A Perfect Father Who Always Knows Best
BY: KENDRA CAGLE
For as long as I can remember, I wanted a family. I grew up as an only child, and I was determined to give my kids plenty of siblings, a pristine home, and a golden retriever just like Comet from "Full House." I was so certain this dream fit who I was — and I held onto it into adulthood.
Fast forward to my late 20s, and I'm ready to have my perfect little picture. Fairly quickly, God let me know my plans weren't His.
Fertility issues are complete jerks. They take your hopes and dreams, stomp on them, and then they mock you for not being able to do something that the majority of the female population have absolutely no problem doing. You feel like a failure. Why does something so natural have to be so difficult? I felt so alone, and I really wondered if I was ever going to become a mother.
Nearly a year and a half into this journey, God answered our prayers and we finally felt the dream could really happen. It might have been tough, but everything was starting to work out. However, sadly, our first little baby didn't want to stray too far from heaven, and they went back to be with Jesus before we even met them.
Talk about a kick in the gut and a nuclear blow to my faith. How could God give me this baby just to take them away? Once again, and even more so, I felt completely alone. Mourning someone you never met is a devastating and surreal experience. In the emergency room, I looked at my husband and pled, "How do you come back from this?" I didn't know. I didn't understand the depth of the pain I felt — and the sense of loss will always be with me.
In this dark time, only weeks after heartbreak, we heard a new heartbeat. We were terrified and still hurting, but God had given us another chance at parenthood. I couldn't help keeping the excitement low as fear came so easily. Nevertheless, God began to heal my heart through our little son. With every move, I felt the world get a little brighter. God hadn't left me or forgotten my dream.
In order to fit the general theme of my road to being a mom, my son's birth was a traumatic one. We both could have died, but God had different plans. Though worse for wear, I and my little boy made it out OK. The dream was still alive but the path God had taken me on had changed things.
Looking into my little boy's face, I didn't need that perfect dream anymore. I had my family. God had given me and my husband this little boy to love, and, if I had nothing else, that would be enough. The pressure for perfection just faded away as reality took hold. This real-life wasn't perfect, but we had fought for it together. We hurt and we suffered, but we came out so much stronger. My husband and I had pulled closer to each other. Our loss had made us even more aware of the blessing of our son's life. All of these setbacks that had kept me from that childhood dream, had just kept me from a life that wasn't meant for me.
Without the hard times, I wouldn't be this woman who I'm actually really proud to be. The fact God trusted me with this child and brought us through so much made me more confident in the person God created me to be. The worst moments of my life made me the best version of myself.
So, what happens when life doesn't turn out anything like you planned? How do you react when all of the perfect images you created of your family get pushed out of the way by imperfect reality? Well, for me, I had to learn that sometimes the hard and the heartbreaking are far better than a perfect dream. A life meant for you, even with its trials, is so much more full and meaningful than any dream could ever be.
Kendra is a loving wife, tired mom, and lifelong preacher's kid. She currently resides with her family, 2 cats, and 1 dog in a little blue house in Oklahoma.