Friday, September 5, 2008

When He Speaks

A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.
Proverbs 16:9

For three days, I worked diligently on a painting that would be given to an expectant mother. I watched as the colors fell into place and became one of the most unique things I had ever done. The baby's name soon was creatively decorated onto the canvas, and finally, the decision on which scripture to use was finalized. As I wrote the bright pink verse on the pink and green polka dotted canvas, I did not know then how true they would be for me in the next few days...

Just a week before I began this gift, I had applied and been accepted to Western Kentucky University's online Master's Program in Elementary Education. I was overjoyed at the possibility of pursuing a purpose in my life. The door opened for me so quickly to go back to college; I never once took the time to really pray it through. It just seemed as if it were the right thing to do.

In my heart though, I believe I knew better. Just like the pink and green dots so brilliantly corresponded, a teacher with a year off should take the time to get her Master's degree. Or so I thought. We joke about it now, but my husband questioned me one afternoon about going back to school. The anxiety about it was overwhelming me, and with such clarity and conviction, I told him, "I would rather be a mother, than have a Master's."

For the past nine months, I have longed for a child. In December of 2007, when I learned we were in fact pregnant with our first child, I knew God was answering my prayers. Just two short months later, when that same God took the baby into His arms, I asked Him over and over why it had to be this way when He had just given me all that I wanted. When we didn't get pregnant in the next few months and knowing I would not be teaching in any school in the upcoming fall, we decided that God wanted us to further our education. I shared the information with family after being accepted, and as excited as they all were, my dad said the most peculiar words after learning of the news, “I thought you were calling to tell me you were pregnant." He even seemed disappointed (don't take this wrong because my father would love to see me graduate again).

I'll be honest... I was too. Two years ago when I graduated from Western, I was so thankful to be leaving and had no intentions of going back. God seems to have His own ideas and plans, and He actually wasn't keeping them from me. You see, as I was busy making my own plans to head back to school, God was speaking His plans for me loud and clear through paintings, family, and in my heart. I would not be going back to school because 1) the cost is currently too expensive, and 2) we are pregnant with our second child.

Now, I don't know the specific plans God has for me, and I'm not sure that I will ever meet this child that is within me. What I do know is that, through the steady sound of a heartbeat on an ultrasound monitor, God speaks clearly. He speaks directly. He speaks with great wisdom. When He speaks, we must listen. Our lives are not our own, and our decisions are not ours to make. So with a humble heart, I write to express my deepest apologies for misinforming you about my returning to college, and I meekly ask you to pray for us as we anticipate the plans God has for our future...

The bright pink words on the canvas stand out now. They are so plain yet now incredibly beautiful, as I know that God was using them to speak to my heart. "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." How awesome it is when God speaks!

(See the “Bright Pink Canvas” here.)


Brandy said...

I posted my last comment under the wrong post- sorry! :)

Becca said...

Oh my goodness, PRAISE GOD for answered prayers! As we all have to figure out everything in his own time, not ours! Congrats Brian and Jenna! I am so happy for the both of you and I know that things will be okay this time. Try to relax. Can't wait to meet the new addition! Love you JRW-J

Alison said...


It's Alison Holland Harris. Words can not tell you how grateful I am that you popped over to my blog to say hello. Yes, I am sure that was the Harris crew coming out of Shane's Rib Shack that night. That is our favorite place to eat! We go all the time.

I wished you would have said hello, but I do the same thing all the time...I know that person, but from where.

I have spent the past couple of days reading your blog and seeing what an amazing woman you have become. I, too, lost my first pregnancy at 10 weeks. It was a very hard time for me, too. I am thrilled to hear that you are pregnant again. That is awesome!

Honestly, the more I read, the more I notice how much we have in common. I am praying for you and Brian. Your sweet baby is going to be just perfect. My advice...try not to worry about the baby. My doctor always told me with Maggie, not to worry. It was a lot to ask of her since I had lost the first one, but she just kept telling me that God is in control and she/he (we didn't know at the time it was a girl) will be fine.

Best wishes to you and your family! Don't worry about not going back to school. I did that too. Being a mommy is so much more rewarding!

Congratulations and we need to catch up!