Sophomore year of college I had convinced myself that I was going to be the spinster aunt, feeding my nieces and nephews candy until their parents banned my visits. I regularly asked my parents to keep my room available for post college and joked that I would purchase TV tray tables and cats after graduation. Why? Because I was 20 years old and hadn’t met my “soul mate”. This may sound strange but I had already attended Kristians wedding and welcomed my first nephew. At the time I was prepping for Taylors wedding to his high school sweetheart which I would attend solo. I was the only child at 20 years old to not have at least picked out who I would marry. Looking back its ridiculous, I know now how uncommon it is to get married that young and how even less common it is to get married that young and make it work. However, it was my normal and it was so easy to believe that the life I saw in front of me was the only life I would know. I had predefined God’s plan for me and was trying to make peace with my cat filled life. Comical considering I would meet ben the next year (but I was still the oldest to get married at a whopping 22).
I was thinking about this today when my sister in law told me she’s coming up on 16 years of marriage to Taylor and how 16 years ago I thought I knew my future. We don’t know our future though. For better or worse God’s great design was great dependence on him in all the unknowns of tomorrow. I thought I had my life pegged, I was gonna have a great writing career and a wardrobe full of power suits (which no writer wears). I had no idea that it all would morph into something far better. I still don’t know what tomorrow holds but the invitation remains the same, trust God and his heart for me.
Parenting has me predicting the future a lot. I see Briggs laziness and tell myself he will in fact be living in my basement at 30. I see Colbie struggle in school and tell myself life will be hard for her. I watch Claire try to connect with girls her age and tell myself girls are going to be mean to her. I predict and I doubt God’s very good plan with my own presumptions of my kids future and my own. I have already taken God out of the mix as I work hard to “fix” all the perceived imperfections in my life.
When I get back to the basics though and bring my children lives to the feet of our creator he whispers, let me hold them. Last year, Taylor told me about mediating and how as a control person he practices letting go by putting things on balloons and letting them go one by one in his head. One night I was particularly worried about a lot so I decided to practice his method. I sat in bed and pictured all my fears for my kids, all the daily battles I mentally have on behalf of their future. It was a bunch of balloons and as I mentally tried to let them go I couldn’t. My grip got harder as my mind tried to pry apart my hands. I was sitting in bed eyes closed and tears just started to come down my cheeks. I had not realized how desperately I was holding onto their futures. As I watched this whole scene unfold in my head God put his arm on my shoulder and said, could I hold them for you? It was the most perfect picture of Gods love for me and my kids and I slowly released them all one by one into his caring and perfect hands. I have no less control than I did yesterday. I didn’t let go of their future, I put my hope and dreams into the only capable hands I know, my heavenly father.
Do I still worry? Absolutely. Is it still hard? Daily. But do I believe God is trustworthy, one hundred percent. The quicker we can decide to lean into trusting Gods heart for us the quicker we can feel the peace of letting go. We can’t predict the future friends, I don’t even own a cat.