I was full of ideas about how I'd help Kari move things along a bit. I made her sit on the exercise ball all the time. I kept suggesting spicy food. On Saturday, we went for a nice long walk (the pace I kept about killed her!). The poor girl kept having contractions in the midst of whatever we were doing -- several in WalMart, where we all really got our hopes up, because she nearly keeled over in the middle of the isle ("Don't stare at me!" she hissed "fake like you're all just talking"). We had a delightful outing on Saturday where we all (Josh's mom, sisters Kari and Melissa and I) got pedicures at a place the next town over, enjoying the green massage chairs, foot massage and a good girl time together (Lo, we missed you! We'll make it a tradition before everyone has their babies, so you can come in a few months before Melissa has hers).
Well, maybe you can tell by the way I speak of this weekend in past tense, but there was no arrival of the long-awaited little one. Things certainly seemed to be progressing -- Kari was much changed from when we arrived to when we left -- but apparently, they need to be progressing even more! We had all prayed that the time would come while we were already there, but that clearly was not the plans God had for us, or baby Max.
It is interesting how waiting for the arrival of a baby makes you ponder God's sovereignty. We are powerless to do a thing to hurry up His plan. At the end of the day, after trying what we knew might encourage things along a bit, all we can do is stamp our feet and say "Okay! We're ready now!" But it doesn't matter. God holds it all in His hands, and our feeble attempts to help him move it along are just truly silly. But isn't this true in all of life? Do we really wield control over any events? We just feel like we do, because sometimes things work out the way we planned them. Other times, we attribute the success or failure of our plans to the actions of another person -- which, though out of our control, still not within God's. People jokingly would say "Max will come out when he wants to!" or "You've got a rebellious nephew there! He won't obey already!" I realize that is a joke, but it speaks volumes as to who we really think holds the power! It's really funny to consider that this tiny baby is actually plotting to make us all wait -- rather than automatically realizing that our big God has a perfect plan in which we must wait.
Kari and I talked about how she is learning patience during these final weeks during our long walk. How precious to see the character that God is building in our lives! Our personal growth and godliness is high on God's agenda for His children. He desires to make Kari more like His Son -- and waiting for Max is working that out in her life. Imagine if we were able to set a date for the baby, like a wedding date, and then there was no question mark at all. Think of what we'd lose! An absolute dependence on God, patience for Him to bring about the right time, perseverance to keep chugging even though our bodies are wanting to quit! Dear friends -- God has us just where He wants us: in the midst of His great plan. Whether you are waiting for a job, a spouse, a child, a change in a relationship, an engagement, you'd do well to realize what I did. I cannot make it happen. Which is really such a good thing.
Hang on, Kari! God's got it all in control, hon!
"Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind, or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother's womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things." Ecclesiastes 11:5