I made an appointment today to meet with a Maternal-Fetal Medicine doctor. The idea is that we will develop a plan for any future pregnancies that will limit my risks for another loss. Planning. Having lost my child in a way that results in the death of less than 25 out of 100,000 babies, it seems that planning is completely futile.
I suspect that it was not a coincidence that my loss defied the odds: God knew that I needed to suffer this kind of extremely unlikely loss in order to grow my trust in Him. You see, trust has never been one of my spiritual gifts and one of the ways that I learned to deal with my lack of trust was learning about the likelihood of something happening. If the chances of facing a particular calamity were low enough, then I was able to move on without thinking much about it. If the likelihood of a particular event was fairly high, then I would meticulously plan how to avoid that unwanted outcome. The problem with that approach is that God is not bound by statistics and this means that every negative outcome is a real possibility – even the ones that only carry a risk of .025%. Noemi’s death helped me to realize that there is absolutely no way that I can create a plan to avoid disaster and, quite frankly, that is scary.
In the face of my own inability to protect myself and my family, the only real option is to trust this God who defies the odds, but does He deserve my trust? Psalm 46 speaks of having faith in God even when everything around us is crumbling and exploding. It portrays God as a “refuge and strength.” It says that He is “always ready to help in times of trouble.” And twice it says “The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.” So when God says, “Be still, and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:10), He is not just looking down at us from some lofty mountain and commanding us to trust because we have no other options. Instead, He is right here with us, He is intimately aware of all that is happening, and He is commanding Heaven’s armies to make sure that His will is done.
The question then becomes not whether or not God is worthy of our trust but whether or not we can accept His plan for us. At the very end of the Bible, John tells us the following about the culmination of God’s plan for us:
“Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.
No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there – no need for lamps or sun – for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.” Revelation 22:1-5
If that is God’s final destination for me and my loved ones, then I am willing to believe that all of the earlier parts of His plans can be trusted, even if God leads us to places I never wanted to go. As I begin to recreate my own dreams for my life and my plans of how to get there, I will try to hold them loosely, and allow God to shape and mold them into conformity with His plans. And when God leads me to places that terrify me, I will feast my heart on the wonder of what lies ahead of me and allow myself to trust once again since, as a wise priest once told me, God doesn’t ask us to trust Him once and for all – He asks us to trust Him moment by moment.