Thursday, December 31, 2009

the difference of a decade

2010...seriously? where have the first ten years of the 21st century gone? at moments it seems like 10 years have flown by...but when i really take time to reflect, it is unbelievable to think of all the major life milestones packed into those ten years.

milestones like college first "real" salaried, benefit providing job...buying my very first "house" (a condo really)...marriage...selling a condo and buying a house--a real, honest to goodness, adults live here, four bedroom two-story house(!)--you know, the kind with room to grow and a yard for the kiddos to play birth to not one, not two, but three (!) daughters. wow...that was a packed decade!

i remember ringing in the beginning of this decade. i'd made a last minute decision to attend campus crusade's Christmas conference. this was actually pretty bizarre in retrospect...since my college didn't have campus crusade, and i only truly knew two other people who were headed to the conference. funny how God is at work in the "bizarre"....or perhaps amazing and life-changing is a better description than "funny". i headed to the conference after a random meeting that re-connected me with my dear childhood friend, lora, who i hadn't kept in touch with very well since starting college three years before. lora...who is one of my most treasured friends to this day, a friend i have known almost from birth...again, amazing how God uses random.

but i digress. it was at that Christmas conference that i made the decision to completely change my student teaching destination. all along i'd been planning to return to my hometown--which was just an hour or so from my college (i had ALWAYS been a homebody...and NEVER planned to venture further from home). instead i decided to go an hour south for student with one of the gals i met at Christmas conference...connect with campus crusade at her university. it was a crazy decision...and my student teaching supervisor told me it would be next to impossible to get a student teaching placement in that town with that late of notice. ha! i was placed within two weeks...and have lived here ever since. this is where i connected with my current church and joined their "twenty-something" ministry...which is, incidentally, where i met my husband. see...isn't it amazing how God works through what we might think are "small" and "random" decisions.

a decade ago i was a college student...struggling with what i really wanted to major in. as a junior it was a bit late to turn back from my English education track and pursue something else...but nonetheless, i didn't really know that i wanted to teach. i remember my mom asking me, "what do you really want to do...if you could do anything?" my response..."i want to be a wife and a do laundry and all that stuff." (see...i'm living my dream...except that doing laundry for three children isn't nearly as glorious as it sounded...) a decade ago that "dream" seemed so far off...i struggled with so many doubts (sinful doubts, since i wasn't trusting God with my future or dreams)...would i ever meet that man....would God fulfill the longing in my heart of having my own children...

and i am. one day i was moving into my condo--planning to live there with my best friend as a roomie, not even the remotest idea of dating someone in the near future, choosing to simply treasure where God had me....and then six hours later i'm having a conversation with the man i would end up Michael. funny how things work. (and yes, that six hours later is quite literal...and while i had known Michael through Sunday school for awhile, neither of us had a "romantic" interest in one another...and both of us would tell you that it was quite a surprise when God opened our eyes to one another...and both would tell you that it did, in fact, happen that night...after just a few hours of conversation...but that, my friends, is another story, for another day (and a really long, grammatical train wreck, of a sentence). one moment i was marrying Michael...and now, here we are...with three incredible daughters. within the span of a decade i've gone from junior in college to mini-van mama. its been a wild ride.

and that is just the physical realm. i can't even begin to express where God has taken me spiritually over the course of the past decade. i can tell you that many times it hasn't been pretty. He has taken me through seasons of pain and heartache over friendship...a season i remember vividly...a season that i NOW can see as instrumental in preparing me for my husband...a season that cultivated contentment in my heart. He has taken me through seasons of joy and blessing. He has allowed me to go through seasons of doubting and struggling. He has taught me that marriage truly is NOT for happiness (though He is so kind to allow that to be a by-product!) but for holiness. He has walked with me through seasons of sorrow and all the while revealed His incredible faithfulness and mercies. He has always provided. He has always been there. He is...after all...the great I AM.

and that, my friends, is the difference of a decade. here is my prayer for the next decade. oh that the Lord would help me to look back and remember His faithfulness in this past cast ALL my anxieties on Him because HE CARES FOR ME. oh that i would remember that even in the "uncertain" moments that are sure to come, He IS. oh that He would help me to hold is bound to be a wild ride...after all, in the span of a decade i'll go from having a newborn, 2 and 14 year old to having a 10, 12, and 14 year old...there are bound to be some "bumps" along the way! oh that i would end the next decade walking more closely with Him than when i start it tomorrow!


Crystal said...

It is amazing what can change in ten years! I find myself envious of your trust in God. I am hoping this year I will find that church home to help me bring me closer to Him. You are so very blessed to have an incredible husband and those three beautiful girls. Thank you for letting me see into your little corner of the world. :)

Rebecca said...

it really is amazing the changes that can happen in a decade. i know there have been a lot of changes in my life as well. after reading your entry i find myself wanting to go back over those years...
by the's looking like 2010 has a move for us...hopefully one where we'll be able to stay planted for a while :). i'll share more when i know more.

Nancy M. said...

Wow, you really have been through a lot of changes in the last 10 years! The next decade is surely going to be interesting!