When Jared and I planned to start our family we assumed it would just “happen” (after all, we’d spent a lot of time and energy “preventing” it), so imagine my surprise (and then frustration and eventual devastation) when month-after-month our plan was out of my control and the peed-on stick continued to read negative.
Although I’d been the first married, I soon began to watch my newlywed (and unwed) friends have one, two, even three children and (I’m sad to admit) it became a dark, jealous, angry time of longing. All I’d ever wanted when I “grew up” was to be a mother and I felt my righteous desires were going unheard.
There’s a lot more to this story–but the point I want to get to is that in order to numb my mind from the emotional scar–and perhaps even in rebellion–I changed “my plan” and began to consume myself with the goal to finish my education. Since we’d been married in college and Jared was a couple semesters ahead of me, I mapped out the remainder of my program and burned at both ends, taking 21-credit semesters so I could catch up and we could graduate together.
When graduation approached, I accepted a job teaching 1st grade which I absolutely loved. And then, as unexpected as the infertility, my plan changed again when we discovered I was pregnant–my due date just weeks after the school year would end.
It’s been eight years and four children later and my life is drastically different from that time I felt denied of my “perfect plan.” Now that I can look back with more wisdom and perspective, I can sincerely thank my Heavenly Father for that trial–which at the time was the worst I could have imagined–because it’s become a blessing.
I’m not sure I would have finished my formal education if I had gotten pregnant according to “plan.” And although there are times in my weakness that I grumble about my education going to waste on changing dirty diapers (it’s usually when that darn student loan bill is due), I know in my heart that the knowledge and growth I gained during my educational experience benefits me daily–particularly as I’m fulfilling my role as a mother, friend, and community leader.