Tonight as we were driving home David questioned me about something and I can't seem to get it out of my mind. It was a very simple question but it started the process of me thinking about so much more and so here I sit in bed after midnight typing away.
This past week was the 25th anniversary of the first date that David and I ever went on. We have talked about these 25 years many times over the past few days and so I am sure that this is what sparked his question. His question was this, "What did you use to think, prior to us ever going out on a date when I would joke with you about getting married one day?" so this is where a little background comes in and where my thoughts have been this evening........
Long before David and I started dating I remember knowing that one day I would marry him. It is very strange because at the time I actually was focused on another guy yet in my heart, God was revealing that David and I would one day be married. I felt so strongly about this that when I was just 13 years old I told my mom that David would one day be my husband. I remember my mom half way laughing and responding by saying, "You don't really even know what marriage is." Only now having teenagers of my own can I appreciate where she was coming from. I really didn't have a clue about the marriage part.
Very few times in my life have I felt that I knew exactly what God was going to do in my life or the life of my family but on these occasions it is painfully hard to know yet live out the process in His time not mine. This is where the question from tonight comes in. It was a struggle to be David's friend for several years as I watched him date girl after girl (some of which were my close friends) feeling that in my heart one day he would be mine. We spent many hours together as friends and he would question me about the girl he was dating or joke about a date that the two of us could get married. I remember longing to tell him that I felt God had revealed to me that he would someday be my husband, yet I knew I would sound like a completely ridiculous teenage girl with a huge crush and so I kept quiet. I remember David giving me advice on handling a guy situation in my life and hearing countless stories of other girls. I, day after day, waited for God to play out His perfect plan. I journaled (which is so fun to read now) and prayed without ceasing that God would bring about His perfect plan for my life and for David's life. I waited and I waited. Then I waited some more. God was bending my heart towards the man that would one day be my husband and that bending was hard. There were days that my heart, even as young as it was, longed to be loved. There were times that I could have settled for something less, someone less but I chose to wait and be silent.
Tonight I answered David's question by saying, "I just I knew that I knew that one day we would actually be planning our wedding day so even though it was hard I was really fine with it. I knew that God was working it out and I had faith in His plan for us." Now what I didn't say was that my heart felt crushed in a million pieces along the way but I really didn't think about that until later tonight. The days and nights that I longed to feel loved were hard as a young teenage girl. The wrestling with and at times wanting to fill my time with someone else so the waiting wouldn't be so hard. The drives home from school with David where I felt I knew a secret that I wanted to share with him yet I knew I couldn't without looking foolish. The days (yes days) he helped me grow up and made me receive flowers from this boy named Shane (hope he never reads this) who kept sending them to me when I argued with David that taking flowers meant that I was interested- David explained that if a guy is giving flowers it is rude to not receive them. The hours spent at my house and David's house with friends where I longed for God to reveal to me that this was indeed His plan for my life. This is where this question made me think tonight-
There are times that I know that God is calling me or someone I love to something and in my human flesh I want to know from Him exactly what the plan is- what every step will look like and how long it will take. I usually ask Him to make himself really clear. I often ask Him for signs along the way just as I did while in this waiting. Looking back now I wonder why in the world would David have been joking around about getting married one day when he was dating other girls? Honestly, I think this was God's way of assuring me of His plan for me- for us. I remember on numerous occasions joking about our wedding in David's car and hoping he didn't notice me smiling from ear to ear as we laughed together. Each of these occasions I felt that I knew a secret that he didn't know and I guess I really did!
After I answered David's question tonight I then had a question for him, "What would you have thought had I told you back then that I knew I was going to marry you?" He answered by saying, "I probably wasn't ready for that and so I am not sure if I would have reacted positively." I knew then that in my waiting on the Lord in this situation I had done the right thing. Now I think that I could have saved David (and several girls) some heartache had I stepped in and shared what I felt God was telling me but I am so thankful that I just patiently waited on Him. That His perfect plan was being worked out as I patiently and quietly (sometimes literally biting my tongue) waited.
I will never forget 25 years ago when David and I were alone on a mission trip in Michigan where he told me that I was special to him. Where he asked if he could kiss me and gently did......Yes, we hadn't even gone on a first date and even better we were on a youth church trip where none of this should have been taking place. After literally getting sick from the excitement (not in front of David and I did make it to the bathroom) I realized that God was revealing His perfect, long awaited plan. All I could do was be in awe of Father who cared so deeply for me and hold on to Him for the journey that was ahead.
A journey where time after time God has called me to something or revealed something to me where there was a long time of waiting. Whether it was through a job situation, a tubal pregnancy, heart failure, adoption, issues with children, friendships, marriage, planting a church, or the numerous other things He has grown and stretched me. Grown and stretched me to the point that there is very little of me left and that is such a good thing- Less of me and more of Him.
I can't imagine my life apart from God's leading, my amazing husband and our seven children. As God continues to reveal His will to me I pray that I would be faithful, obedient and resting in Him. I pray that I will have the same heart I did as a teenage girl to wait patiently for Him to move.
There are many things that I feel God is doing in my life, the life of my family, and several friends right now yet I wait patiently for God to play out His perfect plan. I want so much to jump in and control the situations, prevent heart aches, make families complete by adoption, change direction of actions, change hearts and desires, and the list goes on but for now I will pray and journal. For one day I will look back and see how He perfected His plan just like was lived out in the life of a teenage girl and boy who fell in love, got married and currently have 7 amazing kids!
What about you? What is He revealing to you? Are you settling for what you want? Trying to fulfill your desires or are you willing to wait on His best for you? I am not sure I will ever get good at this waiting thing but the more He reminds me of what He will do if I will just trust Him the more I am willing to fall at His feet and give all of me to Him. My life is not my own- To You I belong! Thankful for a reminder of His faithfulness again tonight-