Sometimes I Think About “What-Ifs”

One afternoon as I was leaving the school, the Middle School students asked me how long I had been married.  I had to stop and do the math (a challenge even when I’m not pregnant) and thinking out loud, I said, “Well, I was married in 1995 . . .”  I was interrupted by a chorus of “Hey, that’s the year I was born!”  I looked around the room and it sparked those “what-if” thoughts I have every now and then.

What if we had gotten pregnant in our first year of marriage? I’d have a child turning 13 some time this year.

What if we’d had a child every two years after that? I’d have seven children, the oldest being 12 or  13 and the youngest being under one.

What if all that really happened?

  • We would have struggled for Jonathan to finish college.
  • We would have produced the first grandchild on both sides of the family.
  • Therefore, we probably wouldn’t have moved to Georgia, feeling more pressure to stay nearer grandparents, aunts and uncles.
  • I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to work side-by-side with my husband in youth ministry, or at school.
  • In fact, I think my marriage would look very different – and probably not better.

What if my life had gone as I planned it when I got married?

  • I’d have four children between 10 and 4.
  • It would be four boys and a girl.
  • Jonathan would have the perfect job at the perfect church in the perfect town where he would have just completed his tenth year of service and people would be interviewing him to determine the secret to long term youth work.
  • I would be a published author/Christian speaker.  But I’d be humble in my greatness.  🙂
  • I wouldn’t know most of you.
  • I wouldn’t have seen most of what I have seen or been most of the places I’ve been.

I play this game with myself when I begin to get bitter feelings about something in my life right now not going as planned.  Playing this game reminds me  of all the great things I would have missed over the years if the Lord would have given me MY plans, instead of HIS plans.  And then, on those days like that one at school, when children old enough to BABY SIT my own are clearly also young enough to be one of my own, I can laugh at my plans, and thank the Lord for doing what’s best for me, instead of what I asked for.