God’s Plan

All things work together for good according to God’s plan.  All things.

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.


  1. Oh Erin! I can’t imagine what grief your sister (and you / the family) must be experiencing. Your attitude here is encouraging and honoring to God. Is your sister a Christian? I hope she and her husband can find peace in Him in the midst of such grief.

    I am heartbroken for you all…

  2. Praying for you and your family. Praying that soon God’s fingerprints will be visible in every part of the situation.

    That was a wonderful idea how to explain it to your children. I think as adults, we need to be reminded of the same thing.

  3. Hello.
    Oh that would be hard to accept. Saying a prayer for all of you. Hoping that there is Good News around the corner. xx

  4. You’re right… it’s hard to remember that things work together for good when they don’t feel good at all. I think the hardest thing of all is letting go of the expectation. Your family was expecting this blessing and had every hope that it would come your way. I’m not a big fan of the grieving process. I don’t like how we have to go through so many emotions, sometimes more than once, to get to acceptance. It’s hard to believe we’ll ever get there, but eventually, most of us do. Thank you for sharing this story, Erin. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family this morning.

  5. I’m so sorry, Erin. Praying for your sweet family.

  6. Erin,

    My prayers of strength, comfort, and healing are with you and your family right now. That is every adoptive parent’s worst nightmare and I am so sorry that this has happened to your family.

    You are so right though and I tend to fall into the same boat-it’s easy to glorify God when all is going right in our lives, but in the instant that we are introduced to something as heartwrenching as this, we tend to struggle. We search for answers, question why these things happen, and are crushed by the pain and hurt that ensues. We want to lean on God and we want to believe in his ultimate plan. At times this proves difficult, even though we know better.

    I love that you sat down with your kids and allowed them to visualize a path. Jesus is our guide-always next to us, always with us, always a whisper away. I, too like to think of the path I am on and that no matter what happens to me along my journey, there is something amazing awaiting me just around the corner. God will never close a door without opening another…he is just that good, that awesome, that amazing.

    I pray that that door opens soon for your family. I have a feeling it will.


  7. Erin, I am so sorry to hear of this loss, for your whole family. It is so difficult to lose to a child, expected or already here, and there are no words for how sorry I am. I pray that you and your family find peace in this difficult time, and that another option for your sister and her family will be opened up when they are ready.

    Hugs and good thoughts to your family, and prayers sent and will continue.


  8. I’m so sorry…. :( Praying.

    I think that’s why so many people are doing international adoptions–there’s hardly any chance that the mom can change her mind last minute.

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