It’s when a conversation is going along like this —
I say, Oh? You have three children? That’s wonderful! How old are they?
And the mother responds, Susy and Sally are 15 and 13, and Joey is just 5. *uncomfortable laugh* Yeah, he was our little accident!
Or I say to an old friend, Your granddaughter is beautiful!
And the woman answers in a quiet voice, Yeah, thanks. Our daughter isn’t married. She got pregnant in high school. Our granddaughter was sort of an accident.
Maybe you’ve said this or something like this. I really do try not to judge you. Really. But it’s hard for me. Because my heart senses the damage your words are doing. I can hear the pick-axe of your words and underlying attitude chipping away at the identity and security and self-confidence of your child.
Or maybe you’ve never said those words. Maybe you are the child conceived before the wedding vows were said. Maybe you sense that your birth was a total surprise. Maybe the woman who birthed you was so surprised she couldn’t even raise you. The circumstances of your conception were certainly not the well-scripted ideal. So you feel like an accident. Like your whole life carries this banner of Oops!
But I want you to hear something. If you are the parent who has fallen into the habit of describing your child as an accident or if you have been living under the weight of this Oops! label, I want you to let this truth penetrate your mind and seep into your heart.
There are no accidental lives. Sure, some pregnancies are a surprise to us. Some babies are unplanned by human minds and schedules. But nobody is a complete surprise. No person is an accident.
The Psalmist sang out, Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God – you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration – what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; you know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.
The God of the universe created you. Your conception, your beginning, was not hidden from Him. He was not surprised. You didn’t accidentally sneak into this world, escaping notice of the God Most High. No, He Himself lovingly formed you.
Psalm 119 assures us God’s hands made us and formed us. Psalm 100 reminds us God made us, not we ourselves. Paul wrote to the Ephesians that we are God’s workmanship. We are His handiwork.
The circumstances of your conception or of your child’s conception may not have been filled with love and closeness and hope for life. But the God of all love, the God of life and hope and mercy formed your tiny body into existence. He lovingly knit together your child. God is an expert at making something beautiful out of the hard stuff in life. Creating beauty from ashes is His specialty. Maybe your life is His handiwork of beauty from the midst of despair or fear or confusion or pain.
You, dear one, are not an accident. You were planned and lovingly formed by a God who knows all about you and loves you deeply. You were created to do good and glorify Him. God in Heaven created you with good plans for you, plans to give you hope and a future. No, you may have been a surprise to the people around you; but you were not a surprise to God. Your life is not an accident. You were planned for and known and loved and fashioned by the Great Creator Himself.
Take down that banner of Oops! that casts a shadow over your life. God, the Lover of your soul, hangs His banner of love over you. This banner declares Formed By God, Knit Together By His Loving Hand, Created with Good Plans for a Future, God’s Very Own Handiwork.
*Psalm 139:13-16, Ephesians 2:10, Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 100:3, Psalm 119:73, Isaiah 61:3, Song of Songs 2:4