I never expected to have children.
I never dreamed of a family. I didn’t play love and marriage or stuff my shirt with pillows.
I did dream of caring for others. Maybe in far countries.
I even used to hope I’d find an injured animal so I could take care of it.
But I never dreamed of or expected to have children to care for.
So when my now-husband said he did not think the world was a place to birth children but that adoption might be an option someday, I was good with that.
But I didn’t expect to have children.
Then the dream changed. And when it did, I didn’t expect to not be able to expect. I didn’t expect the pain of trying to expect. I didn’t expect the pain of failure. I didn’t expect the peace of surrender.
I didn’t expect the phone calls.
I never expected the sheer joy of burying my nose in a Baby Magic’d bundle, the first snow, the first hands-off bike pedaling, the first day of school, lawn chairs on a rain-soaked soccer field, cheering from a gym bleacher, improvised carnivals in the driveway, rabbit show blue ribbons, or the breathing of three others and a dog in a 13-foot camper.
I didn’t expect the gut-wrenching sobs or the tear-drenched pillows or prayer-draped emergency room stretchers or anxiety relieved only by a paper lunch sack. Of nights and days of unknowing, of stark fear.
I didn’t expect how incredibly hard it would be to swim in an unfamiliar gene pool.
I didn’t expect to have preadolescent emotion “normally” directed to a mom hurled at me, the grandma.
I didn’t expect to survive–let alone sprout “passionate patience.”
I didn’t expect to expect a miracle at every turn, a mystery in every moment. To realize that wherever my foot falls or tear drops or head lays is holy and sacred because of His pervading presence.
I didn’t expect to learn to expect the unexpected.
And that it was all good because He is the long-expected One. Because He is the King of the unexpected and He can be expected to make it all good.
We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us . . . Romans 5:3 (MSG)
Have you learned to expect the unexpected?
Have you learned to embrace the unexpected? At least sometimes?
How have troubles produced “passionate patience” in you?
In the stillness,
Originally posted three years ago today in response to a Five Minute Friday prompt on the word, “expect.”