If you know me, you know that I am an easily excited person and I tend to get ahead of myself. To quote Anne of Green Gables: I can’t help flying up on the wings of anticipation. It’s as glorious as soaring through a sunset…almost pays for the thud. But lately the thuds have been a lot more painful, and a lot more difficult to shake off.
In 2016 I learned a very valuable lesson about getting ahead of myself. Dave and I had relocated from Colorado Springs to Richmond for a 6 month military course, and we were very hopeful that we would get assigned to Eglin AFB after the course was completed. Dave worked very hard to make sure we would get orders to Eglin. He got the highest possible evaluations, was top of his class, and kept in close dialogue with decision makers. The icing on the cake was when a General at Eglin specifically requested Dave be assigned there, which is the closest thing to a guarantee you can get in the military. We were beyond ecstatic, and I started soaring on the wings of anticipation.
Despite not having official orders yet, I immediately called my friends and family to share the great news with them. I contacted realtors, connected with other wives at Eglin, and even made these silly little announcements to put on Facebook about our big move. Dave warned me not to get ahead of myself, reminded me that until we have official orders anything can change. But I was way too excited and continued to make plans and express my excitement to anyone with ears to listen.
Then came the thud.
Within just a matter of days we found out Dave’s career field was overstaffed, and his class would have to switch into different fields. Thud. Then we found out that due to the field switch, Eglin was off the table. Thud. Then we were informed that top performers were going to be given hardship tours and challenging positions because they were more likely to succeed in those than bottom performers. Thud. Then Dave assigned the most challenging position, in the least desirable location. THUD.
Now, believe it or not, this all has a happy ending. Despite things not going our way, everything worked out for the best and we ended up in a really great situation. And I am SO grateful things worked out the way that they did! The whole experience ended up teaching me two valuable lessons:
The first lesson is that God’s ways really are higher than our ways. Dave and I had it all mapped out, and when things didn’t go our way, we were MAD. Now that we have some distance and perspective, we can see clearly that the situation that seemed so horrible at the time was actually the best possible option for us. And the plans we had made probably wouldn’t have gone that well. We just have to trust that God is in control, and when things don’t go our way there is a good reason why.
The second lesson is that it is extremely foolish to broadcast possibilities as concrete plans. James 4:13-14 and Proverbs 27:1 both warn people not to get all wrapped up in plans, because only God knows what the future will bring! Dave and I still have our hopes and plans for the future, but no longer will I be broadcasting them before the world. When a change comes, I will let you know about it. But until then, I am going to try to be bit more like Marilla, and walk calmly along without both the flying and the thud.