My husband. Isn't he dreamy? This picture was given to me affixed to a large wooden pallet for our 1 year dating anniversary. He took it himself and made it quite large and gifted his girlfriend with his handsomeness! :)
Chris preached at our church this last Sunday. He gave examples from our own family so I had no choice but to be hit with it. He talked about Mary having her life all planned out and that angel coming and plopping those plans on their head (my paraphrase). She was engaged to be married and with that comes plans and dreams and thoughts of how the rest of your life will go. And then it was changed.
We all do this, don't we? We dream of and plan what type of person we'll marry, how many years we'll wait to have kids, then how many kids we'll have, what their names will be, how far apart we'll space them so that it all fits together just right in this "ideal" sort of way.
Chris and I thought two years apart was good spacing for our kids. So we figured out how old E was and how long our adoption process would probably take and how old our next child would probably be when we got him/her.
And then that angel showed up. We got J-Man who is six months younger than E. Six months. It's like twins. But it's not like twins. It's this strange, crazy, beautiful, hard thing to figure out. It's not what we planned. Those boys are almost the same height. They can wear each others clothes and shoes, for the most part. They're both in the terrible twos at the same time. We had to buy two little potties because there was too much fighting over the one. Did I mention they're both in the terrible twos right now? We're tired!
A common fit
I bet Mary felt that way, too. Maybe. Wouldn't this just be so much easier MY way?
And it would.
BUT I wouldn't trade J-Man for anything in the world. I wouldn't take a different child into our family just because it would be easier on us. I love that boy with all my heart. And I'm sure Mary wouldn't have traded Jesus for any child in the world, for a child who wasn't the Son of God, who wasn't crucified at such a young age, who didn't know everything there was to know (that would be a hard child to raise, don't you think!?).
At the end of each day, here's the perhaps brutal truth: We aren't here to see our plans come to fruition or to be comfortable or to have it easy or even to be happy, really. We have this unspeakable joy because the Lord gives us that, but we aren't here to simply enjoy ourselves. We're here to bring glory to God, to help others, to share love and the good news of salvation with everyone.
God's plans for us are hard. They take a lot of grace to get through. And sometimes all you can do is just find the beauty in that grace and continue to surrender to Him and His plans and however He wants to use you. You have to fight the good fight no matter how tired you are. You have to finish the race.
So let's keep on running, ya'll. Just like Mary, let's keep the faith, keep going, finish this thing. For at the end lies such a great reward if we do not give up.