ANYWAYS, I really didn't intend for this post to be a whine fest about church culture. I'm glad God didn't listen to my timeline wishes (we all have them!) I don't know why it's so seducing to see yourself as "so young, but so together". I prefer a bit of patina to my life. I needed time to grow up. It has been a long and difficult journey, but I know that I am a better person for it (thanks to His mercy and grace) and more fit to be a better parent to this particular child who is coming to us.
Throughout our marriage and struggles, I can look back and see that God was using all of it. I know...it sounds so cliche! I KNOW IT DOES. I'M HEARING IT TOO! The cliche red flags are waving violently at me! I'm so thankful He got a hold of me at the moments I was truly at my lowest...letting me know He was still good. Even if I didn't get what I wanted, I was worthwhile and He had a plan for us. It's soooooooo hard to hear this when you're going through it. You can't see the plan, you're stuck in a tiny mosaic piece with no hope of ever seeing the big picture. You're stuck in pan in mode when all you want to do desperately is to PAN OUT and see what you're life will look like! Each of those pain filled bricks I was building with was building a foundation...and it could be a firm one or shoddy one, depending on how I reacted to my circumstances, not depending on my circumstances. I saw a quote that spoke to my heart the other day:
(quote courtesy @Chad Veach, Author of "Unreasonable Hope")
Oh, I love this! I think I had quite a few years in the valley. And for far too long I wanted nothing to do with the valley. My eyes were all mountain top. I could see it looming in the distance and I watched as so many others reached the summit. I wanted what they had. I didn't want to put in the work, either. I wanted it to happen MAGICALLY!!!! I wanted to skip being cured from Vaginismus and go straight to being parents. I was trying to rob my marriage of what God wanted. And try I did. Thankfully He closed a lot of doors and kept kindly redirecting me (just like a preschool teacher) back to what I needed to be working towards. I didn't want to train for mountain climbing! I didn't want to endure the process, because there was no guarantee it would even get me to the top of the mountain I wanted! Being stuck and and camped out and STARING AT THE MOUNTAIN took up a big chunk of the journey; stubbornly willing the mountain to come to me. Slowly I began to move, or God dragged me, pushed me, prodded me into taking baby steps. Seriously. I want to wear my valley experience like a badge of honor. While I'm so happy to be nearing the mountain top (although I know there are so many things that could go wrong ect) I would not trade my valley experience--there really are things that only the valley will teach you, if you let it.