Me, circa 2010

As I was reading through the archives of my old blog - paying a quick tribute to college Lauren, I stumbled across a post that took me by surprise:

I’ve never been in love.

Maybe once or twice in a Taylor-Swifty-I-can-only-see-the-next-five-minutes kind of way.

And then once in a maybe-this-is-love-but-it-was-actually-something-else kind of way.

But those don’t count. If anything, they reaffirm that I have yet to be in love.
And I’m excited. I don’t particularly have a timeline for my life. I used to think I understood how my life would fall, the order of events that would transpire as I grew. But all that plan has taught me is that I shouldn’t really make concrete plans at all.

There are so many things that I’m excited for today. The upcoming holiday, seeing snow for the first time this season, seeing Christmas lights explode about the neighborhood.

And bigger things as well. Being able to introduce a man as my husband. Making dinner for two. Holding my child for the first time. Playing tooth fairy.

But those are plans, aren’t they? Ben Gibbard wrote in his song “What Sarah Said”: “And it came to me then, that every plan, is a tiny prayer to father time.”

The truth in those lines astounds me. My grandfather used to say “Lord Willing” before his verbs. I found it so frustrating, a waste of words. Mostly I just wanted my plans to transpire, to be able to go to Disneyworld if I wanted to go.

But plans are like the wind. So quick to appear and so immediate to shift. Besides, some of the best moments of my life took place because of broken plans.

God makes better plans anyway.

So I’m excited to see what he has up his sleeve. For us to take this next step together. For him to once again throw my plans out the window.

. . .

How funny to read that now and have the answers to so many of the questions circling around my heart then. I now know the man I'll spend my days with. After nine months, I still love introducing him as my husband. No children yet, but I know whose eyes I hope they have, and the man that will help me parent them.

I also noticed something else - a sense of adventure that I've lost touch with these past few months. In college, I took so much pleasure in the unknown. It thrilled me.

Now, it frightens me.

I think I'm frightened, because I have something so precious to protect - something I can't bear to loose. I can't imagine adding children to that equation. My poor mother. I have a small inkling to how much she's worried all these years.

But being afraid takes all the hope out of life. Fear doesn't leave room for the pleasantly unexpected, it's too busy blocking out the future. And I don't like living that way. I envy my college self - the sheer simplicity the future seemed to represent.

The verse, "Perfect love casts out fear," (1 John 4:18) keeps floating through my head. I keep it pinned on my bulletin board. Nothing is truer. I trust perfect love - and I want to keep trusting Him with my future. Whatever it may bring.

Thanks college Lauren, for reminding me of hope's crucial role in the seeking of joy.

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