Recently a teenager asked me this question: “What did you want to be when you grew up”? I didn’t have to think twice. My answer: “A wife and mother with a large family.” I think he was surprised by my answer, as many others might be as well. But, I never was career minded. I never had a desire to climb a corporate ladder or be famous. I didn’t even desire college. Somehow I just knew as a teenager that I wanted to be a wife and mother, the best I could. I had some good role models in my family. Of course, getting a baby sister at age 13 may have influenced my decision. I did work out of the home though for over 40 years and still fill in from time to time at my last job. I am thankful that God led me to that job which lasted 18 years and was what I considered perfect for me. How that all came about is another story for another day but God always wants to lead us. Sometimes we are just hesitant to follow (speaking to myself here).
Back to the story at hand…After I was asked that question this scripture came to mind, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4) I have been thinking about that ever since. I didn’t “know” God or have faith in Jesus until my children were in double digit ages, unfortunately for them and me (I could have made much better choices). So I didn’t come across this scripture until many years later. I have thought about it often since becoming a Christian but until recently didn’t put all the pieces of my life together (hindsight is 20/20 they say).
As I have been looking back, I realize that God did give me the desires of my heart. Even before I knew Him, He had a plan for me. Of course, my choices got in the way many times but He was always there – waiting for me. I am so thankful that my eyes were finally opened and I was able to see my need for a savior. WOW – life changing. Joyful in the midst of trials (who would have thought that possible?). My desire for a large family had one view (mine). God’s view was quite different. As I pondered this I realized that my family has been and continues to be much, much larger than I imagined.
The thing is, I always wanted a large family. But, in my mind I had a picture of what that would look like. Lots of kids, all loving each other (never fighting of course); great family gatherings (which we have had), all making positive choices in life (don’t we wish), etc. Funny how life doesn’t turn out like we imagine. I do have a large family by today’s standards. But like every other family, there are struggles. We are told in scripture to expect trouble. We sometimes make bad choices which bring consequences. There is sin in the world and we are all affected by it in one way or another. It’s a constant battle. But, the hard times help us grow and appreciate the good times.
Over the years we have had other children live with us for short periods of time. We’ve had our own children come home now and then for various reasons. We’ve had grandchildren live with us off and on over the years. In the past few years we’ve hosted foster children in our home. Some have come for days and some for weeks but we have had the blessing of touching many young lives with the love of God.
So…I guess all this to say – take a look at your life. Maybe God has given you the desires of your heart and you just haven’t realized it because it doesn’t look like you imagined. Remember, His ways are higher and what He can do in and through you is far greater than what you can imagine or do on your own because… our ways are not His ways and our thoughts are not His thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9) but He has a good plan for our lives. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Do you have the desires of your heart? If not, maybe the first part of this scripture is missing.