|Sometimes There Are NO U-Turns...
Early in 1982 we weren’t exactly planning a child. Ultimately we had wanted to wait 5 years before starting a family. Two years into our marriage, those plans changed. Our child was conceived. At 20 I didn’t think too much about it. I guess I was too young to be worried, scared or expectant in any way. Being pregnant and having babies was what everyone was doing. We were no different. Throughout the pregnancy nothing unexpected happened. Although I did have to have a cesarean birth, it wasn’t all too uncommon; a lot of babies in the 1980’s were being born this way. My baby came out beautiful, no unsightly ‘cone’ head from passing through the birth canal, no red face, etc. She was perfect in every way with a wonderful disposition. We grew up together really. I was a young mother, learning right along with my baby.
She grew up in a small town, with small town ideas, with small town mentality. She didn’t realize there was a big world out there; her world was only where she was at the time. We exposed her to bigger things throughout her life. From plays, to theatre, the arts, music and sports. She took piano lessons, played baseball and basketball and starred in school plays. She ran for student council, she participated in school competitions, and she made her parents proud, always on the honor roll and loved by her peers and teachers.
As she entered her teen years, she became a bit like a child I didn’t know. Sometimes I would watch her sleeping and wonder, “Where did my easy going, loving daughter go? This is her body, but some alien must have come in and taken over her personality.” She was going through the typical 13 age and a bit rebellious. She and I would argue, we would yell and we would say things we shouldn’t. Underneath that exterior I knew this was my daughter, the child I had raised and this had to be a phase in her life. Ultimately we would apologize and go on. She came out of those years after a short time. She came out even better than she went in. I never thought that was possible. Those temper tantrums, those yelling fits, and that unsightly bedroom was simply a phase, I was glad and thankful she was back.
I admit throughout the life of our first-born I wished for another. A sibling for her, another daughter, or a son. Coming from a family of 5 children, I couldn’t imagine not having a brother or a sister. I wanted this for my daughter. Although she was ‘perfect’ in every way (except for that age 13!), she deserved the closeness of a sibling. But it just wasn’t God’s plan. As she entered 8, 9, 10 I resolved myself to raising an only child.
She is 18 now and I’m even more proud of her than I have ever been. She has been called of God into His service and she is actively pursuing the call. I don’t know where she will go, or who she will touch, but I know she is in her Father’s hand.
I began a couple years ago preparing for my daughters pursuit into her own life, the empty nest thing. I had no idea how God was going to help me through this ‘syndrome.’ Early in the spring of 1999 I began to feel what I had only felt one other time in my life, some 17 years before. How could this be? Why? I ignored the symptoms for some time, thinking I was overreacting to what must my mind playing tricks. My body going through some phase, surely I wasn’t pregnant. Oh, but I was. How was I going to explain this to my first-born? I wasn’t sure, but this was a path that had no u-turns, plowing ahead the best way I knew was the only road.
I remember crying for 2-days and nights. My husband holding me and consoling me. His words still ring in my ears, “It’s gonna be alright, it’s gonna be alright.” When I called my mother to ask her for words of wisdom she said “God doesn’t make mistakes.” When I told my first born of 17 years that I was expecting she simply looked into the heavens, hesitated and stated “Well, it’s got to be God, after all these years? You may be carrying a prophet, great leader, or who knows, but I know this baby has a very special calling on it’s life.” These words began my path into motherhood, again. We have a young daughter of only a few months now. She is our second born.
Our daughters are 17 ½ years apart in age. Was this our plan? No. I have to look back now and laugh at my tears, laugh at my hesitancy, and laugh at my fear. This is God’s plan for our lives. It surely wasn’t ours. This daughter too, is perfect in every way. As I watch her in her walker, running across the kitchen floor in pursuit of the stream of light from the window, I laugh. My oldest says I think everything she does is funny. I explain, no, it’s just when I think about my feelings when I found out about her, and how my life would be so empty without her, I laugh. Right along with my laughter I thank God for His wisdom and His plan for my life. I’m so glad that He is driving this car and not me, because I would have never taken this road for myself and I would have missed so much.
Our 'fork in the road' turns one in just a few days--Thank you God for His blessings on our life!
Shanna Hoskison (c) July 2000 -- Note: The above story is to be published in the new book "God Allows U-Turns" coming out early Spring 2001. www.godallowsuturns.com