But What If?

The Professor and I don’t have any kids yet.  Someday, just not yet.

As I think about someday having children, my heart is full of excitement and expectations and a thousand unspoken and spoken fears.  The “but what ifs?”

But what if when we start trying, we can’t have a baby?
But what if we have a baby with Down’s Syndrome?
But what if I have a still birth?
But what if I have conjoined twins?
But what if our child gets a horrible childhood cancer?
But what if we have a child with debilitating autism or cerebral palsy?
But what if something happens to The Professor and I have to raise a baby alone?

There are thousands of questions.

The reality is that when we have a child, no matter how perfect we think he or she is, between the ten fingers and ten toes and ringlets of blond hair, our bundle of joy will be imperfect in some way – an imperfect little person born into an imperfect world.  A world where babies are born with impairments.  A world where that perfect little angel will learn how to manipulate and disobey within months.  A world where children get terminal diseases.  A world where babies die in their mothers’ wombs.

A world where beautiful little children learning colors and shapes and how to tie their shoes are killed in their kindergarten class by a man filled with so much hurt and so much anger, he decided to make other people hurt as bad as him.

Even if we have a baby and there are no complications, the risks don’t end there.  So I guess I have two options – take the risk or hide under a rock.

It’s days like today that I remember this verse:  “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33.

Pain, imperfection, injustice – they seem to be guaranteed.  And apparently all the anxiety I can muster won’t change a thing.

It takes a smarter person than me to say why bad things happen.  All I know is that He promises he’ll win in the end.  And when Jesus faced loss – even knowing he would win – he wept and cried up to heaven.

So that’s what we will do.  We will weep and pray.  And strangest of them all, we’ll keep hoping.

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