Over the weekend, Evan and I got to celebrate our five year anniversary. It turned out to be a pretty magical weekend of solitude, just us, taking a trip and spending time together without our boys. The last time I was away from all three of my kids was when I had my gallbladder removed in July last year. Nearly nine months ago!
We got married on a Friday evening, and didn’t leave for our honeymoon until Sunday. So after our wedding night, we went out to breakfast at a great restaurant here in Fort Wayne. And this past week, we did the same thing, only five years later.
On our drive there, we talked about how incredible life has been since that morning five years ago. What if someone had told me then that we would have three boys now? That I would drive a minivan? That my husband would be working from home full-time? That our life would look just as it does? I could feel the panic rising from the stomach, just as I know it would have if someone could’ve told me all this five years ago. I know that I would be shaking my head saying, “No way! You are kidding! I mean…there’s just no way. Seriously.”
Let me be frank. I am blessed beyond belief. I know that what I have other people long for, and I wish other people had the joy I find in the people I get to call my tribe. I didn’t wait on bended knee until I had babies in my lap, a man at my side, a house to live in, a mini van to drive. And some people do, they beg with God to bless them in such ways, and it seems that He is holding out on them. Sometime we wait for yes’s that He isn’t ready to give.
You know what I have waited for, for years? A yes from God?
Comfort. Materialistic comfort.
For years, I have fought the battle of hating our minimal, frugal lifestyle. I don’t know how many times I have said to Him, “But if we just had more of _____, THEN…” I have waited for Him to say yes. And He hasn’t. Maybe He won’t. It has taken most of the five years of my marriage for me to get to a point where I can look to the Heavens and say, “It is well. I am okay. You will give me a yes when You are ready for a yes.” And if He never does, then He never does. And He will still be good.
But He said yes to me in the form of my husband. He said yes to three beautiful, rambunctious boys. He said yes to good health. He said yes to a whole boatload of people who surround us and love us. He said yes to me having 10 fingers and 10 toes. He said yes to giving me life.
Sometimes He says no. He doesn’t give to me everything I ask.
It isn’t that He’s keeping me from joy. If that’s my thinking, then my eyes are fixed on a prize that will deteriorate in time.
It isn’t that He’s keeping me from having the best life. If that’s my thinking, I have missed the meaning of my life. He gave me the best life when He died 2000 years ago. He even says He will provide for me, just as He provides for the birds of the air and the flowers of the field.
It isn’t that He doesn’t love me. If that’s my thinking, then I have forgotten that He promises to love me forever. That He has promised me a place with Him in Heaven, that He gave His Son for me, that He would move mountains to find me, that He relishes in my attention, my words to Him.
It is that He knows me better than I know myself. You know, He knew of me when He created the world. He knew my name, the mole on my neck, the size of my toes. Whatever He gives to me, whatever His yes’s are, the reason is perfect. Whatever He withholds from my grasp, whenever He says no, the reason is perfect. It may not be perfect from the worldly perspective, but from the view of eternity, I know He works all things for His good.
He is what matters, after the day ends. After my boys are asleep, after I kiss my husband goodnight, after I turn the lights out in my house. It’s because of Him. He said yes. And for every yes, for every no, I still sing His praise. Even after all this time.
Photo by my brother, Josh Hoering, from our wedding day.