When It Doesn't Work Out Like We Hoped

by Audrey on November 7th, 2013

Sometimes, my daughter, GraceAnna, is able to go to chapel at Southern Seminary with her husband .  She especially wanted to be there on this one particular day. She had told me that her husband, Grant,  would be giving the opening prayer in chapel - just before Pastor Alistair Begg would preach. Two special things on the same day.  And for those of us with pastor husbands, this is special.

To go to chapel, GraceAnna has to work out some things.  Like, whether she should put her girls in the provided nursery or trade with another seminary wife and alternate going.  On this day, the girls had runny noses and she knew the nursery and friends with same-age children were not options.  Her only option was to be home with the girls.

Of all days for it not to work out.  Sigh.

Sometimes it just doesn't work out like we hoped.  I remember telling her how  I wish I lived closer. I would regularly be there for her.  And that is true for all of my children who have moved away.  In my dreams, I would go over just randomly to visit,  pick up the children, and bring them to my house - and we would play and learn and bake and work together.  I would regularly tell them about God,  I would relive stories when I was a girl, and I would scandalously report on the childhood craziness of their parents.   I do those things now when they come - I just wish I could do it more randomly.  More often.  

The more part happens in my dreams.  And in my memory.  When I was child, we only lived 4 miles from my grandparents and I spent lots and lots of time at Grandma's house.  Just random.  

Those were good days.  Sweet childhood memories.  

But in this generation, it's so different.  It was different for me when I was a young mom with young children.  Miles and miles away from our parents.

My mom made the best of it.  She would make cassette recordings and read stories and even sing on those tapes and then mail them.  My parents would call often even in the days before cell phones.  They would visit as often as they could and be all there - and we would certainly visit them as often as we could.  And they never missed a birth of any of my children.  They were here when we faced heartache and pain when our children got sick or had surgery.  They took care of us and took care of me.  My mom was the steady influence in my life when I would panic over my child's bruised lip or worry about a heat rash.  She was a calm in my storm many, many times.  

But there was no "just random" coming over.  It was too far.

And that is how it is for me these days.  Oh for a year and a half, God blessed my life when He moved Grant and GraceAnna to Beaufort when Grant was stationed here.  I am so thankful for those months - I made sure I drank them in, not taking one moment for granted.

And so on this day, I found myself wishing once again I lived closer.

 I don't know the details of GraceAnna's morning but at some point she sent this to me:

As I watched it, so many things rushed to my mind. I quickly sent this message to her:

Thank you for sending this.  I love everything about it - Grant's prayer and especially his little girl saying daddy daddy - I just love the whole perspective of it.  Thanks, GraceAnna. Capturing this moment was better than your actually being there.  And I'm glad you sent it to me because it reminded me that it was on and now I have it playing.  So God was good to keep you home and I am grateful.  Your little girls see how you spend your time with the television - not like so many young women who are watching all the talk shows - just wasting time.  But they are actually seeing you honor God through even the things that you watch.

So yes, sometimes it doesn't work out like we hoped.    But God has a greater good in mind.  He is the One who directs every step of our lives even as we are planning our way - Proverbs 16:9.  

So, in my dreams I would love to live close to my children and grandchildren.  But God has me many miles away from each one.  Yet, even in those many miles away, I get such glimpse of His grace and how He is working in their lives.

Without those many miles away, I wouldn't receive so many texts and pictures.  I wouldn't FaceTime as much.  I probably wouldn't get such sweet notes surprising me in the mail, or special notes left on my bed when they leave.  I might not get such tight hugs and I miss yous so often.  

And I know this - I certainly would have missed the moment my daughter captured and I wouldn't be writing this post.

Please let this encourage you.  Walk with God.   Trust your ways to Him.  Don't force things to happen when it's just not working out like you hoped.  God is always working and He has a greater good.

And be thankful for what you have.  You might not have some things.  But you have exactly what God wants for you.

And one day, when we all get to heaven, we will live close.  What a day that will be!  But even better than that, we will, together,  worship the One Who saved us for all of eternity.

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Hope Crowell - November 14th, 2013 at 6:22 AM
As you know...I have so learned to trust God when things don't work out the way I hoped and to be grateful for the way He works through it all...I have been blessed far beyond what I could imagine...this was a beautiful reminder of what I have learned to be so true!
Genevieve Legge - November 20th, 2013 at 12:58 PM
I am now an "empty nester" .. I truly miss my boys but they are men now and God has placed each of them were they are to be. I too hold on to every momet we have together and when the time comes I hope to be a grandmother of great strength and wisdom. For things do not always work out as we hope for but God's BEST is always what I need. Thank you for sharing.

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