Here I am 10 years into this parenting gig- part of me wanting it all back, part of me just glad to have survived.
Before we were married Michael and I went to premarital counseling. On one visit the counselor asked us to write a 5 and 10yr goal for our marriage. We wrote the American dream; work, save, buy house, baby on the way at the end of 5 years, work, save, another baby, more savings by 10yrs. We also wrote of our spiritual ambitions for ourselves as a couple, our desire for growth, and our hope to do ministry together.
Our lives have never looked anything like our 5 or 10yr plan.
"Many are the plans of a man's heart,
but it is God who determines his steps."
Noah joined Michael and I 19 months after we married. I wasn't one of those new moms that enjoyed every minute. Becoming a mother changed everything before I was ready for change. I was 24, admiring the independence of my single friends. I was not ready to wear maternity clothes, to gain 63lbs, for stretch marks, to drive a station wagon, to give myself up (literally) for another person. When Emilie came along 14 months later (and 7 weeks early) I wasn't ready. When I was pregnant less than a year later I wasn't ready, and when our baby was born into heaven instead of our arms. I was moving into accepting God's plan because I had seen how He had been faithful regardless of my readiness. When we celebrated our 5th anniversary and our 4th pregnancy (with Josie), I had finally given in, and I began giving up the idea that life would look as I wanted it to.
I recall one afternoon in those first years, Michael had come home from work, and I was still in my p.j's, toys were everywhere, the kids were running in happy circles around daddy, dinner was nowhere near being started, there were endless piles of laundry, doctor's bills sitting on the counter, credit card bills lingering over us like a dark cloud, and a check book that had been in the red for too long. I wearily looked at Michael and said, "would you have run the other way if you had known it would be like this?" Michael tenderly responded, "No. Never."
I'd like the opportunity to go back to premarital counseling to rewrite our 5 and 10 yr goals. I would write just 3 words- REMAIN IN CHRIST!
Jesus is the only Constant, the only Hope, the only Future, the only Salvation, the only One who can determine our steps. My husband and I purpose to do nothing else, but REMAIN IN HIM, together.