Chronicles of Sadie

I Was Wrong! Confessions of an Ultrasound Junkie

Sadie's 2nd Ultrasound

I really need to get some things off of my chest. Very soon my life will be completely transformed by the arrival of my first child, Sadie. What you may not know is that at one time, I was solidly confident (along with my wife and our doctor) that my daughter was in fact, going to be a son. Call it a hunch. Call it intuition.

Call it—well, unwise.

It mattered not to us. Boy. Girl. Peanut—which was my best guess after viewing the images produced from all the early ultrasounds. My initial list of baby names included George Washington Carver Driver, a shout out to all peanut butter fans. But in all seriousness and as cliche as it may sound, we really just prayed for a very healthy baby.

Yet my “feelings” were that a little rambunctious boy was well on his way to our house. We were so inclined to this opinion that Laura even purchased some boy baby bedding on clearance—just in case. I stood poised with blue paint buckets, miniature golf clubs, and a full wardrobe of junior University of Tennessee football jerseys–waiting for the “son of masculinity” to grace us with his manly presence.

One word single-handedly changed the course of my thinking. One word derailed my premature dreams of adolescent shaving lessons and NFL championships. One word: ultrasound.

Sadie's 2nd Ultrasound (2)

There Laura and I sat, staring at the screen as the technician began to probe for confirmation. Then it happened! ”Well, she’s definitely a girl.” A long, awkward silence settled in like morning fog in the Smokies. Crickets chirped in the background. The second hand on the clock slowly and inexplicably began to rotate backwards. Laura looked at me in befuddled amazement and I was forced to utter the dreaded words that so seemingly seldom pass over the threshold of my lips: “I was—gulp—wrong!”

Being certain is one thing; being right is something else altogether. How my wife can attest to this in my life! Psalm 19: 8 (NLT) says, The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living.” If I were to put the first part of this verse into my own words, it would read something like this: “When God speaks, it’s always right.” I know, doesn’t sound like rocket science. But trust me, it is not just blind-faith-speak for the weak-minded. As still waters run deep, simple truths cut even deeper.

Every viewpoint has a counterpoint. If God is always right, then conversely someone else must always be wrong. That someone is usually me. When I have found this scenario to be true in my own life, I must confess that rarely has it rendered in me the emotion mentioned in the next part of the verse: joy. Hey, come on! What sort of crazy person enjoys finding out they are in error?

I suppose God is calling me to craziness- and in my case, he picked someone already halfway there. At any rate, he is right, even if that means I am wrong. And this does not have to pickpocket my joy.

The voice of God is an ultrasound. It peers past our external selves and into the very core of who we are, showing us the true nature of our condition. And his report of what he sees is right every time. That is the center of faith, though we often mask it with our modern proclivities to proclaim our own ways supreme. We do not want to be wrong and usually when we realize that we are, joy is not the first expression that emerges from our hearts. We pout. We run away. We stumble. Then we pout some more—and all because we so desperately want to be right.

But if I can humble myself and acknowledge that what God speaks is the best–that it is literally the right way independent of my feelings or intuitions—then I can stop mourning my “wrongness” and start rejoicing in his “rightness.”

I was glad I discovered the truth that day in the examination room. Otherwise, I would have spent nine months preparing for the wrong little person to enter my house. Did it surprise me? Absolutely. Did I mourn the money spent on the pre-purchased boy bedding? Indeed. But did joy flood my heart when I considered how precious my little princess would be to me?

If I could verbalize my happiness, I would.

His voice—yes, his words—are right. The next part of the verse says they are also “clear.” That fateful day at the doctor’s office, I viewed a screen with scribbly lines that were supposedly the outlines of my child’s little body. In all honestly, at first glance I might as well have been trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics. That may be how you feel when you open up the Bible to read God’s voice.

But Psalm 19 says that his words are clear? Hmmm, how is that possible?

The difference-maker for me was the ultrasound technician. She began to point out—literally to clear up—what we were seeing on the screen. At that moment, suddenly the scribbly lines transformed into my baby! It was incredible!

In our lives, we also need a “technician” to help us understand what we are hearing from God’s voice–that guide is referred to as our Comforter. As Jesus said in John 14:26, the Holy Spirit “will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” In other words, it will make a lot more sense when he opens up your understanding, thus giving you the “insight for living (Psalm 19: 8b)” you need to walk the “right” way. Remember that our course correction is actually the work of a Comforter, not a condemner. Correction and comfort together? Indeed. As mysterious as the miracle of childbirth.

So take it from a man of chronic “wrongness,” it does not have to be so bad. In fact, I have found when God’s right, I’m way more happy with the result.

At the end of the day, I just really don’t want to inadvertently miss any little treasures sleeping just below the surface. For a treasure like this, I will gladly be wrong everyday.