When I was a little girl, I knew that I wanted to have a big family someday. I was the oldest of two and from a young age I loved little children. I remember, as a fifth or sixth-grader, deciding that I wanted six kids and even picking out long, flowing names for each of them.
With a name like Amy, I was always envious of my friends with long names and nickname potential. So my first girl was going to be Elizabeth Jennifer, and the other five followed suit. Although I don’t remember any of the other names I had picked…
By the time I got to college, I had other goals and ideas about where I wanted my life to go, but mostly I still wanted to get married and have a big family. “Big” had changed to four kids instead of my original six.
In this month’s From Left to Write book club selection, Natalie Taylor’s husband dies suddenly during her fifth month of pregnancy. This was obviously not what she had planned on in her life. But with the love and support of friends and family, and wisdom from her favorite works of literature, she is able to eventually see sparks of joy as her life moves on from the tragedy.
As my life unfolds, things don’t always turn out the way I had hoped or planned. Although I do have my wonderful husband and four kids, like I wanted, motherhood isn’t exactly what I pictured as a kid. It’s not always the cuddles on the couch, giggles, and warm fuzzies. There are often piles of toys, tears (theirs and mine), and bumpy times of correction as we walk this road together. Times of heartache and sorrow can’t be planned for or predicted. And on the flip side, the times of utter joy can’t always be planned.
Clearly, we are not in control of the events of our lives. As much as I like to try to keep everything lined up in my life, it’s really just an illusion. I am thankful for the hope that I have that God is loving, he is good, and he is in charge. He has given me this life and these people to love, and I am thankful.