Isn’t it funny how some of life’s most “predictable” events sneak up on you in a way that makes you suddenly stop, turn, and look over your shoulder and wonder where time went? There are some things, that you know are going to happen – both short term and long term. You receive a positive pregnancy test, you know that (odds are) you will have a baby in nine months. You buy something on credit, you will get a bill in the next 30 days asking for money. You graduate high school (or college) you know that in five, 10, 15, or 25 years (or somewhere before or after that time line) there will be a reunion. That’s where I find myself this summer. 10 years post high school graduation, and looking at the invitation to my high school reunion.
10 years have passed, both faster than I could have imagined, and slower than I would have thought possible. Mostly, as I turn, and look over my shoulder I have to examine the passing of time in comparison to the “me” I saw me as today from the “me” I was 10 years ago.
I remember thinking that I may never marry – at that point in my life, God was working on me not to date, or purse guys – little did I know the lessons He was teaching me then about waiting on His timing and His plans for my life. I had no clue that just a year latter some random guy down in New Mexico would push a button on a website and find my inner most thoughts – and be captivated by them. I had no way of even guessing that we’d spend the next year emailing, chatting, racking up phone bills, and spending crazy amounts of money to have airlines carry us across the sky. I wouldn’t have ever thought I’d be in a long distance relationship with some guy I’d never met in my life. I would have laughed at you, and told you to get your head checked if you had told me then, not only would I meet some guy on the internet, I’d spend a year and a half getting to know him, and planning our wedding before standing in a small town church, with no air conditioning, in the middle of July pledging the rest of my life to him before moving back to Texas!
Heck, if you had told me I’d one day live in Texas (or anywhere with no snow and triple digit heat!) I’d have told you you were nuts!
Kids – enh, that was something to be thought of later. Only a small glimmer hinted at what might be struggles in that area. The knowledge that I only had one kidney had come with a statement that I may have problems having kids. I thought that meant problems getting pregnant at the time – but there was always adoption. Again, I’d cross that bridge if I ever go there. I wouldn’t have dreamed of two still-births, a miscarriage, and a hysterectomy before 30. Although, the hysterectomy wouldn’t have bothered me then, and doesn’t now – I’ve always said that if I couldn’t have kids I wanted them to take the extra bits out so I didn’t have to mess with monthly messes!
I also wouldn’t have ever guessed at the amazing people God has brought into my life – not only the husband I didn’t expect, or the daughter I didn’t plan on, but the amazing friends and support system He has built around us. I assumed I’d stay where I’d been planted to that point and continue to live shrowded in the small town mystic and inability to live past high school that so many of the adults I saw there. I’d stay friends with those I already knew and cared for, maybe make some new friends in school, and that’d be that. In reality, I couldn’t wait to get the hell outta dodge, but I had no idea and no means to do so. Of course, I should have known, God had both. lol
He brought me to Texas – land of the hot, and started pouring into my life with some amazing friends, and leaders. There are things that people whom I now haven’t talked to in six year, said to me the year that I lived here before Chris and I married, that still hit home and cause me to stop and think just as much as they did then. Seems like since the beginning of life in Texas God has taught me through others in a way that I never learned back in Ohio. I’ve been constantly challenged, encouraged, and depend because of those relationships God continues to bring into my life – none of which are the same as others back home.
Sure, I stay in contact with a few people, and still hold deep relationships with a select couple, but for the most part the hatchet of the high school years I hated still hasn’t been buried and I care very little for what has happened in the lives of most of my class mates. Others I’d love to see, catch up with, talk about where life has taken them in 10 years, but I’d say of the 120 I walked the field with in graduation gowns, only 5 or so mater to me – a number not much different than it was 10 years ago.
God has certainly taken me on paths I never ever would have thought of, but He has grown me in ways I con’t have ever imagined in the process. Do I wish I had a happier story to tell when people ask me “what I’ve been up to” in 10 years, sure – but then I remember the reward isn’t here for others to marvel at, the gain is in Heaven where I’ll one day get to walk with my Savior, and finally get to met and hold my babies as my family is put together at last.
None of this reflection though helps me decide if I want to make the trip to Ohio in August. Too bad I can’t make it a party of 5 instead of a blast of 120.