Ten years ago we were coming out of another very cold and long winter, which looking back I find very ironic. After finish up with college and student teaching that winter- I spent the first part of 2004 living with my mom and stepdad, and driving about an hour to see Matt- although I remember him driving an hour to see me more often, he was wonderful even back then! That was such a growth time for my relationship with my mom and stepdad. They were there for me during a time when I needed their spiritual and emotional guidance. They really helped me grow in ways I only see now looking back. The time with them was one where I was starting to stretch my legs as an adult, and their gentle guidance was exactly what I needed. Trying to figure it all out, thinking I knew more than I actually did and being so naive to the wide world that lay ahead of me. God so wonderfully placed me in their care for just such a season and I can see that now. Good thing He knows best.
Ten years ago, in 2004, I had just finished college and the world was at my fingertips. I remember wanting a job so bad. I had worked so hard in college and I was so asking God to give me the job of my dreams- teaching at the elementary level with a good school system, where I would work and get my masters (which I believe I was asking God to put me at a wonderful school system that would pay for said masters degree...lol). I was putting out applications and interviewing. Oh, I didn't even have a full understanding then of what it meant to be a teacher, the hours, the long hours. The emotional strength you need to endure the needy children each year. The bureaucracy of schools and how that affects your classroom- oh I was so naive! But I thought I knew what I wanted- thankfully God knows best.
I don't think I could have imagined the road the Lord would take me on, us on for that matter. In 2004, on July 20th, Matt would ask me to be his wife- ten years later I couldn't imagine my life without him. I don't think then I had an inkling of how perfectly matched we were for each other. I didn't yet see how his strength and stability were exactly what I would need to make it through the rough roads that lay ahead. That his sense of humor and caring touch would allow me to grow into the 'me' God intended. I couldn't have possibly seen how perfectly paired we were for enjoying this life as husband and wife and as parents but most of all as best friends. I didn't yet see how God knew what I needed in a husband before I did. But I sure am glad that my blue eyes met his mysterious brown eyes and ten years later, the sparkle God created in those eyes would still be shining- and even brighter if I might add that! What a wonder His love is and how He knows best.
Ten years ago I couldn't have dreamed of the two girls who lay asleep upstairs. Yes I wanted babies...children but God knowing best blessed me with ones that complete our family in a way that only they could. There are some nights I lay in bed and wonder about the babies God is holding tight in heaven for us and I wonder about them, how they will make our heavenly family just as it should be too- they are perfect in a way that only God could have made them. I pray often for them and how if they weren't waiting for me in Heaven, then I wouldn't have the two girls I do here on earth- tears fill my eyes when I thank God for knowing best, which babies needed Him more than me and which ones need me to fill them up with His love first. Without the tears, I think I might not have seen His glory quite as bright as I do now. "His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." Good thing He knows best.
I know ten years ago I didn't yet realize that we were going to move away from home, and forge a life of our own. Looking back I see God walking next to us through the good times with smiles and laughs and the rough times with tears and broken hearts. I didn't yet see how my faith in Him would grow with each passing year- and that each struggle and each triumph would build me into the character I possess now.
I wouldn't change a thing- although when I look back to my dreams of ten years ago, ones of being married to Matt and having a family and a career, all things that did come out of the last ten years- I wouldn't have ever imagined a story as wonderful as the one I call my life. I'm not perfect, far from it in so many ways, but my God is and he has written the most perfect life story for me...and the best part is the story isn't over...there is more to come! How awesome is that!!
Now, looking ahead for what the next ten years might hold just makes me excited. Like my daughter's wide eyes, filled with excitement and wonder on Easter morning- I think of what God's plans are for us. I know they will be filled with struggles and blessings- as they should be. I wonder about how big our family will eventually be. I wonder how my role as mom will change as my family grows. I can't even begin to imagine how much stronger my marriage could be as Matt and I continue to navigate this world together- cords bound together by God. I wonder about the lives I could impact with God love if I just continue to remember that God's will be done in my life- that I can be his hands and feet in this broken world. It's a good thing I'm not perfect and God is- because I have a feeling He's a better story writer than I am!
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." Colossians 2:6-7