A few lines in to the Lord’s Prayer there is a powerful phrase – “Thy will be done.” I’ve recited it a thousand times throughout my life, but until the last year I didn’t really understand the depth of it’s meaning. Or how not just saying the words, but choosing to believe them would change my life.
Yesterday marked four months since our baby went to live in Heaven. I spent a few “me moments” on the porch first thing in the morning, sipping coffee from the cup I got at the Northwestern Hospital Starbucks during our tenancy there. That was often our “escape” from the confines of our hospital room that helped preserve our sanity. I would waddle to a wheelchair, and my ever-tolerant husband would push me to the elevator, across the sky bridge and through the maze of hospital personnel so I could sit and drink a Grande Decaf Latte and feel a little more human again.
So, this cup…it does more than hold coffee. It holds a piece of our story. It’s painted with the Chicago skyline – the city that, for me, will always represent the very best and very worst days of my life. It is the city where my husband and I spent six long weeks doing everything in our power to keep our girls growing. It’s where we celebrated milestones that many take for granted. It’s where we held our daughters for the first and last time together on Earth. It’s where we laid eyes on our little angel for the last time until we see her again in Heaven. It is a skyline of mixed emotions.
When people talk about their babies-to-be, they often say, “As long as they are healthy and happy…that’s all that matters.” But I learned in the hardest way possible…that is not all that matters.
Knowing early in our pregnancy that one of our girls was facing an uphill battle, my prayers as a mother changed. The doctors were very clear that even if she survived the pregnancy and went on to live for any amount of time…her life might not be “normal.” So, I didn’t pray for a happy, healthy baby. I didn’t even pray for a miracle…though that is what I wanted more than anything in the world. Instead, I prayed for God’s will to be done. That is a tall order when God’s will does not alight with your own. I prayed for our girls’ lives to be fulfilled exactly as He had planned for them. I prayed for patience and strength and understanding that His plan for them might not be the same as mine. I prayed endlessly – for my unborn babies, for my husband, for my family and yes, for myself. I prayed for His will…because it’s all I had. If I didn’t believe in that…that His plan was greater…I had nothing to believe in at all.
This does not mean my faith wasn’t tested. It most certainly was. It does not mean the pain was any less. Some days, it is still overwhelming. But even on the days I have asked God “why” – I have still chosen to trust in Him. Thy will be done – on earth as it is in heaven.