It is not hard to push my buttons lately. Of all the things that seem to get me going, having people tell me that they are sure Ramona is going to survive is most likely to put me into a tizzy. I’ve been trying to figure out why this is. It shouldn’t be a big deal, I should be grateful for their warm fuzzy thoughts, right?

When we were going through infertility and our miscarriage I could always count on hearing “Don’t worry, it’ll happen” or “Don’t you know the story of Abraham and Sarah? She was like 900 years old!”. Everywhere I turned there was an anecdote about someone who was married for 20 years, had 17 miscarriages and then adopted and became pregnant with identical septuplets. As if adoption was a last-ditch, super-efficacious fertility treatment.

When I would share our story of simultaneous pregnancy and adoption, people would say, “That always happens, doesn’t it?” and I would say, “It doesn’t always happen. It doesn’t even often happen. Or frequently happen. But it does sometimes happen”. And now, when people share stories of their uncle’s guitar teacher whose son had a complex heart defect and is now the tractor pull world champ or something, I just don’t feel as cheery as I’m probably supposed to.

When I try to explain that I’m just trying to accept either outcome for Ramona, I worry that people will think I’m faithless, or a quitter, or a pessimist. I worry what they’ll think and I feel misunderstood. Because I think in some ways my outlook on Ramona’s prognosis is as optimistic as it comes: Whatever happens, if she survives or not, I believe that God is good.

And at the risk of sounding Holier Than Thou, I think that there’s a fundamental flaw with the sort of conditional optimism I’ve been encountering. You know, “God is good and Ramona surviving would be good, so God’s will for Ramona is that she survive.” The way I see it, God’s working with a lot of moving parts, is spinning a lot of plates and maybe Ramona’s fate is somehow connected to some other big picture part of God’s plan, but it only works if she dies.

I know that Ramona may survive. I hope to God she does. But I believe that God is good no matter what. That God is smarter than me. That God is working a plan for the world and I may not get to know all the details.

So I watch and pray. I pray that God’s will be done. I pray that my actions are in accordance with the big picture. I pray that I don’t “tip the hand of providence”. Do I cry out to God to save her? You bet. But not in my finer moments. In my finer moments I try and come alongside God’s will for Ramona, no matter what.

But maybe I’ve got it all wrong. So I’ve got a request. If you’ve got some insight, some major thing I’m missing here, please pipe up. I promise not to tell you your butt looks big, you get a pass (or you could comment anonymously). Otherwise I’m going to continue to accept that we just can’t know what’s in store for Ramona, except that it’s God’s will, and that it’s good.

Love, Jane.