We went to Tinkertown this last weekend with some friends, and had a wonderful time.
There were so many moments of the day that were just plain wonderful, and made me mentally stop still for a second, in an effort to take it all in.
The weather was absolutely beautiful. Hello, September-dressed-up-like-July.
The first thing I saw when I came in the gate was a tree covered in bright orange leaves, surrounded by all the other crazy colors of Tinkertown. It was the most festive fall scene I’ve seen in a long time.
I loved seeing Anika with her friends, bravely taking on every ride in the park. She’s a little daredevil. It makes me kinda happy.
And Kaylia followed in her footsteps, like usual. Awesome. Motion-sick Me will take pictures while everybody else whirls and twirls like crazy.
But deep down, there was something else really amazing and meaningful for me about being at Tinkertown. I kept thinking about it all day long, and if it wasn’t such a bright, crazy, colorful, fun place, I might have gotten emotional.
Five years ago, we took Anika to Tinkertown for the first time, and she loved it. We loved being there with her.
But it was right smack in the middle of those years we spent dealing with infertility. Our family was so small. It often felt like we almost didn’t qualify as being a “proper” family, just because we were so small.
So our tiny, little family went to Tinkertown five years ago, and I tried very hard to have a light heart that day. I tried to enjoy Anika as fully as possible, and not long for more. I wanted to feel like we were enough, just us three.
But I found it difficult to be surrounded by so many other families with tons of children. I wanted to have tons of children. I wanted to be one of those frazzled parents, being pulled in 10 different directions.
But we calmly walked through Tinkertown with our one child, perfectly calm and under control.
This last weekend, we walked through Tinkertown with another vibrant, chubby-cheeked little girl, full of life and enthusiasm, lisping mature words she’s heard from her big sister.
Now I can feel like we’re enough. Not a ton, but enough. If I didn’t have health issues to deal with, maybe there would be more. I don’t know. But this is the life we’ve been given, and it’s so good.
I wish that in those dark, heavy times, I would have done a better job of waiting. I wish I would have chosen to rest instead of panic. I wish I could have given myself fully to those days when we were a family of three.
I often felt back then that if only I could see the future, if only I could know God was going to answer our prayers for another child, then I would be able to wait for a miracle with peace and joy in my heart.
But in wishing that, I actually missed a miracle. I missed the miracle of waiting in faith, with the peace and joy only God can give, instead of joy in receiving what I asked for.
I once heard a preacher say we need to long for the Giver more than the gift.
I missed my chance to learn how to long for the Giver in that situation.
I’m sure there will be many more chances in the future, but the chance to learn it in that situation is over. I received the miracle I was longing for before I learned the miracle of how to wait in patience and faith.
If I could go back five years ago to tell myself something, it would be this:
There is no need to see the future.
God was good back then, He is good now and He will always be good.
He had miracles for me back then in those dark moments, whether I could see them or not, and He has miracles for me today.
The miracle of today erases those hard, hard years.
We all know that in this world, there many sorrows and hardships. Sometimes the future looks very uncertain.
But I see Kaylia, and I am reminded that the future also holds many blessings beyond anything I can imagine. I want to be surprised with all that joy. These days, I don’t long so much to see the future. I’m learning to live in the moment.
And not just because I got what I was longing for.
As soon as I got what I wanted, you can be sure I came up with new desires pretty quick. It was then that I started to realize joy and contentment would not come from getting what I wanted.
It comes when we just live today. When we see the miracle we already have in this moment.
It comes when we trust God with the future, and thank Him for all that we have right now.