Tonight, I spent a couple hours over at the “new” house trying to make a dent in the seemingly never ending trim that has to be painted. I was alone, and as I’m wont to do, I ended up thinking too much. As I was painting my newest daughter’s closet door (and if you’ve never painted a 6 panel door, you haven’t lived), my mind began thinking back…
12 years ago, almost exactly, I first stepped foot in the house we will shortly call home. It was between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and Amanda and I had just begun “going out.” She invited me down to meet her parents, and to have dinner. I can remember pulling up to the house and seeing my future father-in-law in the yard with an axe.
Yeah. An axe.
He was chopping wood for the fireplace, but still…you can imagine the thoughts that went through my head!
But I digress.
12 years ago, I was 22 and stupid. I thought I had life figured out. I had my “plan.” Once I met Amanda, and somehow convinced her to marry me, I planned to continue to amass wealth, to by the quintessential house in the suburbs, have 2.3 kids, a dog, yada, yada, yada.
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d end up living in that very house, raising my two beautiful daughters between the same walls that my wife grew up in.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be a teacher.
At a Christian school, no less!
Never in my wildest dreams would I live in a town this small!
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d ever own a minivan.
My list could go on and on. Life has not turned out exactly like I planned it.
“But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” 1 Cor. 2:9
I couldn’t have imagined it. Through personal struggles, spiritual brokenness and restoration, healing, hurt, miscarriage, births, deaths, ups, downs…I wouldn’t change a thing. Yeah, there’s some things I didn’t enjoy at all as we went through them. There are things I wish I’d have done better, or differently.
But as I stood there painting the trim in my baby girl’s room, the room that used to be her mother’s, I could honestly say:
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, [fn] for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
No, it hasn’t turned out as planned.
It’s turned out INFINITELY better.