I’m a planner.
Before Chance, I was never a planner. I was more of a go-with-the-flow, go-wherever-and-whenever-it-makes-you-happy kind of person. I’d pack the day of the trip, no list needed. I was typically late for things for dumb reasons, like realizing at the last minute that my gas tank was empty.
Chance forced me to be a planner. I had to plan ahead, plan back-up plans, plan sideways plans, because we never knew if Chance would be sick, hospitalized, spew all over the place, his feeding pump may leak, one of us may yank out his g-tube button (that was me, more than once)- and of course, we still had his twin sister and teenage brother to contend with on top of his unpredictable behaviors (we called his behaviors “Chancisms”).
Last weekend, hubby and I met some friends at the Fraternal Order of Eagles 3903 in Jeffersontown. Little did I know, this little meeting-up for a bit of music and cocktails was all a ploy our friend Jessica had orchestrated to get us there for a surprise donation to Heart of Chance Toy Chest. Poor Jessica had a few hiccups in her plan, but the biggest was when the Treasurer let the cat out of the bag while I was sitting right there. Not realizing it was me sitting next to her, he loudly (to talk over the music) inquired how to address the check for “Heart of Chance” then proceeds to ask, “Is she here yet?” I was torn between pretending I didn’t hear and processing what I did hear. So, I smiled and waved and Jess sighed and pointed my way, unamused, “She’s right there.”
Jessica’s surprise didn’t quite go as planned for her, though in the end Heart of Chance received a generous donation from an amazing group of people. The donation will make a huge impact on our spring project of bringing joy to children with cancer. While Jess fussed and apologized for the hiccups, my response was that the biggest blessings of my life did not go as planned.
Now, why is that?
I’ve told you I’m a planner. I’m not the type of planner whose world falls apart when the plans fall apart though. Chance taught me to plan for the unexpected. With that, he taught me that I couldn’t waste energy falling apart when life went crazy. I was probably going to need that energy for more Chancisms.
Sean and I planned for a baby. You can’t plan any more for a baby than financially, emotionally, and physically enduring fertility treatments. We didn’t plan for twins. And certainly didn’t plan for one of our babies to be born missing the left side of his heart. Then we planned for heart surgeries, but we didn’t plan for a feeding tube, emergency surgery to repair bowel perforation, and countless other procedures and hospital stays.
You know what was the hardest, aside from the obvious of watching your baby suffer? The hardest of this journey was contending with the f
act that WE were NOT in control. Our child was born with half a heart and while we could plan all of these treatments and surgeries, with the best doctors in the state, we were not in control and could not plan the outcome. The outcome of every surgical procedure was not in our hands. It wasn’t even in the surgeon’s hands.
First we had to realize and admit that we were not in control. That is a terrifying feeling, especially when it comes to the life of your child.
Then, we had to realize who IS in control.
God is in control. His plan is greater than any plan I could ever dream of coming up with. His plans don’t always include sunshine and rainbows in our lives. We certainly experienced that! Yet, here we are, following his plan. I 100% KNOW that Heart of Chance Toy Chest is God’s plan and this organization unfolds the way God wants.
We are humbled and grateful for all who join us in our mission of honoring God’s command to love one another, by bringing joy to children, as they journey through their medical battles.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.” - Proverbs 3:5-6