We worry about so many things, anticipate so much going wrong, blow into figurative paper bags about the what-may-happens that seem to clog up precious space in our lives. We also smile, laugh, rejoice, and give thanks over the many beautiful and blessed moments that our Father God showers down on us. What’s the connection between both the sorrow and the joy?
No, seriously. Stay with me here.
Tomorrow, August 1, is my due date for our sweet Emmeline. Now, I know that due dates aren’t carved in stone, but I still seriously thought that our baby girl would be here by now. A combination of my firstborn daughter Grace coming early and my secondborn little delight, Libby, also coming ahead of a calculator’s schedule really made me believe that Emmeline would follow in her sisters sparkly shoes. Couple this random mama logic with a naïve assumption that the string of July events would continue (my husband and I celebrate both our birthdays, our anniversary, and the birthday of one of our daughers) made us really believe that we’d be having another little highlighted box on this month’s calendar. August? Really? There was no way!
Oh yes, where there’s a (baby’s) will, there’s a way!
What waiting for Emmeline has taught me is that when we anticipate an event, it usually doesn’t work out how we imagine. Sometimes that’s rough knowledge when what we’re expecting is being counted down to with joy and excitement, such as the birth of a baby, a wedding day, a vacation or even something as simple as $.99 iced coffees in the beginning of summer (holla!), but sometimes we’re awaiting a situation that’s been plaguing our hearts with worry and our minds with unease. Our lives usually ride between the two extremes. Again I beg the question, what do they have in common? Anticipation, of the wonder of the good things coming upon us and the anxiety of the bad.
But anticipation doesn’t stand alone. It has a wonderful, well-dressed girlfriend who sometimes forgets to put on her heels so that we look right over her purdy little head. Her name? We all know it. Relief. She’s right there holding down the back. Sometimes she’s the calm breath of joy that we exhale after closing our eyes and basking in the warmth of a dream come true. Sometimes she’s squeezing our shoulders as we crumple into a heap, sobbing out our lifted pain along with rivers of praise.
Relief also comes from understanding that things are never as perfect or as terrible as we suppose. We don’t have to fall so far or be buried so deep that we turn our eyes from the help – the promise of goodness – that comes from the Lord. I really believed that our third daughter was going to come early and have been completely thrown off, but I’ve learned that it’s another reminder from Jesus that things cannot go as planned. Not the good things, nor the bad things. And you know what? I’m glad! Before this summer is through I’ll have another little darling to love and raise for Him, and I’ll have received a deeper understanding of God’s care for us, His children. Sometimes we worry as we wait and sometimes we shake with enthusiasm, but both scenarios promise one thing – God is control, and nothing will ever be what we think it will. We know that His plans for our good are even better than we could’ve expected, and His ways of remedying our sorrow are more powerful than we can ever anticipate.
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