For you have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since youth. Psalm 71
I grew up in a Christian family and became a follower of Christ at a young age. I remember in middle school, high school, and college praying with such desperation that God would use my life. I knew the authenticity of my heart when I prayed those prayers (and God did, too!). I was, and still am, completely willing to go anywhere and do anything if God would only use my life for His glory. There has always been this deep passion burning in my soul that is still alive today.
I must say, however, that I had no idea the course those prayers would take me down. Kendall, my college roommate, recently asked me if this is what I imagined that my life would be like. By 'this' I think she was referring to the chaos of starting a church within our first year of marriage, moving 5 times in 5 years, Andy trying to balance being a more-than-full-time pastor, going to seminary, and being a husband and dad, and all of the other craziness that seems to surround my life. I feel like that kid on Charlie Brown who always walks around in a cloud b/c he never takes a bath. But the cloud that keeps following me is a cloud raining down chaos! Or, maybe I feel like I'm hanging on to a rope that's tied to car going 70 miles an hour down the interstate. I just hang on for dear life as I flop along behind the speeding automobile.
So, Kendall, the answer to your question is, 'No'. I don't think that I had the vaguest notion what I would endure over the past five years. Growing up, I fantasized over life as a missionary in a remote tribe or being a writer and touching thousands of lives. I read about Elisabeth Elliot and did Bible studies by Beth Moore and wondered if God would ever be willing to use my life in such a powerful way. But I made no correlation between the pain that accompanies progress.
I don't think that someone has to keep up this pace of life in order to be used by God. And, it's not my ambition to maintain this pace. But I can see how God is working it all together in our lives, how He's teaching us, growing our character, and preparing us to used by Him. It's no secret that Andy's enjoyable pace of life is much different than the one I would chose for myself. But being married to Andy has given me something to write about. If my life is my content, God is allowing it to become rich.
The road that I would have chosen for myself would have been a much more noble road. Less headaches, less callouses, less pain. But I would have had less experience, less wisdom, and less character. I had no idea where those heartfelt prayers of my youth would take me. But I know that God heard them, that He is Sovereign. and He is my hope. The Lord truly has been my confidence since youth.