Friday, April 3, 2009

My roommate Emily and I sort of laughed it off when we heard the announcement in church last summer. "We are in desperate need of Sunday school teachers. Requires very little time commitment and a whole lot of fun!" We sat there half smiling and nervously nudging each other. 'We couldn't...we shouldn't...well....maybe?" Teaching a class of 8th graders has been a lot of fun, but it has also been fairly challenging. These kids ask us tough questions that nobody really knows the answer to. "What happens when we get to heaven?" "How do we know which religion is the right one?" And my personal fav, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" Hmmm. "Why do bad things happen to good people?" I remember this question going through my head repeatedly when I found out I was pregnant. "Why me?" I thought about all the people I knew who were sexually active, many of whom didn't use protection and had multiple partners. In my mind, I contrasted my situation with theirs. Here I was, a genuinely good Catholic girl who was in a committed, long-term relationship of one year, had always used protection, and could count the number of times I engaged in that type of "activity" on one hand. One hand. Sure, I meandered off the straight and narrow path once or twice, but did this slight error in judgment warrant me having to lose everything? I didn't think so, and I stayed mad for a long time. During the past few weeks, I slowly began piecing together a series of "coincidences." I thought about the things that happened to get me where I am today. I remembered that during my senior year of high school, I had given a passionate speech opposing abortion to the entire school right before the 2004 Presidential debate. It was right after school on that exact same day that I found out I was pregnant. I don't think I was a very likely candidate to experience an unplanned pregnancy in the first place. The odds were stacked so high against me and I thought that I had done everything the right way. Seriously, less than 5 times? Are you kidding me? That never happens. I thought back to the speech I gave. Was it just a coincidence that I happened to find out about my pregnancy on the exact same day? Or was it something more--an opportunity to show others a little something about standing up for what you believe in and practicing what you preach. Don and De usually kept their desire to adopt pretty "hush, hush." When they randomly met Robbie's parents at a Christmas party in 2004, they asked Don and De why they didn't have children. They decided to open up and be honest about it. They didn't have to, but for one reason or another, they felt comfortable enough to disclose that personal information with their new acquaintances. Mr. Leonard offered to notify his sister-in-law in Pennsylvania, who is an Ob/Gyn who has placed many babies in successful adoptions, that De and Don were looking to adopt. Less than two months later, Don and De find out that Amy and Robbie are having a baby. More coincidences. De and I are almost exactly the same height. Don and I both have light hair and bright blue eyes. De and Robbie both have dark brown hair and pretty brown eyes that are squinty when they smile. My family and De's family are both pretty quiet and reserved. Don's family and Robbie's family are larger and louder. It turns out that Robbie would go on to play Division I football at NC State, the same school Don graduated from and has lifetime rights and season tickets. You want more? De and Deanna have the same blood type. Pretty crazy, huh? So back to the question, why do bad things happen to good people? Looking back at my experiences, I stumbled upon an answer that I was satisfied with. This actually wasn't a bad thing at all. In fact, it was the best thing that has ever happened to me. But I didn't realize it until now. I spent so much time being angry and questioning that I never really saw that God had a plan for me. I've come to find that He knew exactly what He was doing all along. So, God doesn't make bad things happen to good people. Everything we are faced with, whether good or bad, happens for a reason; it's all just a test of our trust and faith in Him. Perhaps God has something greater in store for us than we could ever possibly imagine for ourselves. Each challenge is an opportunity for us to take our seemingly impossible situations and turn them into positive examples for others to learn from. I may not have all of the answers for my 8th graders, but drawing from my past experiences has helped me to try and find answers for those though questions. And if I still don't know the answer? "Why don't you ask Miss Emily?" I tell them :)


Post a Comment