I’m a planner. I have been for as long as I can remember. I’m the weird girl who enjoys making spreadsheets and color-coordinating her calendar. I like to think through things and I like to be prepared. But if there’s anything I’ve learned in this life, it’s this:
Plans change and there are some things you can never be prepared for.
This includes, to an extent, starting a new job, getting married, having children – the list goes on. Really, the list could include anything and everything.
When I entered my twenties, I had a plan for getting married and having kids:
• Get married in early to mid-twenties
• Enjoy life with my husband for a couple years
• Travel as much as possible
• First kid by 26 or 27
• Four kids by 30
Well, 26 came around and I wasn’t married. But I also wasn’t distressed. Thankfully, I was at a healthy place in my relationship with the Lord to know that my identity and worth were not found in my relationship status.
I ended up getting married to the most amazing man two days after I turned 27. Again, I wasn’t distressed because I knew that waiting for His best was THE BEST. I had just experienced this for myself, after all.
But I was ready for this. I was prepared for the temptation to find my joy and identity in my relationship status, though I experienced both peaks and valleys along the way.
But the potential for being a mother, the possibility of having a child…
I was not prepared for how much I would desire this.
Sure, I always wanted to have kids if the Lord allowed it, but it never occurred to me that He could actually, potentially not want that for me.
Now, before the entire Indian community flips out and starts thinking “something happened,” let me be very clear:
I have no idea what God’s plans for Nathan and me are in terms of children but I was struck with the reality of the struggles so many people face with regards to this.
As I hear about more and more friends and relatives struggling to have children, as I see more and more baby announcements and gender reveals, my mind wanders back to that plan I had come up with for myself so many years ago…
Anxiety slowly creeps in as I consider how “behind” I am in my plan. Questions stir the quiet of my mind. Fear displaces the peace in my heart. And suddenly, I’m a wreck with all the what-ifs and how-comes and why-nots spinning around my head.
I was angry with Time.
Such a precious commodity – the only thing that cannot be replaced, appeased, undone.
Lately, I’ve had to remind myself of 26-year-old-me quite often. The me who found her joy and identity in Christ. The me who knew God’s best was THE best. The me who gladly put aside her own plans and chose to simply trust God.
It’s easy to get so caught up in preparing for one thing that we get blindsided by something else entirely. No matter how much we plan and prepare, life will usually take us by surprise –
just as it should!
I’m 28 now and still don’t have anyone calling me “Mommy.” With the way things are going, I most likely won’t have 4 kids by 30, and though we’ve traveled a bunch domestically, it’s not the kind of traveling I had hoped to do after getting married. I think it’s safe to say that my plans have been foiled. But as I consider all this, I feel these words whispered to my heart:
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. | Proverbs 19:21
All the spreadsheets and color-coordination in the world cannot make our plans a reality or prepare us fully for whatever the future holds. But in the end, we can find comfort in this: