The endless parade of doctors and nurses, chilling beeps from monitors, and IV bags forcing countless medications through his veins invaded my soul and morphed into fear. My husband’s extended stay in the ICU provided countless opportunities for jumping to conclusions-conclusions about his health, recovery, and our future. And jumping to conclusions wasn’t taking me to a happy place. Fear is like that.
It made me think of Joseph (Genesis 37-47). I relate to the misery this cast of characters created for themselves. They were just like me - prone to jumping to conclusions. Usually the wrong ones.
Fueled by jealousy, Joseph’s brothers conspired to sell him into slavery. He was taken to Egypt where he became Pharaoh’s trusted advisor, landed in prison for thwarting the sexual advances of Pharaoh’s wife, accurately interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams and implemented a plan to save Egypt and the surrounding countries from famine. Enter his brothers, twenty years later, the ones who sold him into slavery and convinced their father, Jacob, that he was dead. Ten of them travelled to Egypt to buy grain. Although they did not recognize Joseph, he knew them, and devised a plan to bring his younger brother, Benjamin, Jacob and Jacob’s household to Egypt. But the family drama was riddled with jumping to conclusions. For example:
So why are we quick to jump to conclusions? I’m not sure. But what typically follows is what gets us in trouble…acting on our conclusions as if they were true. And, until proven otherwise, that’s usually what happens.
Think about the child that has been your greatest challenge. What do you think when you find something in their back pack that doesn’t belong to them? Or you hear another crazy-lie that can’t possibly be true? Or you answer one more phone call from the principal? Do you jump to conclusions about what people might think, your child’s future, or what kind of a mother you believe that makes you?
Jumping to conclusions, and acting like they are true, creates needless guilt, fear and worry for many adoptive moms. Here are some thoughts to help you tame that impulse: