Weddings are joyful occasions, each one a new beginning laced with passion and hope. Last weekend’s ceremony between my nephew Andrew and his true love Kim was an example of how it’s all supposed to work, two families coming together, approving a marriage in which God and his Word would be at the center.
Once back home in Michigan, though, I was reminded that life’s important milestones don’t always play out in storybook fashion. Birgitta is more than half way through her pregnancy, approaching single motherhood with courage and maturity, but after the wedding weekend, I found myself in tears over my daughter’s losses. The out-of-order arrangement of baby before marriage was something she chose, but at the time she couldn’t have fully known the extent of its consequences.
Turning to the Lord, I asked him to remove the heaviness in my heart and align my thoughts with his. Every situation, when placed in his care, is subject to his productive work, and I craved a glimpse of that for Birgitta.
As tears wet my pillow he whispered, “Trust me. Let go of your definition of ‘the ideal.’ Hand it off to me. Then trust me to prepare something wonderful for your daughter. It won’t be traditional, but it will definitely amaze you.”
So I had two choices: remain disheartened with the present I knew, or trust God to manage the future I didn’t know.
“Trust me,” he said.
So I blew my nose, then closed my eyes trying to recall a few Scripture verses about trusting God. I was mentally reciting the first one when my eyes popped open, and it was morning.
Still focused on Birgitta but now trusting the Lord in a fresh way, I decided to retrieve the journal I’d written 22 years ago about my daughter’s infancy, the details of each month from one-day-old to one-year-old. After she’d left for work, I poured a mug of coffee and sat with the album about newborn Birgitta, reading through all 24 pages, 2 from each month.
As I poured over the words, God gently coaxed me away from the absence of a wedding toward the presence of a baby, the wonder of a little girl he was in the process of designing for Birgitta and all of us. This baby daughter would be every bit as delightful to her as the journal showed she’d been to me.
When Birgitta arrived home from her restaurant work after 11:00 pm, we shared a late supper of pancakes, maple syrup, and blueberry jam, and I was feeling much better. But as we talked, something about her seemed off kilter. Her words were upbeat, but her spirit was troubled.
“Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God.” (Isaiah 50:10)