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I Was Wrong: Confessions of an Ultrasound Junkie

June 20th, 2008

Focus Text: Psalm 19: 8 (NLT)

8 The commandments of the Lord are right,
      bringing joy to the heart.
   The commands of the Lord are clear,
      giving insight for living.


Stop and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

I need to get some things off of my chest.  Most of you who know me know that 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, a son.  Call it a hunch.  Call it intuition.  Call it . . . well, unwise.

It mattered not to us.  Boy?  Girl?  All we prayed for was a very healthy baby.  However, our “feelings” were that a boy was 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 an array of junior Tennessee football jerseys– waiting for the “son of masculinity” to grace us with his manly presence.

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

There we sat, Laura and I, 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 began to go backwards.  Laura looked at me in 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 about something is one thing; being right about it is something else altogether.  If I were to put the first part of Psalm 19: 8 in my own words, it would read something like this: “When God speaks, it’s always right!”  Well duh, right?  Sure, we may understand this concept in theory, but rarely does it cause us to feel the emotion of the next part of the verse: joy.

If God is always right, that means someone else is probably wrong.  That someone is usually me.  God’s Word is the ultrasound that peers into the very core of who we are, showing us the true nature of our condition.  In other words, He’s right every time.

That’s the center of the Christian faith, though you wouldn’t know it sometimes.  We don’t want to be wrong and often when we realize that we are, joy is not the first expression that makes its way into our hearts.  We pout and run and stumble and then pout some more– all because we so desperately want to be right.  But when we humble ourselves and acknowledge that what God speaks is the best– that it is literally the right way, independent of our feelings or our intuitions– then we can stop mourning our “wrongness” and start rejoicing in His “rightness.”  

I was glad that I found out 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 pre-purchased boy bedding?  Indeed.  But did joy flood my heart when I considered how precious my little princess was to me?  If I could verbalize my happiness, I would.

His Word is right.  The next part of the verse says that it is also “clear.”  That fateful day at the doctor’s office, I viewed scribbly lines across a screen that supposedly were 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.  But Psalm 19 says that His Word is 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 seeing in God’s Word.  That person is the Holy Spirit.  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)” that you need to walk in “right” way.

So take it from a man of chronic “wrongness,” it’s not so bad.  In fact, when God’s right, I’m happy.  I don’t want to miss any little treasures that are sleeping just below the surface. 


Laura Driver
June 20th, 2008 at 2:44 pm

I am so glad the ways of the Lord are always right! It gives us strength when we have no where else to go. The Word is always concrete-always truth. I heard a testimony recently from a former Nazi Youth brigade leader who later gave her heart to the Lord after WW II-she stated ” I had never before understand that I could be so completely CERTAIN of something and be completely WRONG” Being certain doesn’t always make us right, but thankfully we have the TRUTH-which will always set us on the right path!

Josh Giles
June 20th, 2008 at 2:48 pm

I think that this scripture, and your story, lead into self-forgivness. Like you said, you could have cried and had a pity party, but the fact is, you have a baby on the way. As much as you wanted to get those golf clubs, and get those clothes, you have to stop living in the past. Also, I think we have to be more open minded to the word. You can’t be set on a scripture, and getting out of it only what you want.(having a boy.) You have to listen to what God is telling you.(ultrasound.)
You had awesome illustrations PJ.
I love you bro.

Evan Thon
June 20th, 2008 at 3:06 pm

We all know God is and always will be right….. Whats sad is that we, being human, are either scared of that truth from God or just to hard headed to listen. (guilty as charged)

June 20th, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Awesome illustration man. You are blessed with a God gift.

On a side note… you should be excited for your baby girl. Little girls always (unfortunately for Moms) love their Daddy the best! 🙂

Love you brother! Are we still on for the 24th?

Lesley Bringhurst
June 20th, 2008 at 5:48 pm

I like this. Once again this is reassuring to me that I am still on the right track with all these changes I made after camp. It explains how emotionally I have been up & down this past week yet deep down I am so so happy. It’s cause God is taking care of me. He is filling me up & making my pain pour out with those tears so that when I am done, it’s just me & him again. Great illustrations, by the way!

