If you are the mom of a toddler like me, you understand their need to have what they want RIGHT NOW. Not in five minutes. Not tomorrow. Not next week.
The scene was not unusual for our, ahem, dramatic one. We were leaving the library, and Kate decided she wanted to “drive” my car. (Translation – sit in my lap, turn the steering wheel, and push lots of buttons she shouldn’t be pushing.) It was over 100 degrees outside, Carter needed to go to the bathroom, and it was nearly 6pm, so we needed to get home for dinner and I told her she could drive once we got home.
Cue massive tantrum.
She arched her back and resisted my attempts to get her into her car seat. Forcing her arms under the straps and holding her stomach against the back of the chair were required to get her safely buckled in. All the while she is screaming her little heart out, demanding, “I drive, Mommy! I drive!”
“You can drive at home, honey. Five minutes,” I told her repeatedly.
The exchange continued over and over again until I gave up and simply stopped responding. My poor sensitive one, meanwhile, had his ears covered up with his hands, trying to drown out the wails of an obviously mistreated sister. God forbid she wait FIVE MINUTES to get what she wants.
The eight minute car trip seemed endless, but we finally made it to our neighborhood and sister got to drive. (Side note – she actually started crying AGAIN once she got what she wanted. No clue. It’s tough being one.)
As I thought about what happened in the car later that night, I began to wonder how I could better respond to her incessant demands. They seemed to come all day long, and I needed a new strategy. It was then that I began to remember all the times I had demanded something of God RIGHT. NOW.
As a newly single woman at 23, I watched many of my friends get married, feared I was shriveling up into an Old Maid, and pleaded for Him to bring me my husband RIGHT. NOW.
When I wasn’t pregnant after returning from our honeymoon, I demanded He give me a baby RIGHT. NOW.
When I was looking for a job after graduating, I begged Him to bring me a position RIGHT. NOW.
And then it hit me. I am no better than a screaming toddler who cannot wait FIVE MINUTES to get what she wants. God sees me just like I see my child. I want things on MY TERMS, and I want them RIGHT. NOW. But God knows better.
God knows that my understanding of time is not His. Waiting a year to reveal my husband to me may have seemed as endless to me as that eight minute car trip seemed to Kate. But God sees a bigger picture and knows that my prayer will be answered on HIS terms, and in HIS timing.
And thank goodness for that.
Blake and I have said many times that if we had met each other at ANY other time in our lives, we wouldn’t have worked out. Despised each other probably. He was a rebel and a jokester who roamed the halls of his high school making faces in classroom windows and didn’t really take anything seriously until about a week before we met, and I have always been a project-minded person who was upset by a 97, follows rules religiously, and needs encouragement to let loose. We would’ve annoyed the crap out of each other up until the day we met. But at 24 and 26, we were finally on the same page.
No coincidence. God knew that.
So, to my incredibly impatient soul sisters who are longing for something RIGHT. NOW. and aren’t getting the answer they want, remember that God sees the bigger picture of your life. He’s got a plan whether you can see it or not. Trust in that.
His timing is perfect, His timing is on purpose, and His timing is worth the wait.
Oh, and if anyone has suggestions for not losing your friggin’ mind dealing with a strong-willed toddler all day, send ’em my way! 🙂