“I like to plan.”
I say that phrase about 50 times a week, usually as an excuse for whatever crazy crap I have waiting for David when he gets home. When I brought up getting a cat to David, I had already vetted the best shelters, calculated monthly and startup costs for pet supplies, gone through the humane society application and flagged areas we would need to discuss, and chosen a few candidates from their online lookbook. Right now while apartment hunting I spend at least 45 minutes on every single apartment stalking it on google maps and laying out exactly where I will shop, go to church, take walks, run out for ice cream at midnight, etc when we live there. Every single apartment that we even casually look at on Craigslist, as well as compiling all of the photos and floor plans I can find online in order to make decisions about where our furniture will go. It’s not uncommon for David to come home and find that I’ve made a powerpoint presentation that I want him to watch right this very second about the electric car I want us to buy in three years.
What can I say, I like to plan. It’s a wee bit obsessive, but I tend to get overwhelmed easily and it helps me a lot when I can go into a situation knowing exactly all my contingencies. I also can’t keep a thought in my head for very long at all, so it helps to have the presentations and notes on paper.
With Samson I had a plan as well. We actually chose the names for our first child before there was even a hint that I was pregnant. Samson Lawrence for a boy, Harriet Walker for a girl. We chose the theme for the nursery within 24 hours of me getting a positive test (forest, green and blue). And we had most of our decisions about childbirth and nursing and preschool hammered out by 2012, two years into our marriage. I was well aware that they would change based on circumstance, but better a changed plan than no plan at all and just winging it. And besides, how much could it possibly change? It’s not like I had any conditions to make me high risk.
So what the hell do I do now, with all my plans torn up? Give up on plans. David and I are Christians, and one of the central themes of our faith is the idea of surrendering control and allowing God to take the reigns. He gave us Samson, and no amount of careful birth control was going to stop Him. He took Samson away and no amount of worry and crying was going to stop Him then either. My pastor likes to say that God will give you Step One, but He won’t give you Step Two until you’re finished with Step One, and He won’t tell you ahead of time how things are going to turn out. I understand that, really. If God had told us when we first got married what we were going to go through I would have gone out and gotten a hysterectomy that day. But it’s good that we went through it and it’s good that I could bring a soul into being, especially one destined for God’s Kingdom. And I know He has more kids coming for me, and that the purpose He laid out that day in church will be fulfilled. I just need to stop trying to fulfill it on my own terms.
The other night David had a dream where a man came to him and said, “these are the children you will have in your life”. And five kids appeared before him in a line, including a set of twins. I don’t know if all dreams are meaningful, but I believe some of them are, and I like to think that this dream was a promise. I’ve got maybe 50 years left on this earth and God has a plan for those years. I can have peace if I can only stop trying to snatch the map out of His hands.