Matthew and I are on the verge of celebrating our one year wedding anniversary, and together we have been reflecting lately on all that has happened. A lot can happen in one year. Let’s see. I got married, moved to a new state, landed a new job, started attending a new church, found out I was pregnant, finished my Master’s, and gave birth to Nora. Whew.
Four short years ago, I had big plans to finish my Theatre degree and move out of Orlando to L.A. or New York in order to pursue an acting career. I expected to wait a long time before getting married, and I definitely did not plan on having children any time in the near future…ha ha. My heart was set on taking the theatre world by storm, traveling the globe, and settling into a big city for a life that was more than just the average life of a stay-at-home soccer mom. Offended by my terminology? Me, too. But that’s what I wanted; glamour and spontaneity and excitement and…more.
I looked into my future and thought I had it completely figured out. Fast forward four years later. I am married to a man who dreams of becoming a pastor, I got pregnant so fast after our wedding that I beat my parents’ record, and…I live in Arkansas. My first child was born in Arkansas. Never thought I would use those words. Maybe, My first child was born in Africa. But not Arkansas.
Nevertheless, here I am. Sitting on my couch in Bentonville and glancing every so often at my daughter sleeping in her swing. And I have joy. My cup runneth over.
Psalm 139:16 says, “…in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.” I marvel that the Lord not only knew my days ahead of time, but that He knew His daughter’s heart so well. While I thought I craved the fast-paced, brightly-lit life of a successful artist, my Father knew me better and gave me the deepest desires of my heart. Desires that I didn’t even know existed. Growing up, I was resolved to lead a “special,” unconventional life. Younger Mallory would have shamefully scoffed at my current life as a young mother who stays at home with a baby and is completely dependent on a husband. Younger Mallory would look at me scornfully and say, “Didn’t you want more?” In fact, sometimes I feel like the rest of the world looks at me and says, “Didn’t you want more?”
This is the most important lesson I think I have ever learned and may ever learn in this life (and I type this with tears of thanks in my eyes): God’s plan is always more.
He knows us better than we know ourselves, He loves us more than we love ourselves, and His plans for us are greater than our minds can fathom on our most imaginative days. But we have to trust Him.
Everyone’s life looks different, and I am not suggesting that a woman has to be married with children to be fulfilled– I am suggesting that if we trust and acknowledge the Lord with our plans, He will offer our hearts contentment that we cannot attain for ourselves. Our lives as followers of Jesus will not be perfect and forever peaceful; but the Lord’s plan is for our ultimate good. Always. Even when parts of life leave us feeling impatient or unfulfilled or afraid or broken…At the end of the day, we can trust Him to carry out the best possible plan for us. (To those of you who are muttering to yourself, “Some plan. I’ve never been truly happy,” I encourage you to look to Christ and then wait on Him.)
At one time in my life I was praying for “more” thinking I knew what that meant, but thankfully God answered my prayers in His own way. I may not have an acting career, but my life has tremendous purpose in caring for my family. I may not live in a big city, but I have a beautiful community of people that love me. And I may not have traveled the world, but I’m only 24…
Rather than yearning for “more,” I find myself asking God, “What more could I possibly want?” And I feel a familiar whisper to my soul, Just wait.