A mother to four little wilds is not exactly where I saw myself at this juncture of my life. I knew I wanted to be a wife and mother someday, but I assumed I would have been older and wiser when I did take the leap. I was more than a little jaded on the notion of marriage and I certainly had not pictured myself married young with a wee babe on my hip.
In my high school and early college years, I was driven to something, not exactly sure what, but I knew I wanted to go and do, prove myself, be somebody.
I think God knew my heart better than I did. He knew I was lost and pushing, fighting for something that didn't need to be fought for. . . and then there was Kaleb, and somehow he picked up all my pieces and pulled me together in the most beautiful way possible. I didn't lose myself when we got together, like I had with previous boyfriends, I found myself. He pushed me to dream and explore, he encouraged me. He made me a better more pronounced version of myself.
So, I laid down my fears, the chip on my shoulder, and any preconceived ideas on what I thought my life would look like, and decided to just explore it day by day with my best friend. It was, to date, the best decision I have ever made. Although, that is not to say it has all been easy peasy and smooth sailing. We were still young and a little lost, but we were lost together.
Well, you know how the saying goes, first comes loves, then comes marriage, then comes the baby. . . Kaleb and I are not planners, we are not very practical, we are dreamers, optimists the both of us. So with little to no regard for income, stability, and or forethought- there we were, preggers.
Now, you should know I am not and was not one of those gals with strong maternal instincts. I didn't and don't fawn over newborn babes, I never babysat, I wouldn't ask to hold your little bits, and if I'm completely honest- I never had that great of a rapport with kids in general. I had never changed a diaper, I didn't have a list of baby names stashed away somewhere, I had just hoped that with age and time some of those motherly genes would kick in. But there I was, out of time.
Finally, the day arrived when they placed my perfect baby girl in my arms, and right then and there my whole world shifted. Not over night, but somewhere along the line I starting finding exactly what I had always hoped for. Becoming a mother settled me. It gave me hope, and peace and excitement. It gifted me my very own family, my own perfect place where I belonged and was needed and trusted. I think it surprised more than a few people, myself included, how much I took to it.
I'm not sure where this all came from, but I've been thinking back to that time a lot lately. Looking back, it's hard for me to even remember myself that way, so afraid and carrying such a big chip on my shoulder- it's so far from where I am and what we do, yet I also love looking back on this journey and seeing how God knew my heart so well. How he's moved and shaped me and showed me what it was for me to be truly happy. How he placed me in the center of my own great love story, that's filled with adventure and obstacles and uncertainty in the very best way imaginable.
I'm not saying it's always effortless, or that I do it all right or even well, I am saying that it's ok if life looks a lot different than you thought it would. That everything doesn't have to be planned and you don't have to have it all figured out. Let life lead you on your own wild adventure whatever that may be for you. Lay down a few notions of what you thought your life might look like and be open to happiness, you may just find everything you were looking for.