Apr 15, 2010

Who's Writing Your Story?

I've always wanted to have a big family.  (The above photo is a wee bit of an exaggeration....but I thought it was a hilarious picture!)  I've spent much time envisioning what our family could possibly look like in the next few years and even years from now.

I think about details...what kind of home the kids will come home to, what kinds of things we'll do together as a family, what kinds of activities they'll do for fun, who our friends will be.

Up until 3 years into parenthood, things, for the most part, fell pretty much in line with what I had envisioned.

Now Nate and I have been trying to get pregnant with Baby #3 for almost 8 months.  Considering that Baby #1 and Baby #2 were surprises while preventing pregnancy, struggling to make it happen a third time has been a bitter surprise.

"What??  What's happening here?  This isn't part of the plan.  I'm 32.  I don't have a lot of time to waste!  My friends are having babies.  I don't understand what's changed!"

Walking through the disappointment of the last 8 months (especially the latter few) have let me see more clearly how deep my expectations had become.  I don't think my dreams were bad, at heart.  But I can see how I was starting to feel "due" the dreams I had envisioned, because I wanted it so badly.

Thinking something sounds good is one thing, feeling "owed" it is another.

Well, I found out that things have indeed changed since we last got pregnant and my doctor is kindly suggesting a fertility drug that helps balance out hormones that are unbalanced, thus "kicking" my system back into gear.  (Please forgive me if you find the openness here uncomfortable or offensive...just trying to be honest.)

So now, Nate and I face the decisions of how proactive we want to be in this desire to have another child.  We fully, deeply believe there is a place for God's sovereign will determining what happens in our family.  And perhaps, since He's determined the exact timing of each child in our family, we should just believe that He will make it happen when it's right, and settle into a different level of control.  God IS that capable.  I believe it.

But we also believe that there is a place for trying.  And that God is powerful and all-knowing enough to "override" our attempts that, though well-intended, were just made without divine omniscience.  I think God knows we can't know everything and leads this way often.  By just shutting doors.  He helps us out.

So that is the crossroads we are facing.

Here is what I am learning from the last 8 months:

Who writes my story?  I think I've dreamed for so long about what I want my family to be like that I erroneously thought that I did.  And that God would make the necessary adjustments as we went along.  With that approach, I can see how every little difference between my plan and God's would be very troubling for me.

I hear so many people say how their life turned out so differently than they thought it was going to.  You know, that's probably more the norm than not.  So if I've pre-determined what I want my life to look like, I'm really setting myself up for disappointment.

What if instead, I took the "let's let God write our story" approach and expected some surprises!  Some plot twists, conflicts and trials?  I would probably accept them with much more grace and hope, I imagine.

So I'm trying to push a "reset" button in my approach to my life story.  I'm expecting some surprises.  Rather than feel "owed" a certain level ease and "success", I want to accept all things that happen to us, even the ones we don't understand, as things that are meant for our ultimate good.  That's the story I want anyway.  How in the world could I know that story?  I don't.  I'm glad that someone does and that He never makes mistakes.  That's comforting.

If you've read this long, way to go.  Thanks for listening.  I could have blogged about other things, but this is the most "real" stuff happening in my life right now.



  1. I'm glad this is what you blogged about. I'm sad that I haven't connected with you often enough or recent enough to have heard some of this in person. I love your perspective and hope to hear more soon!

  2. I am sorry that you are having to go through this. I love your perspective and I will be praying and love to listen any time.

  3. Erika,

    You may or may not remember me, but my husband and daughter use to attend New Hope before we moved to KC and our little girls were in the nursery together. We have since added another as well...Owen.

    I read this and wanted to see if I could read your thoughts to my MOPS group on Monday. We are having a "Storytime" and women are standing up and sharing a snip of their story and how God has worked in and through it. While I am not sharing my story, I have been selected to share a reading about "God writing His story in Your life". I would read the portion from "Who Writes My Story" to "That's comforting."

    I really feel this idea will resonate with all women, and as one of the MOPS where we are incorporating more faith into our meeting, I think it is perfect. Please don't feel bad if you would rather I didn't read it. I completely understand. I would just say this is what a "friend" wrote recently. :)

    Thanks for being so honest and open with the Blog world....

    Amy Williams

  4. Hear! Hear! I think you just successfully summed up what God has been teaching me too over the last 24 months. Somehow assuming that God-honoring plans and dreams equals God is going to make it happen. Sometimes that is fun and sometimes it sucks (oops stinks is probably better word!) Thanks for sharing. I LOVE YOU!

  5. Thank you for writing about this. I love your thoughts on this trial; they're healthy reminders for me, especially the big picture: that God is writing the story, not me. Thank you for putting this raw reality out there for us to share with you. You wrote about it so beautifully.

  6. To Amy,
    Yes I remember you! Thanks for your thoughts. You are totally free to use this at your MOPS group. I hope others feel like they are not alone in their struggles!

  7. Hello Erika,
    I am Dave Anderson's wife, Katie. I know I've met you a few times but you probably don't remember me. :) Sandie passed on your blog post to me...I wanted to let you know that I know exactly how you feel. We just had our very first daughter, Hazel and we tried for almost 4 years for her! We went through much struggle with the same issues and it's so hard. Trust in God. He provides! Hazel is our proof! Email me if you have ANY questions - k8haidle@yahoo.com
    Hazel was conceived through fertility treatments. :)
    (www.andersonhizzie.blogspot.com it shares my story too.)

  8. Erica, Thanks for sharing this story on your blog. It is always such a blessing for me to read what you write. I can't relate to your story personally, but know that I will be praying that God will continue to work in your life and He will give you wisdom about what to do or not do. We love you all. Denise

  9. My dear, dear, Erika. As I was reading this, it was hard for me to believe I was reading such a post:
    1) Because of the struggles you are having, and 2) Because I am amazed at the way you are able to put your thoughts together. You are so special to me, you are a wonderful mommy to my beautiful granddaughters, you are a precious daughter of the Most High King, the list goes on.....

    I'm thankful you have Nate to travel this "crossroad" with. Together, you will discover what God is writing for you in this chapter.

    I love you so. - Mom

  10. I'm so sorry this is something that are going through. Thank you for being vulnerable enough to share--I really appreciate it!