So what happens when you don't have a plan? What happens when I don't have a plan? Chaos. -Or at least that's what it feels like because I have no idea what the next step is.
This past Monday morning as I was reading through my chronological-in-a-year-Bible (are you surprised by the plan?), I came across the following promise from God.
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.
- Isaiah 42:16 NIV
- Isaiah 42:16 NIV
My first thought was, "Isn't our God amazing!? He always has a plan! Even when we are blind to it and cannot see because we are surrounded by unknown darkness! I bet that is such a comfort to people going through cancer, and ....." STOP. It's interesting to me that I didn't for a second think my regular, ordinary, day-to-day life could be part of this promise; that I could be comforted by the same promise in the mundane. But it is a promise for each one of us no matter what "darkness" surrounds us.
We are 31 weeks, 1 day today in our second pregnancy. It has been more rough than smooth this go around with lots of unfamiliar paths. Two weeks ago, I found out that I had failed my 3 hour glucose test, and I would have to start a special diet and finger pricks. These are two things I really struggled to assimilate into my current life style. You want a pregnant woman to cut back on carbs AND jab a needle in her finger 4x a day for the next two and a half months? Are you nuts?! But, God gave grace. Despite the fact that I had NO IDEA how I would convince myself to slice my hand open daily (.....yes, it was that dramatic for me) and STOP eating cereal and fruit for breakfast, God brought others who had faced similar challenges to my side. He allowed their experiences to encourage me that this wasn't the "end" and that I wouldn't starve. He even provided the kindest lady at the Life Center to teach me how to use my meter with the tiniest needle prick setting. To encourage me even more, God allowed my sugar numbers to be NORMAL. Even with my normal diet, they were NORMAL. Even with Chipotle, pop tarts, and some cupcakes (mini ones of course), my numbers were NORMAL. And because in His providence they have been normal, I only have to check 2 days a week instead of 7 days; that's 20 less pricks a week! Pretty smooth path that I wasn't expecting, but God provided.
Four days ago, God ordained another new, unfamiliar, and scary path for us. We know the signs for preterm labor and have been monitored more closely for any indications in this pregnancy due to Sophia's early arrival. This time, we're trying to be prepared --- we're trying to have a plan. Of course, we didn't know we'd need a plan this soon. Monday night required a shot of Brethine to stop my contractions that had been coming 3 minutes apart for an hour. By the time I got hooked up at the hospital, they had sped up to every 2 minutes. Thankfully, nothing else was changing internally, but my body sure thought it was. Wednesday night was a repeat, except that the contractions were holding steady at 6 minutes apart. Both times, my pain level was relatively low, but I couldn't get the contractions to stop despite resting, changing positions, and drinking TONS of water. The contractions were perfectly regular. On the monitor at the hospital, they made the beautiful, textbook waves that lasted exactly 1 minute in duration. It was wild to watch. Thankfully, both episodes were stopped with Brethine. The contractions LOOK real, but FUNCTION like Braxton Hicks (with no cervical change). So the disappointing news we received was that unfortunately the only way to tell the difference between Braxton and real would be to measure my cervix every time and receive an emergency dose of medication. (We learned that Braxton can quickly change over to real, and since I have no way of stopping my long episodes, I wouldn't know when we should head to the hospital.) So, what's the plan? My doctors have put me on Procardia around the clock until we can at least get to 36 weeks. I still have contractions, but they feel like the typical Braxtons - they come at irregular intervals and/or stop after an hour or so, particularly when I gorge myself on H2O. But the doctors warned that Procardia doesn't work miracles. At 31 weeks, we need to be ready for anything, including a NICU baby.
But our God is great. He has a plan even if I only have half of one. He makes my dark ways into lit paths. He provides others to encourage me and at times carry me as my rough path becomes smooth. He does this because He has promised, and God cannot lie. Thank you Lord for sustaining me even when I think I have it all planned out!