My husband and I had our first date in November of 2002. By December, we knew we wanted to be together forever. Before he bought a ring, we had to have a serious conversation about what his future with me would be like.
I have an older sister with Down syndrome and someday she would come live with us. Was he OK with that–with the package deal he was getting? I knew she would be part of my future, and by marrying me, she was part of his future too.
Now we’re the parents of three boys, two with special needs who may always be dependent on us. When I look at my eight-year-old, typical son, I think of his future. I think of him sitting down with the girl he wants to ask to marry him. But first he must ask if she’s prepared to get a package deal. When she says yes to the ring, she’s also potentially saying yes to caring for her brothers-in-law when Lee and I are no longer able.
Even though Lee and I knew some day we would have my sister, we didn’t know we would also have two sons who may also be with us into adulthood. We were prepared for the future we knew, but not the surprises that would come along the way.
When we say “I do,” we don’t know what’s coming.
We often go into marriage with rose-colored glasses. We believe our best days are ahead of us, and usually they are, but the best days are made even sweeter because together we get through the hard days. The hard weeks. The hard years.
In Proverbs 31, the king’s mother gives him advice as to whom he should marry. She says to look for a woman who ” … laughs without fear of the future.” (Proverbs 31:25a)
The future may be unknown to her, but not to God.
She must wake up each morning trusting that God loves her and has a plan for her life. And some days, she’ll have to repeat it to herself over and over again. She’ll have to repeat it to her husband. She’ll have to repeat it to their children.
I pray my son marries a woman who can laugh without fear of the future. And that she can encourage him to laugh as well.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life …. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:25 & 33-34).
“God, help me to remember to trust you today. And I pray as you guide my sons to their future wives, they can look to their future without fear, knowing You love them and are in control of their lives.”
Sandra is a pastor’s wife and mom to three boys. She and her husband recently released Held: Learning to Live in God’s Grip (a Bible study for special needs parents). You can connect with her on her site sandrapeoples.com or on Facebook.