When I was growing up I thought I knew how it would go.
I would fall in love at high school. I would get married. I would have the perfect babies and live happily ever after – just like in the movies and just like my parents. But what happens when things don’t QUITE go according to the movie or the way YOU planned.
In 2006 I met Matt. We ran a youth group, played soccer and spent a lot of time together. When I started uni in 2007, we also started dating and I guess you could say that the rest is history. We got married in 2009, and we started planning our future.
I had wanted to be a mum for as long as I could remember. I love kids, and for the most part, they seemed to love me. We made a plan (I love plans), and we were pregnant soon after. That eager anticipation that any expectant parent feels very quickly took over. When is too early to tell people? When can I start setting up the baby room? What will I need? It was quite a surreal time in our little bubble of joy.
The bubble lasted twenty weeks. We eagerly entered the ultrasound room, and to our surprise it was a friend conducting the ultrasound. Things were fun and we chatted about how things had been going. She then went silent. The ultrasound machine was still humming and there were lots of buttons being clicked. Then, the words no parent wants to hear, “I’m just going to go and chat with someone”. I honestly don’t know how long she was gone for, it felt like an hour, she returned with a senior tech. They looked at the screens together, more buttons pushed and again, “we are going to have to go and get someone”. As you can imagine, we were thinking the absolute worst! A locum doctor came into the room and words that I will remember forever followed, “This is not something that you will have to abort the baby for, but your baby only has one hand”. What do you mean my baby only has one hand? And why would I even consider aborting my baby for that reason? BUBBLE POPPED (well really it was SHATTERED).
It was an interesting time that followed. So many questions, but no one had answers. Some said it could have been amniotic banding, but we wouldn’t know until the baby was born. We cried many, many tears. There is so much fear in the unknown. How will my baby wear a wedding ring? Will they be able to do this? Or that? During all this the support we received from family and friends was overwhelming.
A few months later, Amelie JOY entered the world! Oh my, she was such a pretty baby (I know that I am totally biased being her mum). Her little arm, so soft and squishy. She was (and is) perfect. I was scared though. Scared that I wasn’t going to be enough. I have since learnt though that EVERY mum feels this way. Scared that I wouldn’t be the mum she needed me to be (apparently that is also EVERY MUM).
Since her birth I have had the privilege of meeting and supporting many other families going through similar situations. I have walked with them through the unknown of a pregnancy with a limb different child (or for some they have found out at birth that their baby is differently abled). I have met inspiring Paralympians, who encourage and champion Amelie by sending videos of how they do different tasks, when she is struggling. I have cried many tears when things just seem unfair, but also tears of pride.
Through all this, I’m constantly reminded of the prayers that were prayed over her before she was born. Prayers that my beautiful baby would have courage, determination, faith and humility. That she would be a light to others who are struggling. And since birth, she has done this daily.
When the things you plan don’t quite go YOUR way, maybe it’s because they aren’t GOD’s plans. Looking back at the last eight years, there isn’t one thing I would change about the path He has led us along. Have there been challenges? YES! But those challenges make us the person we were created to be. I wonder what else is in THE plan.
Becky is a Preschool Pastor at Crossway. With husband Matt, she has two amazing children and a German Shepherd.