I thought: at 24 that I would have found my place in career in teaching and would be ready to have babies and stay at home.
But really: I needed all of the years of teaching before having W to make me realize it's a profession and a calling to which I want to return. Had I gotten pregnant earlier, I would have chosen a different path when working outside of the home again. The challenges faced during those first few years would have been enough to give me permission throw in the towel. I am thankful for the trenches that I stuck through, and in turn they molded me. They left me feeling that I could be great at my job. I wasn't the world's greatest teacher when I left, but I know at the bottom of my heart that I want to return in attempts to be.
I thought: at 24 I'd have the experience, patience, wisdom, sense of self under my belt to be a mother.
But really: the first few months of W's life were really tough for me. Newborn months are tough for any woman! And yes, no one can be completely ready, but God knew what he was doing in molding me, my husband, and my marriage before bringing W into our lives.
I thought: at 24 I'd stay home for a few years and return to teaching while the kids went to school because I'd need to have a job.
But really: Parenting has changed me. I wasn't cold-hearted before, but I will see each student in my class as someone else's child. Having my own child has made that more possible. I want to be the type of teacher I know I'd want my son to have. I'm itching to return! (and not just because every day this week has been filled with hour long fits either!)
I thought: at 24 I'd have "sown my wild oats" for whatever it's worth.
But really: Yes, I was married, but Cowboy and I had many life experiences to share together and memories to make before we'd settle down with children. I think both of us sometimes wish we had done even more, but I'll take a few wonderful vacations and lots of awesome concerts thrown in with quite a few late nights for memories that solidified us as a couple and gave us a rock upon which to build a family life.
I thought: at 24 that working for what ones wants will always lead to what one might desire. My control over the situation was my security.
But really: I've learned to release that control. There are aspects of our lives that we can try our hardest, but at the end of the day it's in God's hands. That thought in itself brings such comfort and true security.
I thought: at 24 that my timeline was right.
But really: God's timing has been and continues to be simply perfect.
May the "But Reallys" in your lives be so sweet and full of promise, peace, and joy!