This post has been sitting in my drafts folder for too many days now because I didn’t have a title for it. But I didn’t want to let it sit longer, so please excuse my lack of creativity.
If you’re a regular reader you may remember a while ago I wrote a letter to 18 year old me that got me thinking about the past, about life, and about the seemingly insignificant choices we make everyday. I promised a follow up post that never came… until now.
I was reminded of this topic recently after I read a blog written by a father who just lost his three sons. After a high risk, yet uneventful triplet pregnancy, his children were born rather suddenly at only 22 weeks. If you have the strength, read what he wrote about them here and offer up a prayer for them. But be warned- you might need a kleenex or two.
So it has brought me back to a place of contemplation.
Is this fate, or karma? Did this couple lose their boys as punishment for something they did in a past life? Or because they wouldn’t have loved them enough in this one? If you read any of their posts I think you can argue that wouldn’t be it. So what then?
In times like this people will often say “everything happens for a reason.” I wonder… can they really mean everything? Everything is a whole lot of things. That would have to include the clothes we pick out each day, what we watch on TV, yes… even our kids pooping in the tub or other fun parenting surprises, ALL have some higher purpose. And I wonder, can that really be true? But can it be possible the opposite is true? Nothing happens for a reason. We are all just floating around like that feather in Forrest Gump? I think it must be somewhere in between. How then, can we find solace knowing that there is some purpose, and when must we simply accept that no one ever said life would be easy?
Another thing I have heard from time to time it that “It was meant to be.” It seems as though we love to think happy things are always meant to be. Those two people were meant to be together, or that job is perfect for him- it was meant to be, even Russell and I said we always felt like we were meant to have twins. But if good things are meant to be, are bad things as well? I had mentioned back in this post that my friend Robin’s car accident might have been avoided if someone had to go to the bathroom and they left a few minutes later. But maybe that isn’t true. Maybe it wouldn’t have made a difference. It’s possible the guy who hit them would have also left later. Maybe they were meant to be in that accident.
And what about God?
“God is in control” people say. But I (brace yourself- I may upset some people here) do not think that is true. I don’t think God is in control. I think God could be in control, but chooses to give us free will instead, and that is both the joy and the curse of it. Similarly I can be here to comfort, support, and guide my children… but I can’t always make them do what I want. (and I have a sneaking suspicion that it will only get worse) And sometimes they get hurt because of that. But that is the way God has designed it.
The truth is, bad things happen. Couples who desperately want a child know the constant heartache of infertility. Parents are forced to grieve the life of a child cut so very short. Jobs that are needed are lost. Homes are lost. And while I don’t have
all the any answers as to why, I do know that everything… the good and the bad… is what defines us and shapes who we are.