Sliding Doors

A couple of years ago we were sitting in Bible Study when one of our members walked in crying. She’d just received some devastating news about a close family member, so our study was put aside for the day while we talked it through. We talked about many things, including why bad things happen to such good people, and what happens with believers when their faith is shaken by horrible circumstances.

The conversation has never left me. As we talked about life and death and the unknown future before all of us, my mind kept going to that Gwyneth Paltrow movie Sliding Doors. Do you remember it? The movie takes place on two timelines. In one timeline, she narrowly makes the train home and discovers that her boyfriend is having an affair. In the other timeline, she misses the train and remains in the dark, but they eventually break up anyway. The point is that this major life event hinged on this tiny circumstance.

I think what I took from the movie, other than Gwynie’s awesome haircut way back then, was that we can never know, as human beings living in the present tense, how each small circumstance will play into the grand design of our lives.  Bad things can happen and miraculously, after the struggle, our lives change for the better. We can get what we’ve always thought we wanted, only to realize that it’s not quite what we wanted after all.

As humans, we tend to see only what is in front of us: the doors opening, the doors closing. What we can’t see– what we’re not designed to see— is the Master Plan, the end of our timeline. When all of our doors have opened and closed– on joys and happiness, losses and sorrow, then, I believe, every small circumstance will make sense.

***

We’re having another baby.

Many of you already know this, but I’m not sure why I have held back telling the blog. Maybe because I was afraid of loss, or because we’ve witnessed so much loss among our friends in our years as a young family, and celebrating our news with a big announcement just didn’t seem like the thing to do this time. We had certainly planned a third baby, but had not planned a third baby this year, so I’m also afraid of what’s to come in our house, which will soon become a clown car, and with our lives as parents soon to be outnumbered and possibly out-willed. Sometimes I also feel like I don’t deserve such a blessing. I mean, really.

I’m not sure why we’ve been blessed this way when people we love are suffering. If I’m honest, I know that tomorrow it could be me who is suffering. Nothing is promised to me. Today the possibility of this new addition to our family is wide open. Tomorrow, who knows?

What I do know is that if life were about what we deserved, bad things wouldn’t happen to good people, and the end reward for this life would be the result of work, work, work instead of about waiting and having faith that God is orchestrating our sliding doors in a way that would blow our human minds.

So that is what I am doing. I’m waiting. I’m having faith that the doors opening and closing around me are part of a plan that my little mind needs not understand.

But seriously, if one of those open doors contained a baby name that is not Other Baby Wedekind, that would be cool, too.

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