I stood around that familiar kitchen island, laughing with my Grandma as we grabbed hot pieces of rosemary-crusted potatoes and gently wrapped them in strips of bacon.
In three hours, 16 people were coming to my tiny condo to surprise my husband for his birthday. I had escaped to Grandma’s to prep food for the party, telling Zach that we were having a grandma-granddaughter afternoon. I could tell he thought it was a little weird, but he knew that you don’t argue with bonding time.
My Grandma leaned over with a smile and said, “You know, you and Zach have such a wonderful relationship. The things you’ve been able to do for each other, you couldn’t have done if you had kids sooner.”
Tears sprang to my eyes as I thought of our four-plus-year journey to add to our family. But, even as I blinked them back, I knew she was right. My guy and I have shared nearly seven and a half years of marriage. One with high highs and gut wrenchingly low lows. Through it, we’ve stood up for each other, cheered each other on, held each other as we cried, and celebrated each other like there was no tomorrow.
Tonight would be another celebration—a bacon and beer bash at that. We’d gather with friends who had walked our crazy road with us. We’d go ’round the room, sharing why we appreciate the birthday guy, laughing and crying as we dared to say aloud those sentiments so often left unspoken.
And, at the end of the night, my guy would look at me with a wry grin and ask, “How did you pull it off??” For the record, I think there were five of us in on the plan to get him out of the house—all five of us would agree that he is among the most gullible individuals we’ve ever met. (Sorry, Love!)
So, was being childless nearly eight years into my marriage my first plan? Uhhh…no. But is it beautiful anyway? Stunningly so.
You see, I firmly believe God enters into the brokenness of our lives and works as only He can to transform our hearts and circumstances into things that bring Him glory.
This isn’t a blog about how hardship equals God trying to teach us something. I don’t know that that’s always true. It isn’t a blog about slapping a pretty smile on over your pain and declaring an awful situation “beautiful.” I don’t think that’s being real.
Rather, it’s a blog about how, when my plans for my life fell apart, God was faithful to meet me in those dark moments. What’s more, He began picking up the pieces of my shattered dreams and reshaping them. I can’t see what the whole picture looks like from here, but guys—I’ve gotta admit—it’s looking mighty good. Because He is Mighty and He is Good.
I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one whose life hasn’t turned out as expected. Maybe, just maybe, you can relate. Tag along as I share about how this Plan Beautiful continues to unfold.