Everything was organized, planned and ready to go except what time we would be leaving the following morning for our weekend getaway to accomplish a silly seven-year dream of mine–the dream of touring the Christmas Story house in Cleveland, Ohio. I thought we would sleep in a little later than usual and even make breakfast together, before dropping our foster princess off with relatives around noon. Those were my plans but little did I know that somewhere between me holding a perfectly checked off ‘to-do’ list in my hands and my inability to know my geography, my plans would change.
You see, as my husband and I stood together in the kitchen the night before our “ooh la la” weekend and we discussed the final details of the arrangements I had already made in my head and on paper, he casually leans up against the wall and right before popping another potato chip in to his mouth he says, “You know it takes eight hours to get there right?”
Wait! What?! Eight hours?! It takes eight hours? No I didn’t know it took eight hours. Four…maybe five if we stop to eat, but not eight. I thought to myself, how did I miss this small, yet important detail? And within seconds I went from being giddy and excited to reluctant and wondering if it would be worth it. Would it be worth the extra time? Worth the extra money? Worth the additional stress as I had to change plans and schedules?
Looking up at my husband, I asked if he thought it was worth it. What if it didn’t meet my expectations? What if it was just another thing added to my list of regrets? And His response? “What if you didn’t take the risk and go? Wouldn’t that also make the list?” With that final thought, we went. And can I just say that the eight long hours in which I listened to my husband sing everything from Christmas carols to Willie Nelson was worth it. The extra money that I had never planned on spending was worth it. Even the stress of traveling in over nine inches of unexpected snow and blizzard like conditions was worth it.
Because it was worth it all to see the “Major Award” shining bright in the front room window as we rounded the corner onto 11th street; and I will never forget standing on the sidewalk that night, looking up at the house with snow falling all around me and thinking about how I almost missed this opportunity simply because it didn’t fit into my already prearranged plans and time frame. I couldn’t believe I almost let a few obstacles stand in my way of having that special moment and this awesome memory because in the end, it was absolutely worth it.
It was absolutely worth it to not know in advance how long the journey would have taken or how many obstacles would have stood in my way because if I had known, I would not have even bothered to plan the trip. I wouldn’t be talking about how it was one of the most amazing weekends I have ever had with my husband. Or how awesome it was to see my favorite Christmas movie come to life. Instead, I would be telling you about how it was still another box left to be checked on my bucket list. Another dream still a dream. Another desire still unfilled. Another regret added to the list of regrets.
My sweet friend, maybe you are sitting at your desk, on the couch, or in the waiting room at a doctor’s office and wondering how much longer it will be for you to have the desires of your heart fulfilled. You have convinced yourself that if only you knew about some of the twists and turns up ahead, then it would make the journey easier to move forward. It would take away all your fears and doubts. But let me ask you this: Would it be better to know? Or would it just cause you to second guess not only yourself, but also your dreams? Would it make you fret about whether it is worth it? Worth the extra time waiting? The extra money spent? The additional stress and potential for heartache? Would it make you choose to do something else–something with fewer risks or something that was easier, yet not what you really want? And so in the end, you are still adding to your list of regrets…the regret of not taking that chance. The regret of not trying just one more time. Or waiting just a bit longer.
I can’t help but think our heavenly Father, who could tell us everything, keeps certain details of the journey hidden because He knows that if we knew how long it would take, or what obstacles stood in the way, then we wouldn’t go forward. We wouldn’t have faith to trust in Him. We might even let fear take over and chose a different path other than the one He had planned for us to take. Or worse, we would just forget about our dreams and desires all together…give up on them before we even got started. And so because of these reasons, He doesn’t tell us every detail, or bump in the road because in the end, He loves us too much to just sit back and watch us not live our lives to the fullest.
So to the one reading this today who in this moment is tired, worn out, hopeless and wondering if it will even be worth it to keep going, keep getting up and to keep trying time and time again, can I just encourage you today that if God gave you the dream and placed the desire in your heart, then the answer is always yes.
It is yes to the ‘momma in waiting’ who is wondering if she should keep pursuing her dream of having a precious little one to call her own–whether naturally, through adoption or other means. I pray that as you keep trying and waiting for that day, you know that while the journey might be long and clouded with obstacles, it will be worth it.
It is yes to the foster Momma who is struggling with this journey that is so full of uncertainty. I pray that you understand that no matter how many tears you shed for those precious little ones or the heartache you endure each time one comes or goes, it will be worth it.
And it is yes to the woman sitting alone in her living room, wondering if a man will ever love her enough to one day give her a ring. I pray that you trust God is working on your behalf and molding your future husband to be the Godly man He needs him to be for you; because if you are patient and do not rush, I promise, it will be worth it.
So trust in Him through the twists and turns, the unexpected delays, and change of plans. Trust in Him through the obstacles, the fears, the doubts and the heartache. Because in the end, we can rest knowing that our heavenly Father, through His grace and mercy, will make sure the journey will be absolutely worth it.
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