Birthdays take on a whole new meaning when you realize that God planned for your life, your arrival, and how many days you will live on this Earth (Acts 17:24-31).
Some may wonder how Christ-followers can be so staunchly pro-life when some children are conceived in horrific ways. Well, we believe all life is sacred because God determines life, and He (and He alone) allows wombs to be opened or closed (Isaiah 44:2, 24; Genesis 20:18; 29:31; 30:2, 22; 49:25; 1 Samuel 1:5-6; Job 31:15; Psalm 139:13; Isaiah 66:9; Jeremiah 1:5; Exodus 23:26; Deut 7:14). The child who comes out of rape situation or an alcohol induced one night stand is no less valuable than the child who was born after ten years of gut-wrenching infertility. (And if the mother doesn’t want to keep the baby, it is better to put him or her up for adoption to a family who can love and raise the child.)
God’s Perfect Timing…
God’s timing never ceases to amaze me. Knowing He is always on time brings me comfort as Eric and I wait for our little bundles of joy. My desire for children is all too familiar to my mom. She was not able to conceive right away either, and she spent a lot of time praying and crying. Then, she finally let go of the burden, and soon thereafter, I was on the way.
As nice as it would be to say that my birth came at a time of rejoicing, it actually came during a season of deep mourning. My due date was August 12th, but I did not show up until August 30th. On August 18th, 1982, my Uncle Ricky was hit and killed by a train in Washington state.
As a kid, my mom was always the obedient one. She never wanted to upset anyone. She tried to always be good. My Uncle Ricky was a little stinker. Though cute as can be, he was always defying the rules; and, once he was “old enough,” he set out on his own, drifting from one town to the next.
His habit was to come home for a while and then leave like a thief in the night. Oh, my poor grandmother’s nerves. She rejoiced at his homecoming, but always feared him leaving again.
When Mom found out she was expecting me, Uncle Ricky did something unusual. He stopped by to see her before he left on his next adventure, and he said that he would be back to see his “nephew.” A part of me has always wondered if he was coming to see me as he attempted to board the train that day.
The Unforgettable Day
Mom and Dad happened to be visiting my grandma on the day she received the awful news. An officer came to the door and told her she needed to come down to the station. Then he turned to her husband and said, “If this woman means anything to you, you better go with her.” It was her worst nightmare, and it had come true.
The next few days were absolute agony. Mom was overdue and miserable in the hot August sun, and she was trying to comfort my grandma. Then, on August 28th they gathered to bury my uncle’s ashes in the family cemetery. He was only twenty-five.
Thirty-Two Years Ago Tonight…
After the horrors of the last week and a half, Mom decided to go to church that Sunday night. She recalls being completely miserable as she sat there. (Sorry, Mom!) She dragged herself home and fell asleep only to be woken up a little while later. Ready or not, I was coming. Like many first babies, I was stubborn, but I eventually showed up at 4:10 the following afternoon.
In one way, it seems cruel that I would come within days of actually getting to meet my uncle, but in another way, I thank God for His timing. In the midst of great suffering, my grandma could also celebrate. I know that nothing or no one could have ever taken the place of her son, but I hope holding me brought her some comfort, even if just the slightest bit.
When I ache to hold my own babies, Eric often reminds me that God’s timing is perfect. We don’t know what God will do with our children. We don’t know who they will meet or what their purposes will be, but God does. When they are born is also a part of God’s plan for their lives, and when I am tempted to doubt God’s plan, I can just recall the story of my own birth and remember that God is always on time.
How have you seen God’s perfect timing play out in your life?