By Lisa Huddleston
Several weeks ago, my husband and I were making one of our frequent trips to Nashville when he asked me a surprising question, “Is your life how you thought it would be at this age?”
I was speechless. Not because it was such a difficult question, but because it made me realize that I never had any expectations for this stage of life. As a young girl I had made plenty of plans for my future. I was going to make a difference in the world. I was going to rattle cages and turn over lies. I was going to set prisoners free and feed the poor. I was going to do so very much. And I was going to get married, have lots of children, and be rich enough that it wouldn’t matter that I hadn’t learned to cook when my mother tried to teach me. But I really didn’t think about what came after that.
I saw no conflict in my then “far-reaching” goals. After all, it was the day of “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan.” I was woman—hear me roar!
After college graduation, I married my boyfriend of five years, and my journey began. I worked wherever I could find a job as my husband pursued his medical career, and baby number one came ten months after Chuck received his first pay check. Right on schedule with the domestic part of life—but not so in the world changing part. Reality tamed my roar to a mew, and I struggled some days rocking babies back and forth while looking out the picture window to watch the neighbors come and go in our quiet cul de sac.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved my babies. I loved my husband. The dog was great and even the cul de sac made me happy. But I still longed to roar. Sometimes late at night I felt the lion in me stir, but I soothed it to sleep in the quiet to and fro of life. Hush a bye, don’t you cry, go to sleep little baby …
I think I eventually forgot the lion but from time to time she would roar. Primarily to protect my brood. Or my home. Or my man. But I mainly led a quiet life. In fact, I made that my ambition.
It’s been a good life. It still is. And so, sweet husband, I want to answer your very good question. Am I where I thought I’d be? Yes. I really think I am.
Yesterday was Mother’s Day. My brood gathered round—and those who could not gather called me multiple times during the day. My sweet daughter made a feast, and I felt so rich not having to cook. My sweet sons gave me flowers and precious words of love showing me what wonderful, world-changing men they have become. My dear, dear husband quietly funded the celebration and fed us all with his deep love and provision. And I received their blessings with joy—a deep, rumbling kind of joy that roars deeply in my core and warms me from the inside out.
Yes, Chuck, I am right where I thought I’d be. Beside you. Surrounded by a loving family. And changing the world one day at a time. I love the fulfillment of promises that I see in this new, unplanned time of life. I exult in the freedom to receive unexpected joy and spontaneous blessing. And I am so happy to have the freedom to pass it on to others.
Yes, dear Chuck, my life has lived up to all my expectations. Thanks be to God who makes all things beautiful!