Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanking God for road blocks


Hubs and I married in April of 2004, and to say our life has been a whirlwind would be an understatement. I've always thrived in a chaotic, stress-filled life. Growing up, I was involved in as many extracurricular activities I could pack into a 7-day week. In college, I took as many hours as possible, while working at a local jewelry store and doing other random stuff like coaching a girls soccer team or singing for a local church in a quartet.

When Hubs and I started dating, I could see our life plans falling into place. We'd chat about life and love, and I knew happily ever after would be a breeze with him. The Monday after Father's Day, I awoke to the worst stomach pains of my life (no, this is not an "I didn't know I was pregnant" story, I promise). After being admitted to the hospital and running some tests, an emergency appendectomy was in order. Hubs rushed into town to be with me during my recovery.

He apparently was also asking Papa (then, just my dad), for my hand in marriage. A few days later, while still under the haze of pain killers, on one knee by my make-shift bed in the playroom of my parents' house, Hubs asked me to marry him. I had never really picture what my proposal would look like, but THIS for sure wasn't it!

We make plans, God laughs.

The following week, Hubs went back to work in his sales territory. We knew his company was making cuts, but figured he was safe. I mean, a company who makes its money on sales HAS to keep its salesmen, right? Wrong. Not even a week after I said YES, Hubs found out that managers were being moved down to sales, and the sales guys were out. Now wedding planning was put on the back burner as we took a deep breath and prayed for something to work out. I had no idea we'd be looking at in sickness and in health, good times and bad, richness and poor all in the same week (and 9 long months before we even made it to the alter!).

We make plans, God laughs.

Hubs found a good job and started the day of our engagement party. A few months later, we married in a beautiful ceremony, surrounded by family and friends. We spent our wedding night at the Four Seasons and flew to Mexico for our relaxing honeymoon. We arrived at our all inclusive resort and settled quickly in to our sun and fun routine. The second night, while enjoying a Japanese influenced dinner, Hubs had a few sushi rolls. Hubs then spent the following four nights romantically hugging the toilet in our room, while I sat in the in-room jacuzzi watching the Simpson's en espanol to drown out the sounds of Hubs' vomiting while pondering if I was going to have to take him to a Mexican hospital while fearfully envisioning him dying on our honeymoon. I had never really pictured what our honeymoon would look like, but THIS for sure wasn't it!

We make plans, God laughs.

A few days stateside, Hubs was 20 lbs lighter, but feeling better. We started our new life in a new town and started making plans for the future. I was dragging my feet looking for a job, hoping Hubs would be promoted to open his own office in a different location. We enjoyed being newlywed, going to dinner whenever we pleased, visiting friends and family and decorating our tiny house. While making plans for the future, we decided a tour of Europe was in order (especially considering I got slighted on the whole honeymoon thing), and we made the bold statement that we wouldn't have kids until we'd done Europe together. What came next? Two pink lines (well, actually 10 pink lines. I was convinced I was getting false positives).

We make plans, God laughs.

We welcomed Strip into the world in May (13 months after we got married, for those trying to do the math). I was feeling my way through being a new mom, and we were still waiting for that promotion. Hubs finally had enough and started looking for other jobs. He gave himself the deadline, saying if he had not found a new, good job by x, he was just going to quit and we'd move back to his hometown where he could farm with his dad. I've never prayed so hard in my life! I was standing in a Babies R Us bathroom, changing diapers with Alaska buddy when I got the call that Hubs got THE job, and we were heading to south Florida.

After suffering from sticker shock while house hunting, we found a place to call home and began feeling our way through our new normal as a family of three in SWFL. We celebrated Strip's first birthday and planned our first trip to Disney World. The discussion of kid number 2 came up and we starting thinking about expanding our family. Apparently, that's all we have to do, because we were soon staring at two pink lines, again (actually this time, it was four pink lines and the digital read out saying "Pregnant"). I had JUST accepted a job. We were just getting things settled.

We make plans, God laughs.

