A battle that I face on a frequent basis is the notion of being thankful for what I have but also asking God for the desires of my heart. Growing up, I always wanted a big family. I pictured myself getting done with college around age 22, settling down and getting married by 23, buying our first house the same year and then getting pregnant. I wanted five children when I was growing up. The thought of having that many children brought me joy. They would grow up together, learn valuable life lessons together, fight with each other of course and be there for each other. It was a dream of mine to be that mom to those kids. By the age of 16, I had expectations of what my life should look like at age 30.
Unfortunately, life had different plans. I didn’t graduate college till I was 24, didn’t get married till I was 25, didn’t have my first child till I was 26 and I still don’t own a house. During our first few years of marriage, we struggled financially and, at one point, even had to move back in with family. During those years, I felt like my dreams and desires were falling apart.
Now I am 30, still don’t have a house of my own and only have one child. About seven months ago, we started trying for another child. Month after month, I would be let down by the pregnancy test results. Every time it said negative, my heart would sink. After the 6th month of negative tests, I decided it was time to take different measures in getting pregnant. I bought an ovulation test kit and followed the instructions as given. I notated the “ovulation window” and my husband and I scheduled a day to try and make it happen.
That night, life, once again, took a different turn and we never got the chance to try. I stayed up late figuring out if this was the path I wanted to go down. Scheduling a very intimate time is not how I wanted to conceive and it makes the thought of trying dull. I still don’t know where I stand on the idea of trying more. On one hand, I know I am very blessed in having the beautiful, smart daughter that I have and on the other hand, I want another child so bad, it hurts. My heart aches at the thought of not trying anymore but it is a thought I have had with all of life.
I wonder why I even bother to try for a home when my chances get taken away every time. I wonder why I even went to college if I am not using my degree in the way I dreamed. I wonder why I even bother with the hobbies I have if I never have time to do them in the first place. And thinking all of those thoughts, make me feel empty inside.
An old coworker put a post on Facebook that made me rethink my stance on life. She said, “There is no ‘right’ way to do life. There are no timelines. You are not late. You are exactly where you should be.” and she is right. Our society teaches that you should graduate high school at the age of 18 or 19, be done with college in 4 years, get a job in the field you want, make lots of money, buy a house and settle down around the age of 25, have a few kids by 30 and be set and happy with life. Who on earth came up with this? Since when do we all have to follow the same path as others and why do I have to have all my children before the age of 30?
We, as a society, need to break away from this norm and change that thought process. We live in a fallen world. A world where things do not go the way we want. So when we don’t fall into the norms of society, we begin to beat ourselves up and think of ourselves as a failure.
Another way to look at it is this, if we all lived the same life, had the same accomplishments in milestones, where would God be able to work in our lives? Because I have struggled my whole life, I have a story to tell and in that story, I can show how God worked in my life. That is not to say that there aren’t stories for those who have followed this life. Everyone has a story to tell but just because we do not follow the path of society, it does not mean that your life is a mess up.
Be strong in your desires for life and don’t give up on your dreams just because life did not go the way you wanted it to or the way you expected it to. Continue to ask God for the desires of your heart and don’t give up hope.