“God, what will my life be like when I grow up?”
And the Lord answered.
“One early morning after your kids leave the back gate open again, you will chase your dog around the front yard in nothing but a robe, a pair of yoga pants, and a towel on your head. In the background, your children will scream from the front porch. ‘Get her mom!’ ‘Don't let her get on the school bus!’
"You will look up to see about 15 high school kids, some pointing and laughing, and others staring in horror as you adjust your robe after a nose dive for the dog's collar right before she gets on.
"As you drag the dog across the yard, and one child laughs uncontrollably while the other prays that the bus isn't heading to his school, your husband will stick his head out the door and ask if you bought any pancake syrup last time you were at the store.
"And this pretty much sums up what your adult life will be like.”
Silence for a moment, and then a slight cough.
“Um. OK. But God, will I have a nice husband?”
And the Lord answered again.
“He will clean the kitchen floor once and then remind you every single time for the next 10 years that when he does it, he scrubs on his hands and knees. He will fart at your favorite restaurant and blame it on you. He will surprise you with a bathroom and kitchen remodel the Christmas of 2012, and then finish it the Christmas of — well that is still to be determined.”
“Sounds, uh, great. When I have kids, God, will I read them bedtime stories and kiss their sweet faces goodnight before tucking them in? ”
And the Lord answered.
“You will kiss the faces of your two boys — and wonder why they’re sticky. You will never sleep again. First, they will scream at the top of their lungs every two hours in a tone that only you can hear. No one else in the house will even wake up. When they get a little older — they will need 462 drinks of water between midnight and 3 a.m. Then at 4 a.m. — they are going to pee the bed.
"And because the sheets from the night before are still wadded up in the washing machine, the children will snuggle in your bed until the alarm goes off two hours later. And by snuggle, I mean they will drop-kick your kidneys and claw at your face while snoring like a man.”
“Well, God. Not to be unappreciative, but that sounds annoying.”
And yet again, the Lord answered.
“A few years before all of that, you will come to me on your knees with tears streaming down your face. And you will cry out to me. ‘God, please let me have a family. That is all I want.’
"You will ask without condition, and I will give without hesitation.
"The thing is — it won’t be perfect.
"The people I give you will drive you crazy (and you will drive them crazy too). They will exhaust you (and you will exhaust them). They will test you (and you will test them). But I want you to know that they will not fulfill you.”
“But God — why even bother with all this then?”
And again, the Lord answered.
“Because it will be the most important thing you will ever do.
"And even though this life will never fulfill you (because that only comes through me), it will bring you immeasurable joy. You will cherish your family, the same way I cherish you. They will be your beloveds. When they hurt — you will hurt. When they bleed — you will bleed. When they smile — you will glow.
"Now that you know everything in advance, will you still pray for that family when the time comes?”
My knees hit the floor as I buried my face in the bed with tears running.
“God, please let me have a family. That is all I want.” And the Lord answered.