21 Dec
Reflecting on the past, Looking forward to the future

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who dreamed of writing stories. She’s still dreaming about it, and wants to finish that story. But God is still writing her story that she is living. That girl is me.

As I look back at the funny, crazy and almost unbelievable stories of my life - the true stories, not my dreams - I can’t help but think that perhaps God has been trying to tell me all this time that I either have to just dive in and start somewhere, or I will never finish. Or, maybe God is saying that I have something more important to tell, and it isn’t going to be in the stories of my past that shaped who I am today.

Either way, I had been reading Colleen Chao’s book, “In the Hands of a Fiercely Tender God” and it has been truly sobering. Imagine being around the age of someone you used to know of (like, I knew her brother and brother-in-law), knowing that it was around the time you were struggling to figure life out, wondering if you’d ever find love in marriage, that this person also was struggling with those things at that age. Imagine reading her words from those years where she fondly imagines being the oldest parent at her son’s graduation, all while you realize the staggering truth: she likely will not live to see her son even make it to high school, let alone graduation or college. Imagine being in her shoes. Imagine the heart-wrenching truth: God’s story about you could end wherever and whenever He wants… Tomorrow is a gift, not a guarantee. It seems so cliche, but we all know it’s true at our core. It’s mind-blowing to sit here with my toddler who is throwing tantrums and think that I may not wake up tomorrow.

I was just talking to a friend about how all the dreams and aspirations I had for a family (when I was single) seem to have evaded me; I didn’t get a theologian who is a prayer warrior as my husband, and instead of the dreamy maternity photos I always wanted to experience having, I got a traumatic pregnancy that resulted in an extremely early birth of my son at 26 weeks gestation. That isn’t to say that God wasn’t watching over and blessing us, because He clearly had a plan - when all the odds were stacking against us, our son overcame the odds. As difficult as parenting has been for us, and will continue to be in some aspects, God has been writing an amazing story. I want to relish the short time we have on Earth, the time we have with our son as he grows up so quickly. Maybe it means I have to find the time to write in the wee hours of morning; maybe it means I don’t write at all. Maybe it means just writing as I find short moments to jot a thought.

Whatever it means, I hope the new year finds us - and you as well - finding wonder and beauty in God’s plans, even if it doesn’t look the way we once dreamed it would.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!