The only real bet I’ve ever made was over $5 and with one of my oldest friends when we were about 16. She said I’d have two kids by our 10-year class reunion. And, I said I’d never have any. Well.
Our reunion rolled around, and we both showed up. Me, with my “I told you so” and her, with President Lincoln. Impressive.
Turns out, we were both wrong. God had a different plan.
I met the hubs at work 15 years ago. We started dating several years later and were married a couple of years after that. We had our first daughter the next year. I’m sure we had a few people counting the months, marriage to birth! Anyway, most decisions came easy for us and still do. We’re very pragmatic people. We plan everything.
Like a lot of couples, we decided that three years apart would be perfect for our two children, so when #1 turned two, we started trying. Months passed and nothing. We went to a fertility doctor. Nothing. Literally. He found nothing wrong.
This was the first time that we hadn’t been able to meet a deadline, which I realize is an odd way to look at it. But, we were on a schedule!
#2 was born 25 months after we started trying. That’s over two years for our mathematically- challenged readers. 25 months. Evidently, three years apart isn’t perfect for every family. So, #1 was four-years-old, and we had our #2. Done.
At 35, I started thinking, doing the math in my head. Counting the years. 35, plus a couple of years, add a year and a half for trying, hubs will be.... One more?? Are we supposed to have another baby? Adopt? So confused. Oh boy. So, we prayed. If we were supposed to have another baby, it would happen, and it would be soon so that the hubs and I wouldn’t be collecting dust with the tennis balls on our walkers at high school graduation, right?
Right. And, get ready.... Pregnant three weeks later. That pregnancy was the hardest ten months of my life, but I know He has a plan for #3. I can’t imagine our lives without her. Our experience with #2 taught us to listen. It wasn’t just my “advanced maternal age” telling me that two wasn’t enough. That was God telling us that He wasn’t finished.
It’s funny how, as you age, your perspective changes. I would go as far as to say that it improves. With every passing year, you care a little less about what other people think and more about what God has planned for your life.
Jeremiah 29:11 is easily recognized.... “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)
When I see it, I’m always reminded of #2, who took so long to get here with absolutely no medical explanation, and #3, who came even faster than #1. He has a plan for their lives. It scares me a little, but I trust Him. We can’t wait to see what they do for His kingdom. We pray that He shines through them.
This is our life. All by His design. The teaser with her “crazy eyes” and the pleaser with her compliant smile. And, poor #3 is just along for the ride for now. Quite literally, as she seems to be bodysurfing here.
Some days pass in a blur. I know that we don’t do it alone though. Our God gives us strength and endurance, keeps us grounded, and reminds us that it isn’t all about us. We have to lean on Him for guidance, support, and for so many other things. Even if it isn’t what we think is best. He knows better. We’ve learned to just listen carefully.