A long, vomiting 36 weeks later, Nugget arrived. This c-section was going to be different. I requested a mirror so I could watch and eagerly anticipated going to recovery with my tiny baby boy. After a quick hello over the blue drape, Nugget was taken into another room and we waited. And waited. And waited. He was not breathing well, so instead of wheeling us to recovery together, he was whisked up to the NICU and I was taken up to my room without my baby.

At this point, I've gotten the gist. I'm not making plans.

We busted Nugget out of the NICU a few days later, and thankfully, he's been fine, overcompensating for his quiet, still start in life by never stopping! Shortly after his first birthday, we got the news that we were moving up to corporate. And even thought I KNOW I said I wasn't making plans, this was something I had been envisioning since Hubs took the job. We found our house, our church, Costco, Trader Joes, friends and friends who were more like family. I slowly started to let my guard down. We were nearing the two-year mark on living there.

We started planning.

Planning for our future there. Planning on how Nugget would be riding the bus in a few years. Planning Strip's first performance in the Nutcracker next December. Planing for winters to come by buying winter coats a little on the big side. Planning for that European vacation. Planning on how we'd re-do the kitchen. Planning.

So it really should have come as no surprise when we had to put our house on the market almost two years to the day that we closed on it. I put on my brave face for the kids, focused on all of the positives for us, our family, our life.

But I was mad. Sad. Bitter. As my mother would say, I had my butt on my shoulders. We had it all planned out! WHY are we having to do this AGAIN. I once thrived in chaos and commotion, but I have kids. I wanted stability. For once, I wanted to do something to our current home, not impulse buy another one.

As the shock wore off, I've started to look forward to this move. This was going to be good. This was going to be good for HUbs and I as a couple and good for the kids. We spent last weekend with Hubs' brother and sisters and all the baby cousins. I smiled thinking about how many memories the kids would now have with their cousins instead of the few scattered memories mixed in with holiday travel.

We took a road trip to our Next Stop so the kids could see their schools and the new house. We were on our way back and were in the middle of nowhere. We were stopped at a light, and I was fixated on the car next to us. It had broken down and was on the shoulder. Two t-tiny dogs were playing next to the car and a tow truck was preparing to load it onto the large bed. I caught the light change out of the corner of my eye along with the steady crawl of a Mac truck pulling through the intersection in front of us, and continued to watch the puppies hoping they wouldn't run out in the road and debating whether to roll down my window and tell the lady sitting in the passenger side to put down her cigarette and pick up the dogs.

That's when I heard the crunch.

We looked around and noticed the blazer on our left was now scooted into the intersection and an older gentleman driving a sedan had plowed into the back of him. And I mean PLOWED. No breaks squealing, no swerving, just full speed impact. We made sure the man was ok, and the tow truck quickly went to work clearing the cars. We continued on our way. About two hours later, my neck was still hurting just thinking about the wreck when it hit me.

Thank God for the blazer.

Had that Blazer not been waiting at the light, that older man would have continued into the intersection at full speed, hitting the mac truck, head on, more that likely killing him instantly. And while I'm sure the driver of the Blazer wasn't thinking he was at the right place at the right time, I'm glad he was. Thank God for that road block.

And that got me thinking. The road my life, our lives, have taken has not been without it's own roadblocks. Illness, job loss, unexpected children, moves. All things we didn't plan on, but hit head on. And while I'm still not doing cartwheels about this change in our life, I'm trying to have a new appreciation for it. What would we miss if this didn't happen? What will we experience in the coming years? What new joys will we encounter?

When we head back home, we'll be embracing these last few days. Our good-byes will not be without tears, and it will not be easy to follow that giant truck. But as we thank God for our road blocks, I'm not planning for anything , just praying for happiness in our new normal. And while life has showed me that we make plans and God laughs, one thing I also know is that when we pray, God always answers.

1 comment:

Chip (LM) said...

I LOVE YOU and look forward to many more years of surprises with you.