Things happen to us all the time. Things we love and things we don't. Sometimes it feels like the things we don't love happen to us a little too often, but I have a theory it's just because we have too many "plans" for our own lives to be comfortable with any deviation. Well, that's the case for me anyway.
But again, things happen. Life happens. That's just the way it is. And then life goes on. No matter what happens, good or bad, no matter how it affects us, and no matter how long it lasts, life still goes on. And I think it's beautiful!
I am the queen of making plans, holding high expectations, and setting myself up for disappointment. I've gotten a little better over the years, but I still have a long way to go. However, there is one important thing I've learned: I can't change life from "happening." And there's no use in trying.
What I can do is love Jesus, praise God for everything in my life, and enjoy my time with my family and others, no matter the circumstances.
So where is this coming from?
The last 6 years (and 1 day).
Yesterday was my 6th wedding anniversary. I'm sure many couples can relate, but a LOT has happened in those 6 years (and 1 day), much of which I definitely did not plan, or even remotely expect! And I've spent a lot of time since our wedding day complaining about things that happened, things that didn't happen, and wishing something were different.
(Okay, let me be honest here. I think there will always be something about life I wish was different, but I've learned that that's okay...As long as I don't bank my happiness on that one thing changing or let my discontent affect my general attitude or my faith!)
I'm not going to get into all the things that have changed or haven't gone according to plan, but I will share a few specific times that have taught me an important lesson.
First let me begin with my wedding day, the first day of our adventure. It rained...it snowed...it got icy. It wasn't the most ideal weather, but hey, it was the middle of January after all. I felt nervous and sick the entire day. My stomach was so knotted up I couldn't even enjoy the food or cake at our reception. And I tried to plan around other people's convenience (minus the dangerous driving conditions) rather than solely focusing on my husband and myself. Needless to say, my wedding day did not go exactly as I had envisioned. But I learned to focus on the important things, which turns out isn't a wedding at all - it's following through on your promises to God and to each other every day after you say "I do."
10 months later my husband and I found out our son was on the way! This wasn't in our plans, but was a very welcome surprise! I learned the importance of God's timing and that not all surprises are bad! (I'm generally not a fan of surprises...the unexpected...deviations from "my" plans...)
About 2 years after that we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our daughter, and one month before she was born, my husband tore his achilles tendon which required surgery. Then shortly after he was off his crutches and healing well, we found out my husband had testicular cancer. Let me point out that this happened on our anniversary. The next day, 2 years ago today, he had surgery to remove it. (This is why I included the "and 1 day" above. It was a VERY important day in our history together!)
Praise the Lord the Dr. found it, removed it, and that's been the end of it to date. My husband has been cancer free for 2 years! But it was a stressful time, as you can imagine, with my husband's health issues and a newborn too! I learned so many things during this time, but the biggest lesson was a lesson of faith. My faith has been stronger than ever since then and because of then!
But today, ironically, exactly 2 years after his surgery, we spent the day in the hospital again. It was my turn for surgery. Don't worry, NOT cancer! My surgery was very minor and I am doing very well, but it was pretty nerve-racking when it was scheduled for this date. And yesterday I spent my anniversary eating jello and drinking liquids to prepare. No fancy anniversary dinner here! Today taught me to be flexible. My husband and I have decided to "reschedule" our anniversary this year. We're not sure when yet, but we're going to pick another day to celebrate together. And I'm perfectly okay with that. ...As long as there's no jello ;)
So folks, life happens. And it truly is beautiful, because if you allow it, it's all part of God's plan. No matter how bad something seems at the moment, if it's part of God's plan, it's got to be good, because He is good. He is so good!
My advice to you and myself (take it or leave it) is to let life happen. Savor every moment. Thank God for every moment. Let God pull you through, and be open to the lessons presented to you. Then let life go on and you will be very blessed indeed!