Young. And Old. And Future.

Sixty three years ago on this day, my 15 year old sister loaded up my pregnant mom and my two other sisters in our old car and drove to the hospital 25 miles from home.  My sister’s skills included driving a tractor and she could drive a car, too.    Dad was working, driving a road maintainer for the county. Probably far out in the country on a dirt road and there weren’t cell phones in that day.  He was probably clueless that the whole hospital thing was happening.  I don’t think I was quite due to be born yet. The first and last time I was early for anything. 

Dads in that day and age didn’t really do the whole delivery room spectator sport event with full video coverage and Facebook live deal.  **sigh of relief**

Dad was 47, Mom was 40.  When they stood outside the nursery windows looking in at precious little me, they were asked by several random onlookers if they were visiting their newborn grandchild.  It was an innocent question, even a logical assumption.  But the answer was a clear and resounding “No, she’s our baby girl.”

That being said, my childhood was blessed with a slower pace, a more relaxed parenting style, and a lifestyle that didn’t really match the lives of most of my peers.  Didn’t even match the lives of my older sisters.

Mom was 57 when Dad passed away, and a few months later I graduated from high school and left the nest.  Mom was very calm by nature but I vividly recall her shaking her head and worrying about the horrible condition of the world, and how would her baby Bunny ever survive “out there”.  It was 1973.  Around seven years after The Beatles invaded, with their long hair and wild music.  Scary stuff.  😉  Of course, she had more serious concerns than rock music and long haired boys.  Vietnam, Watergate, race riots, hippies and drugs and…..

She worried about how bad the world would become in the future.

I poo-pooed her concerns.  For heaven’s sake, I’d never given my parents even one minute of trouble.  They raised me right.  No worries.

So now, at age 63, I can look back on all those years between leaving the nest at 18 and living currently in my own empty nest.  It’s definitely a different world today than it was in 1973.

And I find myself looking at the calendar and calculating how many more years (months? days?) I might be around and actively part of my grown children and grandkids’ lives. It’s a sobering thought.

And yes, Mom….. I find myself thinking about how much the world will change after I’m gone.  How different my grandkids’ lives could be.

It’s really tempting to get wrapped up in that doomsday, fearful type thinking about the future.  It’s really easy to just look around at the world we currently live in and see nothing but ugly.  Just like Mom felt back in 1973.

But I believe, I really do believe, that the world is no better or worse today than it was 63 years ago.  And no better or worse than it will be 63 years from now.  Different?  Yes.  Will there be unplanned, unexpected tragic life experiences?  Of course.  It’s a given.

When I’m tempted to exercise futile type thinking, I find hope only in one unchanging truth.  God will always be God. Too simple?  I don’t think so.

Recently I read a statement that really spoke to me in regard to fear of future events.  The questions: What is the key to patience when we experience long, difficult, excruciatingly painful years?  How do we keep from being strangled by fear and worry and defeat?

The answer?  “Faith in future grace — The sovereign grace of God to turn the unplanned place and the unplanned pace into the happiest ending imaginable.” J. Piper.  

I can remember being that little 18 year old girl waving good bye to my Mom as she stood in the door of our home and watched me leave. Tears were shed, I’m certain.  I can remember how I thought my life would be as I drove away to school.  Plans, dreams, very few fears.  And no problems.

Looking back, oh how different my life has been from the dreams of 18 year old me.  So many things I wouldn’t ever have planned on happening.  Or wanted to happen.  And lots of beautiful wonderful surprise in between.

I’m so thankful for the promise of God’s sovereign future grace.  The strength to make it through broken plans and dreams.  The promise of even better plans than we dream.  The promise that God will always be God.

Hebrews 13:5  “…I will never leave you nor forsake you….”

Though I choose to believe the simple truth of the everlasting sovereignty of God and his unending love for his people, I tend to forget.  And that’s why I write stuff like this blog post.  That’s why I write most of my blog posts.  To remind me.  One day I was fretting verbally about something and my youngest daughter said, “You need to go back and read your blog post titled What If?”.  Yes.  I need accountability checks.  And I will until the day I fall into the arms of my Savior for all eternity.  On that day, my weak stumbling forgetful faith will become glorious amazing 20/20 sight.  For all eternity.  The happiest ending imaginable.  

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