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Saturday, May 8, 2010


I have a friend at work, Reanna, who is having difficulty conceiving. Her plan when she got married was to have had a child by now. Life has changed that plan. This is a woman who is going to be a wonderful mother, and her husband will be a wonderful father. But life and circumstances keep throwing her curve balls. I don't even pretend to know what she is going through. I know that she is heart broken with every negative pregnancy test. I don't have any idea how to console her except to say that God has a special plan for her. We just aren't on His level so we can't see it yet. I truly believe this. I quite often believe very strongly in my heart that there is a little girl out there already that desperately needs Reanna. I don't know why I say girl, it is just what I feel in my heart. I don't know that she is ready to hear it yet though. I pray for her everyday that she will become pregnant, I know that is what she wants. It has always been her plan.

Plans have a strange way of letting us down. We make them, we work for them, we count on them. Then one day, we look up and our plans have become out of reach. They seem to be getting farther and farther away. Like watching a train speed away down a track. We can see the way to get to the train, all we have to do is follow the track. But it is so fast, and we can't keep up. No matter how fast we run, the train gets away.

Funny thing is, we keep looking at the train that has disappeared, we grieve for it and forget that there will be another train coming down the track soon. It will be a different train. It will not have the accommodations we thought we wanted. It may switch tracks and take us a different direction then we had thought we wanted to go. It may change our destination, but the new destination might just be better. It may look much different, but doesn't that mean it has new opportunities? New choices, new hope? Is that what faith is really about? Learning to get on the train that God wants us on, instead of the train we thought we needed to be on?

When I had children, I imagined each of them going off to college, becoming professionals in some field and living happily ever after. My oldest, Valerie, is in college, working very hard to become just that. She has had many twists and turns but has determinedly stayed on her path. She waited for the next train, impatiently and regretfully at times. But her new train seems to be taking her to her original destination. If it switches tracks along the way it is going to be because she wanted it to.

Josh, my son, has not taken the train I thought he would. He seems to be off the train all together, getting to where he wants to go on his own and at his own speed. The way he has always been. He has never been one to be in a hurry to get any where. Not in a bad, lazy way, but in a "I'm not worried, and I'm not in a hurry" way. He seems to have the secret of enjoying life as it comes. It can annoy the crap out of people that might want to make plans that involve him. Which in turn can annoy the crap out of him. But, I think, if we admitted it, we all wish we could be more like that. I know he has plans, but he has his own way of getting there. He doesn't need one of our trains.

Sixteen months ago, my teenage daughter told me she was pregnant. Not the best day of my life. Not what I wanted for her. Not the train I had bought a ticket for when she was born. Not the plan I had for her.

Now, I can't imagine life without Kahlen. Alyssa has grown up so much. I don't know that she would have become the mature woman she is now if she hadn't had Kahlen. She still has her teen moments, but without Kahlen, I don't think she would be who she is today. She will be twenty in September. She has regrets about her lost youth, her plans have changed. She wouldn't give up a day with Kahlen though. I worry about her lost youth now and then, too. Then I think of who she is today, compared to eighteen months ago. God has a new train coming for her. He's busy teaching her patience in the mean time.

Did I ever in a million years think my life would be what it is today when I was 18, or 25 or even 2 years ago. No, I was going to be chief photographer at Time magazine back then. That train never even came down my track. I was never even at the right station for that one. The station I was at had this wonderful little train. I got on, not willingly at first and with much trepidation. It has been the ride of my life. It started out with just one little plain car. Together Willie and I have put it together to become this long, multi car train. It has hit a lot of bumps and derailed once or twice. Together though we have gotten it back on track. I can only hope for as much for my children and my friend Reanna as they lay their tracks for their trains.

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