Today’s devotional comes to us from Kande Milano, a former pastor and all-around beautiful writer. Welcome, Kande!
This isn’t the life I pictured. My younger self was confident I would meet and marry someone who loved me, despite my imperfections. He might actually like my strong will and boisterous laugh. We would commit to building a healthy marriage for the long haul, and work to make it happen. We’d have kids and figure out the parenting thing. Build a life.
It wouldn’t be perfect and we wouldn’t always like each other or agree on how to move forward. But we would be partners, have some fun, and grow old together.
But this isn’t the life I pictured. My husband and I do love each other and absolutely are committed to one another. We are figuring out parenting and partnering, aren’t perfect and don’t always like each other.
So I was right about some things.
It’s just that we both started building our dreams and families with other people, before our hearts and previous marriages were broken.
But this isn’t the life I pictured. God saw fit to bring us together. The timing was inconvenient. He’s retired with adult children, I am launching into a new venture and have a kid in elementary school. We are strong-willed, passionate, and self-protective.
Yet, here we are, coming up on our two-year anniversary. Figuring it out. Sometimes loudly. I like to think of our heated verbal exchanges as “passionate discussions.” You might call them fights. We’ve had more of them than I’d prefer on our bumpy road toward ‘happily ever after.’ We’re eagerly waiting for that road to smooth out a tad.
This isn’t the life I pictured.
Meanwhile, the calendar has turned to December. All attempts to savor Thanksgiving and hold Christmas at bay have been abandoned. We’re juggling too much, managing crowded schedules, and adjusting expectations to reflect that our lives are not a Hallmark movie.
Many of us seek to reflect on Jesus in a deeper way during this season. I like to consider the promises associated with his coming, and what they mean on a practical, this-is- my-real- life level. The prophet Isaiah shared one such promise we still cherish:
Isaiah 9:7 (NLT)
His government and its peace will never end… The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
That deal about never ending peace? Yes, please!
The word for “peace” here is shalom, which isn’t just a lack of conflict. It literally means “complete” or “whole” and describes a time of success, prosperity, blessing and calm.
I’ve heard it said that when God’s shalom is upon his people, they are living in the highest possible state of grace. Everything in the world is set right.
Jesus came and basically said: This is not the life I pictured for you either!
He declared his kingdom and shalom were coming. Then he promised his Holy Spirit would give us access to a peace beyond our understanding, knowing we’d need it. When God’s kingdom comes to earth in fullness, as it is in heaven, the striving for peace will end.
This won’t be a temporary truce, with folks holding their breath until the battle resumes. All will be just as he would have it.
So for now, the hubs and I will look to the Prince of Peace and try to follow his ways. We’ll understand that NO ONE in this life gets a bump-free ride to happily ever after.
Because this is not the life God pictured for us yet either.
But it is coming!
Where are you waiting for God’s peace today?
Kande coaches people and organizations, bringing just enough order and creativity to their chaos until it becomes something beautiful. She loves helping folks figure out who they are and what they want to be when they grow up. Not that she has plans to grow up anytime soon herself. Find her on Instagram, Twitter and FaceBook as Mama_Kande and at kandemilano.com.