Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My Arranged Marriages

There have been times in my life when I use the brain that God gave me and make plans. Big plans. Plans that make good sense, that could be argued in court to be the smartest and rightest choice for me and for those I love.

And then God tells me that He's got other plans for me.

Each time this has happened (and I'm thinking about three times in particular), I recognize the inspiration, but I throw fits. I try to argue with God, to explain my position, but we all know how THAT goes.

The first time was long ago and I won't talk much about it. Super personal and all that.

The second time was when we decided to have Ben.

And the third time was moving to this house.

The angst is real. Giving up my idea of what is right for my life is HARD. Trusting Heavenly Father shouldn't be hard, and yet, it is. To turn from the known to the unknown, to accept that the new choice will likely make my life more challenging, will stretch me in ways that hurt, to willingly give my life to God with the belief that He does, indeed know's all very daunting.

And yet, looking back with this whole "hindsight is 20/20" thing, I recognize many of the Whys. I also see that just because I know that Heavenly Father is directing me in something doesn't mean it will be easy. Or manageable. Or fun. But eventually I'll know that it's right.

There were many very good reasons for us to not have a fourth baby. And even when I had received the prompting (the hit you over the head kind of prompting) that we needed to have a fourth, I tried to ignore it. David listened, though, and told me we could do it. It would be OK.

And it wasn't really OK. It was extremely, enormously hard. For most of the pregnancy and much of Ben's first year. I remember going to the temple and just begging Heavenly Father to make it easier. I tried to bargain: since it was all His idea, after all, couldn't he take away the trial of it and make it easier? The answer for THAT time was sadly, no. What he did, instead, was carry me when I was most overwhelmed and give me strength to continue when I didn't think I could. Life wasn't magically perfect. Somehow, though, even with the anxiety and the worry and the pain, we knew our decision was the right one. And we love Ben enormously. We truly can't imagine our lives without him. He is so so SO much fun. The pain, in the end, was absolutely worth it.

So when this house thing happened, I guess I was a little prepared for growing pains. I wasn't really prepared for the immensity of them.

I'm still feeling shell-shocked. It's all so unfamiliar and new, and there are some parts of my life that are undeniably hard. And yet, like maybe in a good arranged marriage, I'm learning that there are some wonderful surprises in my new house that are helping me fall in love. Since I had no expectations, everything positive is like a little gift. Here are the unexpected things I'm learning to love about my new life:

Fans in the bathrooms.
Plugs wherever I might need them. And they're all grounded!
The attached garage thing? Whatever I think about it architecturally (yuck), MAN are they wonderful in the winter.
The light-filled basement.
Jetted tub. I didn't think I'd care. And I do care.
Big ol' pantry and closets.
The light rising behind the mountains on my early runs.
The Bonneville Shoreline trail, of course.
Wonderful visiting teachers.
Dining room.
Josh's experience with the orchestra at SDJH and with scouting.
The many many coincidences that reassure me that Heavenly Father is mindful of us and this WAS planned by Him.

This isn't what I had planned, but I'm going to survive it. And I'll find the joy in it one step at a time. This is when the clay says to the Potter: do what You will. My life will be more beautiful in Your hands than it would have been with my weaker vision.


Liz said...

I hope to be able to write one of these posts some day! :) I'm so happy you are finding bits of joy!

Danielle said...

We had the same experience with Hannah. We had tried for years to have another baby. Then we decided we should be happy with what we had. Just as we planned for our two-child family and got ready to sell our van, Hannah came along and very shortly thereafter, Grace (proof that Heavenly Father has a sense of humor). It has been so hard, and continues to be. But those two little girls are amazing.

If you guys ever move again, come to Heber. I miss you!

Christina said...

I love the arranged marriage analogy. I wish my thoughts were as eloquent and coherent as yours! No fair!

Amber said...

Like a "good" arranged marriage--that's the best part! Fans in bathrooms, what a difference! Definitely top of the list. Little Ben, he is adorable in all of your pics, and now you are a perfectly balanced family! You survived, and will survive and thrive with future directional shifts.

Michelle said...

this is the kind of post that makes me wish you were my next door neighbor so we could discuss every detail. I love your term 'arranged marriages' I have a few of those too.

Lara said...

Wonderful post. I do the same thing...I throw fits and try to ignore what the Spirit is telling me. I have always eventually given in. My mission is a good example of this.

Love your thoughts on arranged marriages...there are always plenty of good things in the very hardest of situations. Good for you for finding them!

tonandboys said...

this is beautiful! I love, or maybe covet your ability to recognize and separate inspiration from your own desires. sometimes, desires can be so strong that they are almost blinding for me. I can definitely relate to struggling to find the blessings and purpose behind it all sometimes. I have definitely been there. Sometimes, it really does take much longer to develop than seems reasonable for sanity purposes...but I guess that is what stretches our faith. I can't wait to hear where this adventure leads to..even if it takes a little time to develop..cuz the best things always surely will.. and I know the blessings will be amazing!