When I was in my late twenties, I came up with a life plan for myself. It wasn’t really detailed and specific, but there was one point in this plan that I clearly remember logically processing out.
Here it is:
I want to be finished having children by the age of 30! My logic was that I wanted all of my children out of the house by the time I was 50. In my late twenties, 50 started to seem less “old” to me. I realized that if I no longer had kids to deal with, I could still have a long active life free from that responsibility. It made sense to me. I only hoped that God was going to be on board with this plan.
Well... He wasn’t!
Here I am pushing 45 and I still have a child in diapers. I will have kids in my house way into my 60’s. But you what? I’ve learned that that’s okay. In reality, I will rarely have a house without children since my first grandchild has already arrived. I have finally matured enough to realize that God had a much better plan for my life than I could have even imagined.
So how was His plan been better than mine?
1. First of all... If I had stopped having children at age 30 I wouldn’t have Kolbe, Mary, Jude, Joseph, Ella or the other 5 souls I was blessed to conceive. It is impossible to imagine a life without these children. They bring so much richness to my daily experience. I just can’t envision what could have possibly been better than these little ones.
2. Another reason that I know God’s plan is better than mine is because I KNOW I am a better person than I would have otherwise been. I am far from perfect, but children have a way of refining us. They reveal our selfishness, expose our weaknesses, and stretch our strength. I am told on a regular basis by individuals who feel amazed by my strength and calmness that I must be a very patient woman. But that is exceedingly far from the truth. By nature I am a prideful, selfish, impatient woman. The fact that I display any virtue at all is simply because it has been burned into me. Through the fires of continuous pregnancies and toddlers, through the stress of juggling teens and infants, and through the exhaustion of managing a busy, full house, I have HAD to change. God wanted me to be a holier person and He found a way to do that.
3. Finally, the reason I know God’s plan is better than mine is because JOY fills my heart. One of my favorite sayings is this, “The will of God will never lead you where the grace of God can not keep you.” I have not only “survived” the last 15 “extra” years of baby making, I have been blessed beyond measure. I love my life. It is not as easy as I would like it to be, nor do I not have moments of frustration and bewilderment at God’s plans, but joy is my constant companion. Even when I am angry, depressed, or anxious, JOY is always deeply rooted in my heart. I have joy when I contemplate my children. I have joy when my husband and I embrace our small victories. I have joy knowing that I have spent my last 15 years doing the most rewarding work imaginable.
If I had stopped having children at the age of 30 I would probably be thinner. We might be more wealthy. I would definitely have more free time. But... oh all the things I would have missed.
I am so thankful that God’s plan was better than mine. I will continue to trust it.