April Miller
June 20th, 2008 at 5:53 pm

…lol…Congratulations on the announcement of a girl! I am so happy for you and your wife! The first one will be a girl, but that means that the next 2 will be boys. …lol…you can still make me laugh. This is going in my “favorites” folder. On another note, I just wanted to say thanks…i needed to read this today.
Much love,

June 20th, 2008 at 10:36 pm

I love your writings!! It showed me that you need to be grateful. like God has given us so much and we just need to trust him and be happy. Because He is God and we are not. And I agree 100 & on what Giles said “. You can’t be set on a scripture, and getting out of it only what you want.(having a boy.) You have to listen to what God is telling you.(ultrasound.)”

Keep posting


Kennah Mathews
June 21st, 2008 at 2:38 am

I have always been told, ” God is always right..” That statement has always annoyed me so much, because i knew that it REALLY WAS the truth but most of the time it was not what i wanted! But isn’t it funny when I am on the same page with God and want the same thing and then i’m ok for whatever he has in store. BUT only when convenient with me. My time is not God’s time. God does not run on “Kennah time” . It is hard to take that in though because I can’t see the big picture and know that further on down the road, it will be in my best interest to have listened to my Father. My favorite verse is Jer 29:11 which talks about how God has a plan and its not to harm us but to give hope and a future. and that is the truth. HE IS ALWAYS RIGHT. (we just need to let go of stubborness)

Janet Henry
June 21st, 2008 at 4:25 pm

You know what is really cool about God is that he is not “required” to give us those little glimpses into the future. But…. because he loves us so much and we are his children he wants to give us our heart’s desire. I also appreciate that he does not always answer prayers the way I want them to be answered but rather according to His will. I am finding that His will really is better then anything I could ever think or imagine for my life no matter how painful the process. He promises during those times that His grace is sufficient.

Chloe Ko
June 21st, 2008 at 9:12 pm

Pretty Amazing. I love that Scripture and I love your take on it too.

Just like Kennah said, I’ve always been told God is right. So if God is always right then you can’t really argue with Him. Thats what bugs me. I’m a pretty good arguer and I’m usually the winner too, but thats not with God thats with people. So when I lose to anyone I act stupid and pout like a baby. But, we need to be happy and excited when were wrong and God’s right. We are going to be wrong and we better get used to it. It’s best to go with the flo when dealing with something God’s saying/doing :]

Stay “goo goo for God” people.. haha.

~Chloe Ko

seth wharton
June 22nd, 2008 at 2:46 am

wow. this really helped me, i always will read the bible, well when i read it and just do it to do it. i wont actually analyze what it’s literal meaning is, but with the holy spirit i’m able to get something out of what i’m reading and it doesn’t feel like i’m not getting anything out of it anymore.

June 22nd, 2008 at 5:35 am

wow. i am so glad He is right because i get so much wrong. God’s way is always ten times better than anything i could ever plan… so i guess its good that im wrong… it causes me to depend on Him. i wouldn’t want any way other than HIS WAY.
just amazing.

Rachel G.
June 22nd, 2008 at 1:14 pm

I like this one. Haha.
No really, I do. It totally makes sense to me.
I love how God surprises us. :]
Although sometimes I get frustrated when I am wrong, His way is always wayyy better than my 13 year old way.
That’s all I have to say because I have to go get ready for church. :]

OH! And I love the way you write.

Peace, Love, and Cheese. :]]

Lauren Duke
June 23rd, 2008 at 3:53 am

OK, now I was getting a lot out of this. It was a cool illustration. But I have to say, after reading Seth Wharton’s comment, I was ready to get saved all over again. He just has a way with words.

Anywho, I wrote out this long comment but I deleted it cause I didn’t like it. So now I’m officially going with…”You said it all John. You said it all.”

Audrey Jackson
June 23rd, 2008 at 11:31 pm

I read this when you first posted it, but I was walking today just thinking about some things and this verse popped into my head over and over throughout my walk. “The ways of the Lord are right. The ways of the Lord are true.” (After coming back and reading this again, I realized my mind changed some words around a bit. lol) But it just seemed like the perfect explanation to some things I had been mulling over and praying about. The commands of the Lord ARE right. So if he asks me to do something, I KNOW that it’s right even when I think something else would be better. My Bible has the word “is” in italics. “The way of the Lord IS right, rejoicing the heart.” “The way of the Lord IS pure, enlightening the eyes.” I love this last part about the eyes because so often it isn’t until we realize that God IS right and always will be right, that our eyes are opened and we see everything in a new light. I read a quote the other day- “What God gives in answer to our prayers will always be the thing we most urgently need, and it will always be sufficient.” -Elizabeth Elliot. It just reminded me once again that God is right and he will provide for me. His motives are pure:only wanting what is best for ME!! 🙂


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