This weekend I attended a high school graduation party for a cousin back in my hometown. I ran into old teachers (because it's one of those small towns--where EVERYONE knows EVERYBODY), looked over photos as she had grown up in the past 18 years, listened as people talked about how "time moves so fast" and watched as she opened up her graduation gifts.
And then I realized she was in the third grade when I graduated from the very same school...and all of a sudden I'm shocked at how quickly time does move and I'm grabbing my toddler's hand from planting her hand into the cake & scanning the room to see who is holding my newborn.
Nine years ago I walked across the stage and stood up with the choir and sang Vitamin C's graduation song (like every other senior class did in the early 2000s) I had been voted "class clown" & "most school spirit". I was devastated to be leaving friends behind. I was terrified of the future.
I went off to college with big plans to teach High School English and Theater. I changed my major six times before I graduated. I found Jesus. I lived on campus all four years. I became an RA. I made lifelong friends. I made people pour out their beer. I hugged residents after a loss, a break-up or a bad test score. My favorite project was when I made a dinosaur color wheel for an art class for elementary teachers. I dreamed big. I graduated abruptly.
I grew up.
I lived a year in my college town by myself in a basement apartment that flooded without mercy and had no working heat. I worked with special education students. I grew to know & trust Jesus intimately.
I grew up more.
I moved without having a job...just because I felt God leading me. I started a job. I met a boy. I started dating him. I said yes to him. We exchanged rings. We had a baby. I quit my job. We had another baby.
I grew up a LOT more.
And today, well, today I'm here. raising two babies in a town I never expected to live in with the kind of husband I never expected to have, spending my days changing diapers & doing laundry....lots of laundry.
I'm still growing up & I'm working to make all that head faith a heart reality. I'm remembering that my God is the same God that I met in college & came to know so intimately after. He is the same God that led me to a new city when I had no idea what I was in store for. The same God that brought me the kind of man I could have only dreamed of, and even knowing he's an imperfect man---he is perfect for me. The same God that chose the timing of our children even in our uncertainty & provided in ways afterward that baffled me. This God is the same God I believe in now..even in uncertainty, doubt, trials, struggles, & empty bank accounts.
My God is bigger than all of that.