I'm moving forward. Some days I cry, some days I laugh. Most days I do both. I am adjusting to not being pregnant anymore and I'm adjusting to going from happy to devastated at the drop of a hat or the kind words of a friend or the sympathy card in the mailbox. I am moving forward through grief and loss, but I am also embracing joy and hope.
Christmas is almost upon us and the tree is up. The twinkling lights pull me right back to childhood. The familiar carols that never grow old brighten my spirits and bring movement to my feet. There are so many happy moments in this season that keep me smiling. The tears are still never far, but lately neither is the smile--and for that irony, I am thankful.
My hands are always full with my three wonderful kids. I love them so much and even more each day.
My hubby and I watched "It's a Wonderful Life" the other day. I hadn't seen it in years. As we sat down to watch, the first thing I said was "Why don't they make a new one of this movie? It's so old!" But then as we got into it, I realized I know why they haven't made a new one. They don't need to. It's so pure and raw. It's so well done. I found myself getting so lost in it. And now as a parent, I understand so much of George Bailey's feelings all the more.
When Bryan and I met, we were at missions college. We had big dreams and big plans. We wanted to travel the world, preach the Gospel, get our hands dirty. We kept those plans and dreams well into our first years of marriage. We faced set backs and redirections but we kept the same vision. "Take the Gospel to the ends of the earth." And then we boarded that plane for South Africa. We landed and we hit the ground running. But an unexpected second child was on the way and the bank account was emptying. Our dream crumbled to dust right in our hands and we were lost. We came back to the States with a couple of suitcases and a couple of kids. We were confused. This wasn't the path we set out on. Bryan took a job he never wanted and I settled in at home to raise our kids. Far from the African continent and further from our starry eyed dreams.
A couple states and another kid later, and we still aren't where we thought we'd be. I don't know if the dreams that were whispered to our hearts will ever come true, but we are waiting on God. We have a lot of nights like George Bailey had. A lot of nights where everything goes wrong and we ask--just like George-- "Why did we have to have all these kids" and "Why do we have to live in this crummy little town?"
But what if we didn't have it? What if the mess and the cribs and spills and the crayon covered walls and the dirty diapers and the crying at 1 am.. what if it was all gone?
See, my life may have turned out quite differently from how I thought, or planned, or even dreamed. But my life is wonderful. And I wouldn't trade any of it for all the lofty dreams and sparkle in my teenage eyes. I never knew then what I know now. Love. The love of a marriage, the love of a family, and the wonderful life that those things have brought me.
God knows what He's doing. And, for the most part, we don't.