Write about anything.
Recently a friend was sharing a story about her life and family. She mentioned that when she was younger she never imagined getting married and having kids, let alone four of them. At some point she said that she figures its “what God wanted” for her and that is how she ended up where she is now.
As someone that always imagined getting married and having kids, ideally four of them (but I was open to more), it was bittersweet for me to listen to her story, as in some ways she has the life I dreamed of. As I have shared here, for the most part I have made peace with how my life has played out so far. I feel blessed and lucky to be married to my husband and have two incredible living children and another very special angel watching over us.
However, what strikes me most about all of this is that my friend believes that God “wants” certain things for us.
I respect and appreciate my friend’s perspective, as I used to think that way too. I do believe that God wants us to be happy, to make the most of the gifts we have been given, as well as to love and care for others. But I have trouble embracing the idea that God wants very specific things for us, such as how many children we will be able to have.
I get that if you have not experienced infertility or the death of a child that it may be easier to buy into this way of thinking. In some ways it is safe and makes things less complicated. However, after my own personal experience, it just doesn’t work for or make sense to me.
I used to think that God has a grand plan for all of us, and especially me, but I am not so sure anymore. Though I no longer believe that everything happens for a reason, I think that we can try to find and/or make something good come from every challenge and trial we are faced with in life.
I try not to judge those who embrace this kind of theology, as I was right there with them, not very long ago. Whenever something didn’t go as I hoped, dreamed or planned that it would, I would console myself with “it must not have been part of God’s plan for me and my life. If I am patient, eventually I will find out the reason why this happened (or didn’t happen).”
I realize that we will likely never truly know “what God wants” for us until we die. At least that is what I believe. I am in no hurry to get there and find out, but when my time comes, it is one of the questions that I look forward to hopefully finding the answer to in the afterlife.
The older I get and the more life experience I have, the harder I find it to reconcile some of the things I used to believe about how and why things happen the way they do. Though I wish I had the answers, I am getting better at learning to accept and make peace with the idea that I don’t and will probably never have them in this lifetime.
I do believe in God and have a strong faith, but what that means to me has evolved over the years and I think that is not unusual for adults, especially those who have dealt with infertility, pregnancy/neonatal loss and/or other life experiences that have challenged and influenced the way we think about God’s will for us.
Now that I have shared my take on “what God wants,” I am genuinely curious what you think and would love for you to share your thoughts, ideas and beliefs on this matter.
If you believe in God, what do you believe “God wants” for us? For you? For your family?
Do you believe that God has a plan? That everything happens for a reason?
This post originally appeared on my blog in February 2012.
Kathy Benson is a bereaved and blessed mom, writer and group fitness instructor trying to live mindfully and find joy in the journey after dealing with secondary infertility and loss for five years. She lives in Chicago, Illinois with her husband and two living children.