Sunday, July 15, 2012

2011: The Year I Got Engaged, Married, and Pregnant!

Perhaps it seems funny to suddenly tell 2011 how special he was to me.  We're more than halfway through 2012, after all.  So why am I suddenly so sentimental?

It dawned on me again tonight how hugely life-changing 2011 was.  It was the year in which I got engaged, married, and pregnant.  It was the year in which, once again, I stood in awe of God and His plans for me.  Our God is hard to predict, and He loves to give surprises.  I love that about Him.

Doing all that in one year is pretty intense, if you think about it.  The Old Lisa would have never advised the New Lisa to do such a thing.  But, when you continue on in the journey of life, sometimes you learn things that surprise you.  Sometimes you have moments of clarity that appropriately restructure the way you thought previously.

It came to me in the form of a single comment from a friend in 2005.  The restructuring, I mean.  With one sentence, I re-did the schemata in my mind.

"It doesn't matter how long you've known a person," my friend began.  "It's how WELL you know a person."

Up until that moment, I thought just the opposite.  Maybe that was the reason why my teenage and twenty-something self had held onto long-term relationships that were going nowhere.

I always used to think that the longer you knew someone, the better.  But that's not true at all, I've come to realize.  What matters is HOW you spend your time with that person.

And I praise God for the way in which Michael and I spent our early time together.  By the grace of the Holy Spirit, we were prayerful with one another, put Jesus in our center, lifted each other up to be more holy, and kept our eyes on the hopeful prize:  the sacrament of marriage.

We also surrendered our timeline to Him.  By God's grace, we realized that the call to marriage was not for us to yell out but rather for Him to say at the time of His choosing.  We knew that it could be anytime...or even never, for that matter.  It was all up to Him.  And it was our responsibility to listen and then react appropriately.  The timeline was His to decide, not ours.

We had this feeling that God would lead us through the natural leadership that Michael is called to have as a man.  And, hard as it was, I learned to be patient and trust that the feelings God was revealing to me through my heart would be appropriately echoed through Michael but in God's perfect timing.

What a gift all this was from God.  Oh, how we could have not done it without Him.  All this was nothing that we earned but everything that we received.

The lessons I shall take from my experiences of 2011 are these:  Everything happens in God's timing.  It's not my will, but His.  These aren't my belongings, but rather gifts.  Gifts, indeed, that I didn't earn.  Gifts that I don't deserve.  But gifts that God wants to give, and it is my responsibility to glorify Him in my reception of them.

It's hard to trust that God will dispense His gifts at just the right time.  How easy it is for us to think we know what gifts we want and precisely when we want them.  How easy it is for us to think that we are the experts of our lives.  And yet we are not!

God, help us to think nothing of our own desires but everything of Yours.  When we align our will with Yours, we discover that you had our best interest at heart the whole time!  We soon discover that your perfect Will and your perfect Timing was the best for us anyhow!