It’s easy for me to see God’s plan when life is looking up. When my job is going well, when my marriage is strong, when my kids are healthy. And, in those times, it’s easy for me to show my kids who all things work together for good for those who love God.
But what about when you’re facing trials? How do I show my kids—and myself—that God’s plan is always good, always right and always perfect when life seems anything but?
This weekend, my sister and her husband lost a precious, much awaited baby girl. Her birth mom had made the heart-wrenching choice to give her up for adoption—and my sister’s family was chosen as the adoptive family. We couldn’t have been more thrilled—and spent months anxiously awaiting her arrival.
The sweet baby girl was born last Thursday night, healthy, vibrant and beautiful. Our family rejoiced, thrilled for our new addition. But our joy was short lived—less than 24 hours after the baby was born, the birth mom decided to tear up the adoption papers. She changed her mind. And my sweet new niece was no longer ours.
I’m struggling with my own emotions in this. How could this be in God’s plan—when we all felt so certain that Ali was meant to be in our family? How can God’s plan involve this much heartbreak? This much sorrow?
My kids are also devastated. They were so excited about their new cousin and can’t quite comprehend how one day she was ours and the next day she wasn’t. They loved her, too, and like me, are having a hard time understanding.
Today, we sat down together and drew a picture of a path. We drew ourselves walking down the path. We added rocks and hills to the road in places, flowers and streams in others. We talked about how sometimes the road is easy—downhill and sunny and beautiful. But other times, there are rain storms and hills, rocks and tears. Then, at the end of the road, we drew Jesus.
Because the truth is, the path God calls us to walk down isn’t always easy. He never promised that our path would be free of obstacles. He never said we wouldn’t shed tears. But, he did promise that the path he called us to follow would lead to something good.
And that means that even now—when we’re crying because we miss our niece—God is working all things together for good.