It's hard to believe Johnny and I have been together for close to 20 years. We were absolute babies when we first met in a world that expected us to be both reasonable and serious adults just because our names were printed on a diploma. Goodness gracious, we were still developing and definitely still maturing but there we were ready to take on the man, thrown into a world of discovery with no clue who we were yet or really where we were going. What did it matter what skills we had, by God's sake we were going to make our own way hell or high water! Looking back now some almost 20 years later I wonder what in the Sam hill we were thinking, running around in a post-apocalyptic teenage world trying to pass ourselves off as grownups wielding nothing but our lack of know -how with a definite desire for independence.
It honestly amazes me how Johnny and I ever made it out of our 20's, through our 30's and now well into our 40's. It's not that we were wild, crazy kids with a lack of self-control or vision. Sure we had some crazy, wild ideas of how things should work but as with every couple setting out together we had to grow, with and towards each other. Sometimes through the years it has also meant a part as well. Growing together, is not an easy task and If anyone thinks this happens overnight, boy do ya'll have a thing or two to learn!
Life lesson #26: Just grow with it, life's a pruning process!
If you had asked me when I was 16 how I saw my life going, I surely wouldn’t have mentioned breast cancer, preterm labor, financial woes, marriage troubles, a child on the spectrum, the other with a TBI, heartache, suffering, sadness or any of the top 10 disasters of my lifetime and that's just so far. BUT I also wouldn't trade any of them for the all the common sense those said difficulties have bestowed upon my life. I'm not perfect nor am I anywhere near where I want to be yet, but I'm happily moving forward. Life hasn't been easy but it's defiantly been entertaining and interesting to say the least. I can't complain about any part of my journey being boring. As we like to say around here, there's never a dull moment. I can't say my life has been anything near predicable; in fact life with all her ups and downs has been rather clever and spontaneous in her methods. I'm not afraid of tomorrow though or what predicaments life is yet planning for me. What I know is this: I'm not alone, I have nothing to fear.
Now, almost 42 years into this amazing escapade, I'm learning no matter what hazards this adventure throws my way, I'm not alone. In fact I have never been alone even when I was convinced of it! I know without a doubt I'm blessed in so many more ways than not. Loneliness isn't a creature of comfort or of habit around here. Sure, uncertainty comes around every once and a while and fear does rear its ugly head occasionally yet I still count it all joy as we're instructed in God's Word. If I was to take self-inventory here and now you'd see the joy God has firmly planted into my path all along the way. Has life been a walk in the park? Oh no, not in the least but life has been and will never fail to be beautiful. I've been given an amazing while at times eclectic family. First I have parents who not only raised me to love Jesus first but by example taught me the meaning of real, true unconditional love. I’ve been given a husband who yes has driven me up one wall and down another through the years, but is my greatest fan and the love of my life. And together Johnny and I have been given the gift of raising and learning from two of the greatest, if not unorthodox teachers of our lives. Not only have our boys given us the chance to love, learn and grasp but to apply unconditional love beyond our own comfort zones.
The truth is Johnny and I are still working on the mastery of marriage. If we've learned anything, it's love takes time. You can't rush marriage, it's a pruning process. We certainly don't have it all together that's for sure but as a couple, as a family we are building a solid foundation, laying the ground work for whatever may come. Struggle is natural, drifting is about as normal as sneezing, but it's all in how you allow yourself to bend, to be shaped by the Master's hand which defines your path. Being angry all the time is simply too exhausting, wanting it all, allowing your expectations to trump reality or being so desperate to be the center of attention all the time is flat out draining if not disastrous. Besides if you spend all your time assuming, you risk having your whole world blown up. No one can escape life's troubles or hassles. We all face pitfalls, impediments, hit a snag in the road, trip over hurdles, stumbling blocks, run into obstructions and barriers. If we didn't we wouldn't be human. Besides life would be pretty boring if we never had growing pains.
My advice, if anyone tries to convince you otherwise, run!