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.
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.