In case you were curious, one of my favorite drinks at Starbucks is a Passion Tea Lemonade, no classic, sub Raspberry.
It’s refreshing, it’s just tart enough to hit my love of sour things while not being too overbearing, and it’s reasonably priced for a Starbucks drink.
A few days ago, I was browsing through my Instrgram, looking at old posts and enjoying reminiscing over times past… simple things, normal everyday things, and important/life changing things (like getting engaged, getting married, etc).
Some of these photos look insignificant, such as the one below… but a few of these moments are some of the most important moments of my life… such as the one below.
This post looks an awful lot like a simple, silly, meaningless post including my favorite drink, a rep of my favorite baseball team, and small thoughts… but this moment was huge for me.
Catch the scene:
It’s 90-something degrees.
I’m sipping on my tall Bucks drink, enjoying it as much as the 4 gulps of it will let me.
My leg is bouncing subconsciously due to an enormous amount of misunderstood nerves.
Instagram is my final outlet… my last resort at killing time and calming my butterflies.
You see, this picture was taken about 30 minutes before I was hugged tightly for the first time by my future husband… who, at that point, was absolutely and only a friend (in my book).
I had very clearly stated that us spending time together that evening was not a date. We had been friends a little while before this, we hadn’t seen each other in about 2 years, and my broken and cautious heart demanded wise and slow movement, even though I was incredibly interested in him.
But as I sat and sipped my tea, I had a moment.
This moment had come after I had exhausted all of my options of “killing time”, which was actually more of diverting my attention away from how nervous I was.
I had wandered through Target three times, washed/vacuumed/detailed my car, tested out my engine power on the empty-ish straightaways in Menifee, and more.
But I finally had to sit still and be present with my thoughts:
“Why am I so nervous?”
“He’s just a friend… this is not a big deal.”
“You need to control yourself… put up all of the walls… put up all of the defenses… put up everything to keep this kid out.”
This not-first-date came much quicker than I had expected after being only recently single.
It was only two months before this moment that I was in a long term relationship with someone else… someone who had admitted they saw a future with me, and someone I had invested time in.
So in this new season of my life, I believed intensely that the Lord wanted me single. I would do YWAM. I would dive head first into youth ministry. I would be free to be me, and to come and go as I pleased.
As you might guess, these raging butterflies were a problem because they threatened the plan.
Brady was a threat to me at that point, because he could mess up what I was so sure was God’s plan for me.
This not-date HAD to be a not-date (in my opinion) because I was still broken and unwilling to let another guy into my life in a romantic capacity.
So I’m sitting stalemate with my thoughts and butterflies, waiting for the not-date to begin, and I finally decided to include Jesus in my inner dialog.
I sipped my red drink, and said “Dude, these feelings? They’re not okay. Help me calm down, would You? You know the plan… YWAM… Traveling… Ministry… God, you know it. I know You want me single… so please, for the love of You, shoot the butterflies in the head and help keep me platonic.”
And He laughed at me.
He whispered gently, “Won’t you just let me give you something awesome? Won’t you just calm down and realize that I’m trying to bless you?”
I sat and stared at my half empty cup for a long time. God’s plans weren’t shaping up to look like my plans in this situation.
The plans I was sure were His may not actually be His, which threatened my heart.
So what if this turns into something?
What if he tells me he likes me… what do I say? I can’t say I like him back!
What if we start dating?
What if this crashes into millions of pieces?
What if… what if… what if.
And then Jesus, being so good and somewhat annoying, whispered again, “And what if it’s wonderful?”
A few minutes later, I had a James Dean look-a-like wandering towards me with an enormous smile and arms wide open for huge hug (probably the best hug I’ve ever been given).
This picture reminded me starkly that God’s plans for things don’t always line up with our expectations… and thankfully, they usually blow them out of the water.
I’ve learned over the past three years of life that my plans don’t always come close to God’s… and I have a choice to either force my plans and be left wanting OR let God know my heart and my hopes while also letting Him have His way.
Usually, He takes something that I want and makes it so far beyond what I ever imagined I could want.
My life story proves to me that God’s plans are always better than my own.
Now, I’m married to that man who took me on a not-date.
Now, we’re expecting a little one in August (to the surprise of many), and are so over the moon in love with this little wiggling being.
Now, we’re seeing God’s plans totally unfold in all of our circumstances… and it’s beautiful.
I’m so glad I stumbled upon that old picture… because it reminded me vividly that my plans aren’t always the best for me… and if I push for my plans, I might just cheat myself out of something wonderful.