Monday, August 9, 2010

There are no guarantees...

This might be a doozy of a post, but my mind is thinking about this stuff right now...

At church yesterday morning, our pastor spoke on parenting. He called it 'Mythbusters: Godly homes produce Godly children.' It was basically speaking on how there are no promises that just because you raise your children in a certain way they will chose to follow Jesus. Good parents sometimes have hard kids that turn out not following Jesus, making poor life choices, etc. And sometimes bad parents have great kids who end up loving Jesus later in life and having great families of their own.

And all of this got me thinking. You can try to control things as much as possible, do all the 'right' things, but sometimes there are just no guarantees in life.

Take for instance, my sweet friend Brooke. She's phenomenal. They were (and still are!) some of our most cherished friends while we lived in Georgia. I don't think she would mind me sharing this because she talks about it freely on her blog, but they're pregnant right now but her baby boy has a fatal birth defect. He can live inside of her womb, but as soon as he is born they know that he is not going to make it.

Seriously? It's heartbreaking and doesn't make sense. As she shared the other day, as soon as she found out she was pregnant, she took prenatal vitamins, she ate healthy, works out... did everything 'right'. They're now looking at adopting in Africa- kids who are healthy and living probably despite not having prenatal vitamins/health care/clean water/etc.

Also, take my friend Kelsey- also a sweet friend from our time in Georgia. She and her husband Chris came to Fort Benning for a years' worth of training and they were in our small group from church. He went to West Point, they were strong believers, newly married, a great great couple. He has been in Afghanistan for the last year or so and we recently found out that he got killed. Again... Seriously? He was one of the good guys. Like, really solid, amazing man, great husband kind of good guys. Kelsey is now a 23-year-old widow. It doesn't make sense.

You can be an amazing parent and just have a tough kid. You can do all of the right stuff while pregnant and still lose a baby. You can marry a phenomenal man but still lose him so much earlier than you were anticipating. There just are no guarantees in life.

And this sometimes makes me want to hole myself up. Never have kids in case I would have to say goodbye to early. Not let Lane go anywhere without me in case something happens. Try to protect myself from the (potential) pain.

But. I would lose out on too much. And Jesus calls us to hope. And trust. Believe that this isn't all there is. Show others what it is like to love a good God who is unchanging despite what life looks like and who loves us so much. It's a journey, for sure.

So that's what's on my mind today... sorry if I'm a Debbie Downer- I'll try to not be like this everyday. :) Makes me excited to hang out in heaven someday.


  1. What a wonderful sermon that must have been. It is such a misconception that parents must have done something wrong when their children go astray and that isn't the case at all. It's about free will. My heart goes out to your friends. Thank you for sharing their stories. I think that your friend Brooke looking into adopting in Africa is wonderful. It sounds like they are trying to turn something heartbreaking into something positive.

  2. Oh, great post! Thank you! I have had to reconcile this reality in my thinking many times! Not that I have had great tragedies...but I can remember being singles into my 30s, thinking I had tried to do it all right and still there were no guarantees on anything - and God doesn't owe me. He loves me and has a good plan...but it is HIS plan. He doesn't promise the Christian version of the "American Dream." Hard reality.

    But life gets easier once you swallow it and accept that reality. Then God's blessings become gifts instead of something we cling to and try to control. THANK YOU!!! for this great post!

  3. This is a great post indeed! Its not so much as a debbie downer type of post but to me its more of a reality check.. I'm only 18 years old and throughout my life at such an early age I have experienced more than the average teenager could handle. One would think that after the death of my mother at 7 years old and the abandonment of my father, I would be the first to know that there are no guarentees in this life of ours. Yet I find it sad that I am continuously trying to find these guarentees regardless, its almost like I'm setting myself up for failure or false hopes and disappointments. But like you all have said, God does have a special plan and everything does happen for a reason because if not then I could honestly say I wouldn't be where I live now in such a great home and 2 weeks away from going to college.

    Accepting that there aren't guarentees is pretty hard. I think about it all the time as I'm reminded of it everyday as I hear about friends passing away and losing loved ones or even just breaking up with their girlfriends. But as we experience these hardships we learn and grow stronger because of them. Having faith in God and his plans for me has made me the person I am today and with trust in Him, I know that my life is in good hands.