I have heard before that if you want to make God laugh, you just need to tell Him your plans....
At 21, if you would have asked me what the end of my 26th year would look like, it would certainly not have included Saturday nights on my back porch with sangria and buttered carrots while my wee one of a dog ran around barking at every noise natured conjured up for her. But that is where I am.
In my days of college I remember bargaining with the Almighty, almost attempting to call His bluff on the regular - "Lord, you surely won't allow me to be single past 22." The statement remained the same with the age changing every year. At 25, it became 30; year 30 - that far off land of age where the entire world ends if one has not accomplished x, y, and z. And it's looming closer... And there are still moments where I stand - deer caught in the smoldering headlights - as I mark off all I've not accomplished and take a shaky, anxious breath at what lies before me and is left unknown.
I was never supposed to know what rejection would feel like, what quiet Saturday nights were made of - I was never going to be the sort of person who enjoyed a glass of wine by herself and, at times, craved the silence of a house with only the candlelight dancing; I was going to always be surrounded by people - the reason for laughter and joy and, of course, I would be someone's wife -- because I wasn't ever going to have to wonder why I was not being pursued.
I can hear the belly laughter of my Father from South Park right now. He is not mocking me, of that I'm sure - only wondering when I thought I got the memo that this life of mine was left in my charge. It never was.
I realize, as I sip sangria and let it roll hot down my throat, that if I had been given reigns to guide this life where I thought it should go, I would be a vastly different person than who is sitting here today -- I would have made poor choice after poor choice and found myself deep in a pit, probably asking myself, just where did I take a wrong turn?
You see, my twenties have turned out to be exactly NOTHING like what I had anticipated; I would be lying if I said there weren't stretches of hours, days, weeks of me disliking every moment - but I also have come to realize that the fractured times of crying out, getting pissed, and eventually hitting my knees were all a part of the plan to begin with.
I cannot regret the nights of quiet aloneness and I cannot begrudge my best friends who are a part if a couple and happy and I cannot, for one solitary moment, say that I sit in a state of joylessness.
God is good, gracious, great, and glorious. He is the same Father to me as He was to Ruth. He took care of His kids then and He continues to do it now.
I am ever changing and He is never changing -- Glory be to God.
So, cheers to you, quiet Saturday nights - for what you've taught me, where you've brought me, and for what is yet to come.