Great Expectations

Warning: If you are a doctrinal Nazi or reading lightweight
this blog is not for you. Better for you to close the computer and pray for
supernatural interpretation 🙂

Allow me, if you will, to begin with a story- the story of
my six month wedding anniversary. Who celebrates their six month wedding
anniversary, you ask? Apparently I do, or at least attempt to. A couple of
weeks before the big day Ryan told me that he was planning something special for us, that I should wear a fancy dress. I hadn’t been expecting a celebration and my curiosity was peaked because generally my husband is a very practical (but no less awesome) kind of guy. As the days passed by he talked of arranging a babysitter and I was told not to look at the bank account ( like I do this on a regular basis, Ha! You couldn’t pay me enough!) All of this really impressed me and I felt certain that a magnificent evening was right around the corner.
He spent several hours that week at the store and out in the garage making secret
preparations. In all honesty, I’d never seen him put so much effort into
something we were going to do before. The day came and he explained that the
date would be two part and would start with dinner- I needed to wear an evening
gown. Fancy. I was excited…

But as the itself day wore on I started to feel so tired
that the thought of going anywhere sounded a little terrible. I tried to
ignore/hide this feeling. At dinner I could barely hold my eyes open and couldn’t
focus on all the sweet things Ryan was saying. To counteract this I ordered a
Coke to drink. If you know me at all you know that my bladder and I often have
war and that the thing my bladder hates most in the world is Coke. It immediately
let me know how angry it was. I thought tears might come to my eyes. Shortly thereafter
all I could think about was how nice it was going to be to crawl into my pjs
and go night night. It was at this point that Ryan reminded me that our awesome
night had just begun and it was now time for the secret second part to be
revealed. I hoped maybe this part would go by quickly. As soon as we got in the
car my stomach began to feel a little unsettled and it then proceeded to declare all out war on me.

Ryan pulled into the Chik-fil-A drive thru and told me to trust him. I
said I was going to the restroom and would meet him on the other side of the
drive thru. After sitting inside for about twenty minutes in my evening gown
not eating while people stared at me like I was a lady of the night I finally
called to see what the hold up was. He was stuck behind the slowest car in the
history of human time. We headed towards the house. A bathroom, yay! But
instead Ryan turned to an empty street just around the corner from our house.
With no houses and nothing out there I couldn’t imagine what we would be doing.
Plus, there was no bathroom out there. There was lengthy set up before I was
told to get out of the car. Ryan was standing in the middle of a tiny outdoor
dance floor complete with mirrored ball, music, lights and pictures of all the people
that I loved most. He explained that we were to have to first dance we didn’t have
at our wedding, surrounded by all of the people we loved. As we danced my
stomach cramped so hard I could barely stand up. I was ready to be done dancing
before he was. Next, he pulled out Chik- Fil-A cheesecake that was to serve as
the wedding cake we never had. At this point I began to cry, not because it was
so sweet but because the thought of putting anything else in my belly made me
cry. I’ll never forget the look on his face when I told him how much I needed
to be at the house- Such pure sweetness, concern, such gentleness. Immediately,
we drove home and I spent the next two hours upstairs. When I came down I couldn’t
help but laugh at the sight of him watching Star Trek by his lonesome and
nibbling on his “wedding cake” all by himself. I cannot possibly express how
much I loved that man in that moment, how much he gave me that night that had
nothing to do with replacement dances or Cake.

Fast forward- its my long awaited trip to the Mayo clinic-
where I will find much anticipated answers and healing. Instead, I find a
gentle, tender hearted older man who is moved to tears with compassion as he
tells me his own story. For three years of his life he struggled with
unexplained neurological symptoms. He wasn’t able to work. His family had to
take care of him. The doctors, his very own colleagues told him the symptoms he
was experiencing were not physically possible, and yet, they continued. One day
they went away and no one could ever tell him why he lost three years of his
life. He looked at me and gave me what no one else in this world had been able
to give me- understanding, real true, I lived through this and came out the
other side understanding. I couldn’t explain to anyone else on this earth what
it felt like to lose all ability to be productive or fruitful but with him I didn’t
have to. Here was a physician (who I believe loved Jesus and was appointed to
see me) saying, I know what’s going on is real and I know that the worst part
is the not knowing. I didn’t go on to get the answers that I wanted, but I got
a truly priceless gift that day.

Great expectations- I believe that God wants us to have them
but I believe that he also wants us to leave it up to him WHAT great things he
brings us WHEN. He’s promised us a ton of great things, but the how and the
when they are delivered are left up to him, because he’s God and we aren’t and
sometimes in his wisdom he gives us better great things than the great things
we would have chosen for ourselves.  Beth
Moore says it better than I can in her book “Believing God” She says “ We can
always hope and pray diligently for a miracle. If, in Gods sovereignty, He
chooses to accomplish His purposes another way, let it not be that we have not
because we asked not ( James 4:2) or that we have not because we believed not”
(Matt 9:29) She goes on to say “  I am
utterly convinced that any “no” an earnestly seeking child of God receives from
the Throne is for the sake of a greater yes, whether realized on earth or in heaven”  What are Beth and I saying in all this? Don’t
miss the greatness of the thing that God gave you because it didn’t meet your
expectations of “great” in the moment. Choose to receive the good thing that he’s
given you. Thank him for it and know that the other greater you had in mind may
well be just around the corner. The gifts he gives are good and with purpose. I
suppose I am also saying it’s a bad idea to order Coke and unfamiliar dishes on
a hot date with your husband and that all hot dates should include easy access
to the restroom. And just so you know, later that week, on a beautiful crisp
night Ryan and I did have the sweetest dance of our lives together, out in that
empty space. Other great, right around the corner, just like I told you- but
just so you know- The first “great” night meant more to me than any other
single night I can remember us having for reasons I’ll never fully be able to
understand- other than the part where Jesus knows what needs to be spoken to
the secret places of our hearts.

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