What ages have been hardest for you?  I still think that being 14 is the age I’d never want to re-live, but thirty-five was also a hard year for me.  That year it hit me that life wasn’t turning out the way I had expected – and I also had to face the reality that it probably never would.  I was still single at 35 and had always desired to be married and have children, but the likelihood of that happening was looking to be less and less as the years passed.

But 35 wasn’t all bad!  Some good things also happened that year.  For one, I moved to Cary for a promotion with Campus Crusade for Christ (now called Cru).  That came with the huge blessing of being able to rent a house from my friends from high school, Chuck and Donna, who were instrumental in my coming to Christ.  Because of living in college towns on a Campus Crusade salary up until that point, this was the largest home I had lived in apart from my parents’ home.  In this great rental house, I had the big master bedroom AND space for my home office.  It was time to get new bedroom furniture!

It’s unusual I know, but all those years I had kept the bedroom set of my childhood, including the twin bed.  It was helpful as I always took the smaller room in the places where I lived and had to cram my desk and bookcases in my bedroom since I didn’t have an office to go to as I was on a campus most of the day.  It was also a lot easier to move since it was smaller and lightweight – an important consideration since I had moved it 7 times since I was 20!  Besides, I always really liked it.

I had saved up, though, and at 35 finally bought a full, beautiful bedroom set with a queen bed!

Six years later, another blessing of moving to Cary came when I met and began dating the man I would eventually marry.  When I got married at 44, I moved into my husband’s house and kept that new bedroom suite.  The bed ended up in the oldest stepson’s room which became a guest room as he moved out for graduate school.

A couple of years ago, however, that bed began being used for more than just guests.  It became a baby changing table!  My youngest stepson and his wife had their first child a couple of years ago, and we have the blessing of helping take care of her weekly – and added her baby brother last fall!  Every week, I pull out a changing pad along with the basket of diapers and wipes and put them on the bed as we prepare for them.

Several months after this weekly routine started, I was looking at that queen bed, all set up for the baby, and it struck me that if you had told me when I bought it at 35 that one day I would be changing a baby on it, I would have never believed you.  It would have seemed impossible and too good to be true.

Looking at that bed was (and still is) a good reminder that I can trust God.  That I don’t know His plans, and they may be different than what I want them to be, but they are always good.  Because He is always good.  He can do things far beyond anything I can ask or imagine.  And He loves us so much.  Why do I doubt Him?  And yet, I confess that I still do sometimes.

I was right when I was 35.  Life didn’t turn out the way that I expected that it would.  I never did get to be a mother.  But the plan was – and is – still good.  His ways are higher than mine, and as A.W. Tozer said of God’s wisdom, “Not only could His acts not be better done: a better way to do them could not be imagined.”  I could list numerous blessings from Him over the last 23 years.  Being a grandmother is just one of the most recent.

What blessings has He given you?  How can you see His goodness along the path of your life?  Let’s all stay hopeful and trust Him; confident of His love, wisdom, goodness, and sovereignty.

(By the way, it was worth holding on to that childhood bedroom set, too.  We put it in storage when we got married, and last summer, my stepson and his wife took it home and painted it for our granddaughter to use in her bedroom!  She is actually the third generation to use it as it was my mother’s and uncle’s before my mom painted it for my sister and me to use.)

The dresser when it was in my high school bedroom (left) and now in my granddaughter’s bedroom (right).