December 16, 2011

The best laid plans...

Eleven years ago today, on the coldest day of December, I walked down the aisle dressed in white and married the best man I know. We were too young to understand a decade long marriage and we were too new to even imagine where we would be then. We knew the basics: kids, house, jobs, church, love forever.

(photo credit: Wallace Photography)

I woke up this morning and assessed our life together and I had to laugh out loud as my soul whispered to my heart: You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail (Proverbs 19:21)

My life has become a living proverb.

When I beamed at my soon-to-be husband as I approached the altar all those years ago, visions of our future were blurry at best. But never, in my wildest dreams, would I have imagined what the reality would be.

That we would have three kids was a given. 

That two would be adopted, African-American, eighteen months apart I would never have believed. That we would be praying and waiting for a child we are yet to meet, whose name, gender or age we don’t know, who lives in one of the poorest nations in the world, whom we already love, would have made me laugh.

That we would have jobs was obvious. 

That I would work part time in front of a computer so I can be a stay-at-home mom would have made me call you a liar.

That I would be a teacher was the plan. 

That I would teach my two children myself would have sent me screaming from the room.

That we would own a house was undoubtedly true. 

That we would live in a small town in the deep South, in an old house that has more bathrooms than bedrooms would have been hysterical to hear.

That we would be together forever was the idea. 

That we would have had a year when we thought we had reached the end of the line was never a thought for us.

Life has not turned out as we planned. At all. 

Nothing has gone as we thought, really. This decade has not been easy and without pain. Marriage is painful, infertility is painful, adoption is painful, sacrifices of wishes and things we thought we needed are painful. We have not had a stress-free, problem-free, tragedy-free life.

And yet…

We have never been happier; our marriage stronger; our hearts fuller; our needs more provided for; our cups overflowing further. 

Commit your work to the Lord, and then your plans will succeed (Proverbs 16:3)

Your plans...your....plans. We had plans and we had hopes but above all we had surrender and in surrendering we gained infinitely more than we seemingly lost. We let our plans become His plans and the Dreamer, who dreams bigger than we can, fulfilled our dreams. Those we longed for and those we didn’t even know we had.  

A young bride thinks she knows what a successful life should look like. A decade later, a seasoned follower of the One who said: I know the plans I have for you, knows only to plan to obey. 


Nancy said...

My pastor once said, "God loves you too much to allow you to be in charge of your own life."


Debbie said...

First, Happy Anniversary! You were a beautiful bride.

And this post spoke huge volumes to me. I have been in the midst of six months that just didn't work out as I would have ever planned them. Then, God cleared His holy throat and said, "If you're ready to listen now, I do have a plan."

He is amazing. He's wonderful. His thoughts are not my thoughts nor His ways my ways. His are better. Maybe once I turn 50 I remember that in prospect rather than retrospect.

Gaby said...

I like that, Nancy, and I'm so thankful that is true!

Debbie, isn't' it wonderful to hear from God and know you are taken care of? So glad you heard from him!

E said...

Happy Anniversary!

I remember the walk down the aisle and the plans or what we thought God had planned.

Boy oh boy! He is so good! Its better than I could of ever planned or imagined!!

Unknown said...

Happy Anniversary my sweet friends! Truly you marriage is an inspiration to those of us who haven't traveled the path as long. God has, and will continue to, bless you richly for how you show love to one another is God-honoring in every way!

Deborah said...

Happy Anniversary! It's always amazing to look back at your life and see the differences between what you thought and what would be. And yet, all the things you wanted are there, in their own ways. Best wishes for many more happy years to come!

Amy Sullivan said...

Happy anniversary, friend. Ours was 12/12...lucky number thirteen for us. I like what you say about life not turning out as planned. No, it hasn't for us either. I mean, who would have guessed I'd be raising my kids in the South and as far as our trials. Yes, I get what you are saying.

Christy said...

Gaby, how can I say how your posts speak to me? What a beautiful way to relive the past years.

Kathleen T. Jaeger said...

What a beautiful post. What a great reflection --- especially on the plans that He has for us are so different than our own. We forget, too, the change of plans, the heartache and such for others when they embrace this moment contentedly. Thanks for unwrapping that for us -- that everyone has had unexpected curves in life.

And Happy Anniversary!

Anonymous said...

Congrats...and may you have many more...filled with surprise and wonder...always with Him leading the way...

Jennifer said...

Happy Anniversary!

I know you speak words of truth--God indeed knows best. I'm just in that phase of life when I really wish I could change God's plan! I'm looking forward to getting to the top of this hill so I can look back and see how God was right all along.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

Renee said...

This post reminds me how glad I am that God veils the future and only reveals what we need to know when we need to know it! I enjoyed reading the two parts of your story and looking through some of the pics of your beautiful family. Blessings!

Unknown said...

I love your reflections and your honesty and how you have woven scripture not only through this post, but through your life.

Bird said...

i needed this today. So i could stop lamenting my plans and refocus on the blessings unexpected and undeserved. Thank you.

Janice C Johnson said...

To surrender my dreams for His... thank you for this beautiful post.
Oh, and HAPPY Anniversary! (I'm late, from SDG)