Friday, April 5, 2013

Expectations

When I was young, I always tried to imagine what being a "grown-up" would be like. It got a lot easier, I thought, when I met my husband at 15. By the time I was 17, I was sure he was the one. I would daydream about what married life would be like; what it would be like to spend my days with my best friend.

I have a pretty good imagination.

But boy was I ever wrong! It turns out you can't imagine a new relationship. It is too multidimensional and there are too many variables. I didn't really know myself or my future husband. We have been married for nearly 6 years, and it has been nothing like my premarital imaginations. It is SO much more complicated, and SO much better. I am glad my foolish teenage daydreams were only that!

It was a little easier to imagine what it would be like to be a mom; after all, I am the oldest of 8 children and I had a bit of experience with babies. My imagination was more cautious this time; I knew there were a lot of things I didn't know. There was no way I could have predicted what it felt like to hold your very own child, or how intense the love of a mother is. Those things are not like being a big sister!

Now as we look forward to bringing Garnet home (and spending the rest of our lives with her), my imagination wants to do it again. It is informed by the experiences of others, by a few words and photos. I know what it is like to love my son, but I have a feeling that this will be different. There is a lot of uncertainty, even more than when I was contemplating marriage or the delivery of our son. Will she like us? Will she be terrified? Will she sleep well? Will she be able to eat at all? How big will she actually be? What will it be like to hold her in my arms? I don't know the answer to any of these questions. I don't know if she will welcome a relationship with us. I am a mom, but I have never been a mom to someone who has not had a mom for over a decade! There is a lot that I simply can't imagine.

I think that's a good thing. If I had known how hard marriage would be beforehand, I might have chickened out. I might have ignored all the awesome stuff because the hard things seemed like too much. Same with becoming a mom. I am pretty sure that if I had known all the hard things that would happen before I conceived, I would have tried pretty hard to avoid that, too!
So, we know what we need to know. When we need to know more, we will learn more. Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow, and also that all things work together for the good of those who love Him.
I have a hunch that this will be the hardest thing we have done yet, but that it will also bring us closer to Jesus than ever before. That is worth any amount of "hard"!

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