"So, when are you guys having kids?"
Um, hard stop. Rewind four and half years with me. At the beginning of 2014, I began the process of starting over as a single 27 year old. I live in Alabama, which means by 27, most of the people I knew were married. I was in a season of uncertainty as I began to piece together what my life would look like moving forward.
In that season, I made a decision. For a reason I didn't yet understand, God had put me in that specific stage of life. And I would embrace it. In 2014 I got a dog, bought (and renovated) a townhouse, traveled to New York, D.C., Denver, Dallas, Charleston, and even did a day-trip to Nashville. I did girls nights and hosted my friends for football watching parties. I blogged, prayed, and grew as a person and child of God.
I read an article in 2015 that summed up the approach I had taken during the previous year. It was about a girl who made the decision to decorate her tiny apartment, an apartment that she had planned to be temporary. The article spoke to embracing where you are, even if it's not where you ultimately want to be. That was me. At the start of 2015, I began fervently praying that God would bring someone into my life. I longed for a companion, someone I could spend my life with. But in the meantime, I traveled some more, co-led small groups, participated in Serve Day, and discovered the joy of being an aunt.
When I finally met Dustin in October that year, I was living a pretty darn full life. Were there things I prayed for? Yes. Did my heart have desires? Yes. But I had taken the time to see the opportunity in the season I was in, and that made all the difference.
That's kind of where we are now. Do we want a family at some point? Yes. Do I pray for our future little and his/her spouse? Yes. But if there is one thing I've learned, it's that I don't want to miss something God has for me in the season I'm in because I'm trying to rush into my next stage of life.
In fact, I initially thought that maybe we would start trying for kids last fall. After all, I was already 30 (gasp!) and most of our neighbors have kids. For a number of reasons, we decided to wait before entering that phase of life. Then we decided to wait a little longer. Now I look at our life and I'm so thankful - not thankful that we don't have kids yet per se but thankful that we have taken the time to embrace our season as newlyweds. We built a house, we've traveled, we've taken up scuba diving. We fill our weekends with friends, neighborhood wiffle ball, and good food. We've laughed and disagreed, communicated and compromised. Through it all, we have grown as individuals and as a married couple.
This is a lesson I have continued to learn, year after year. I've used this tactic in my personal and professional life - embracing where I am while praying for what I desire. It's not always easy, especially when you feel pressure from friends, family, or culture to be at a certain place. It's also not easy when you are praying desperately for something specific that has not happened yet. But it's important.
I know our next season will arrive exactly when it's supposed to. In the meantime, we are embracing the season we're in.