain in the truth

That you’re the love I never knew

 

All the years have eased most of the pain

But the hollowness will long remain

All of the memories that never were

Those empty picture frames that were meant for her

And I still relive that dark black day

When your mama’s mournful cries conveyed

That there was blood within the water

And we never got to hold our daughter

Sweet Hannah where did you go?

I still feel you when the cold winds blow

There is great pain in the truth

That you’re the love I never knew

"If Lev 20:13 is about child molesters, why is the victim put to death along ..."

How America’s Anti-Gay Bigotry Manipulated the ..."
"The word used in Leviticus is the hebrew word Za-kar. It is used over 15 ..."

How America’s Anti-Gay Bigotry Manipulated the ..."
""Conservative Christians fear nothing more than socialism." Except maybe, for people of color becoming the ..."

If You Love America, Thank the ..."
"I have while you have been denying what I said."

Conservative Christian, the Bible Should Humble ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Politics Blue
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment