Hope in the Dark

Seven years ago I was in a good place.  I had passed both my written and oral boards, making me a certified anesthesiologist. I had taken two more sets of echocardiography boards, allowing me to subspecialize in medicine. I had found my niche. I had three beautiful children and had just built my dream home.


Then life threw me a curve ball.


I found myself pregnant.


A fourth child didn’t fit into my plans. I had finally made it to the starting line of my medical career, and I had planned on sprinting out of the gate. I had sold every last piece of toddlerhood that remained in my house. I had gleefully given away the high chairs and Diaper Genie and was finally enjoying sleeping through the night.


I was stressed, sad, anxious, and feeling guilty for all of those emotions.


Obviously, God had a plan much bigger and better than my own.


Levi, my fourth child, was born and we all loved him immediately. Our family was complete.  While I knew Levi was part of God’s plan, I would be lying if I said that the minute he was born, all was perfect and my stress disappeared. As I took him home, I was overwhelmed with worry about how I was going to be a mom to four kids. How was I going to have time for each of them? Was I going to have to put my career on hold for the next 20 years?


The second day home from the hospital my dad stopped by. He bought me a beautiful hydrangea plant to put in the ground. My father had been the MOST excited for Levi’s arrival. My entire pregnancy he had encouraged me, celebrated his coming grandchild, and rallied everyone to get behind me.


He knew I was very overwhelmed. He told me the plant was “Levi’s plant”. He told me he wanted me to have something that would be a reminder of the blessing Levi was even when he came at a time I didn’t necessarily plan.


I can now tell you that Levi is my most laid back, easygoing and funny child. He is well adjusted. He makes all the rest of us feel at ease. He is fun loving, silly, calm, positive and a prankster. He makes our family complete. He is an equal-opportunity sibling and doesn’t take sides. He does not hold back compliments. He is the first to say he’s sorry.


I cannot imagine my life without Levi. I can’t imagine him not being in our family. He completes us. I am thankful every day that he is here. It is difficult to put into words how much I love that child.


Sometimes I let him eat cake for breakfast.


Don’t judge. I never said four kids was easy...


Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that are completely opposite of our plans. We are overwhelmed. We can’t see hope. We have no idea how our life will work out. We don’t know how we will do it.


Hang on, dear friend. I have been there.


Every year when summer comes, my hydrangea - Levi’s plant - blooms great big gorgeous flowers. They are a yearly reminder of the good that often comes from changes in our plans. I look at them and smile at how wrong I was.


Blessings come when we open our minds to different possibilities than the set plans we make for ourselves.


And don’t forget to have cake for breakfast every now and again.