My Plan vs Reality

I’ve been really struggling the past few days. I know I lost a lot with my ex-husband’s affair and our divorce, but I’m usually really good about focusing on the future and the possibilities that lie ahead. I had a reminder this weekend that sometimes our losses are far greater than we initially realize. 

Some of the best days of my life were when we lived in Texas. We had great friends that we were with all the time. We spent every Sunday together, we called it Corona Sunday. Our kids played together, we grilled out, we played Rock Band, we swam- it really was a great life. We moved to Georgia and started over. We made new friends- we vacationed with them, we spent every weekend grilling out and playing Nerts. Life was good again. The only thing not good through all that, was my marriage.

My ex didn’t have time for his kids, we didn’t have dinners together during the week, he didn’t come to band concerts or school functions. I don’t think he even knew the names of the boys’ teachers. Most days, he would come home from work after bedtime and leave before they woke up. I was so tired of doing everything on my own. I was emotionally and physically exhausted. The only things that really kept me going were my friends who were like my family. I lived for those nights with them where I could feel like someone actually enjoyed being with me and truly liked me. 

I remember when we had a big snowstorm in Georgia, and everything shut down. My ex decided he would go to work just in case someone showed up to buy a car. The husbands of my friends came and picked my boys up to go sledding because their own dad didn’t see the importance of family and those men did. One of those men taught both my boys how to throw a football because their dad had never shown them. I could only do so much on my own. When my ex had an affair, I lost most all that support. I felt truly alone. 

Stick with me, there really is a point to this post besides complaining. 

I never dreamed my marriage would end. I never imagined the man I married wouldn’t make his family a priority. He made a lot of promises in which he never followed through. He couldn’t wait for kids, he couldn’t wait to take them fishing and hunting and teach them to play sports. The life he said he wanted was the same life I wanted, the one like I had growing up. He sold me something that was a lie. He didn’t just take my future, he stole my past and everything it could have been. 

This is where I’ve been this week. Stuck with all the things that should have been mine and never will be. We didn’t have dinners around the table where we all talked about our day. We didn’t go to school events as a couple to cheer on our boys. We never danced in the kitchen. We will never be the example to our children of what love can look like. 

My boys will never have grown up with a father who was present and there for all their highs and lows. I will never have the family that spends all their holidays and birthdays together. I won’t grow old with my children’s father and sit on the couch holding hands while we marvel over how wonderful our grandchildren are. It makes my heart ache that my boys did not get everything they deserve. It hurts that the dream younger me wanted for my future will be far different than I ever thought.

Here lies the point to this post. We can plan for all we want, that doesn’t mean we’ll ever get it. We can dream and pray for the future we desire, but that doesn’t mean it’s the one we’re going to get. We can search for the life we long for, but it doesn’t mean we’ll find it. But luckily for us, we have a God that loves us more than anyone here on earth loves us. He longs for us to seek Him and find the plan He has for us. He knows us better than we even know ourselves. True joy is found in His plan for us, not ours. 

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.” Psalm 37:4 NLT

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. Isaiah 55:8 NLT

He not only knows what is best for our lives, he wants us to HAVE the best lives. He wants us to have the desires of our heart. By finding our pleasure in worshipping and loving Him, we will find the peace and joy that nothing on this earth can ever give us. He knows our hearts’ desires better than we do; He knows that what is best for us is sometimes not the thing we want most in that moment. I think that we are too small and too scared to even comprehend what we can have, so what we plan is nothing compared to what He plans.

It’s ok for me to wallow for a couple days in what has been lost. It’s ok to mourn a past that never happened and future that will never be, but I can’t stay in that place for long. I must focus on the fact that I may not have gotten the life I thought I wanted, but God’s plan is far better. I can’t wait to see what He has in store for me. 

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