Let me tell you a story.
There once was a [young, vibrant] mom who watched with joy as her two [healthy, happy] children grew up. She survived the baby years, with their bottles, baby food, wacky sleep schedules, diaper bags, and vehicles loaded to the roof with gear for one dadgum overnight trip. Along the way, she prayed for precious sleep, minimal ear infections, and an eventual return to a normal way of life.
She trudged through the toddler years, filled with [particularly painful] potty-training wars, playdates, and afternoon naps that dictated her life schedule. She prayed for patience, patience, and more patience. And she longed for the day she could go more than a week without a trip to the zoo.
She entered the preschool years, filled with more playdates, less napping, and an obscene amount of hot dog- and grape-slicing. She prayed for relief from food-cutting, and for the sustainment of naps. She learned to appreciate the personalities of her unique, funny, and sometimes infuriating offspring.
She’s logged more pediatrician visits than she can count, paid for more chicken nuggets and fruit snacks than she cares to admit, and doesn’t even want to think about the number of diapers she contributed to the downfall of planet Earth. She loaded that dang stroller into the car no less than 356 thousand times. She’s battled against strong wills, she’s asserted her authority, she’s cried with debilitating frustration, she’s laughed until she cried. And she’s spanked butts that deserved it. [She still does.]
She survived the first dreaded Kindergarten entrance. She shed more than a few tears over it, but watched with elation as child number one blossomed and grew in that scary and foreign environment. She enjoyed the extra time with child number two as she adjusted to being in two stages at once. Kindergarten passed quickly for child number one, and first grade loomed large. As she realized child number two would enter Kindergarten in exactly one year, she saw her hourglass of time becoming bottom-heavy, as her children were growing up in front of her eyes. And she started praying fresh prayers for direction.
She thanked God for the blessings of the previous seven years of her life. She marveled that she survived at times. She remembered all the times she failed. She laughed at the fun times behind, and her eyes shined brightly at the many ideas for the future. She poured out her heart to God, revealing her desires to the only One who could possibly understand, surrendered her future, and left it all at the feet of her Father. She threw out a few “I know this sounds crazy, but I really want to do this,” for good measure.
And then she stood by and watched her God do exceedingly, abundantly more than she ever asked. Even the crazy stuff. She took a back seat and waited as the prep work, the timing, the specifics fell into place around her. She watched as the exact plan God had for her was laid out before her like a series of precious gifts. She rejoiced in her Father, who proved [again and again] the He hears her prayers, and desires to bless her if she will follow Him. She felt [amazing, overwhelming] peace at her future. She looked forward with excitement and anticipation. The temptation to look behind and feel sadness or regret faded with every forward step.
She knows Who holds tomorrow.
And she is overflowing with Joy!