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  • Sonya Leigh Anderson



This morning in my quiet time my devotional thoughts focused on expectations. I read a story by a missionary, and what she said was exactly what I needed. Exactly what Kyle needed, too, and I shared the thoughts with him.

Last night we went to bed late, exhausted and worried. Both of us, all day, had been struggling with heavy hearts, anxious spirits. Neither of us really knowing why. We prayed before sleeping, not out of devotion, but desperation. We knew we’d need divine help to still hearts and minds for rest.

Between prayers I said, “This is what we expected, right?” It’s not a surprise, really. Nothing shocking about this stress.

We expected it to be hard. Blending brand new sons into a fully functioning family. Asking boys who have been around for literally a lifetime to make space for foreign brothers. Asking boys who have left everything to accept and love this new life. And us. Mom and Dad to five, with human limits. And what did we expect?

We expected language to be grueling, and it is. We expected homework to be frustrating, and it is. We expected one boy to love math, and the other to hate it. And they do. We expected teenaged attitudes. Check. Bulking at schedules, hard to wake up, hard to put to bed. All expected.

We expected one boy to be funny and one to be serious, and mostly they are. Except the funny boy gets sadder than we expected, and the serious boy is lighter. We expected older brothers to need their own space, but we miss them when they disappear. All of us are missing things we used to have, and we hope it’s not forever.

The missionary in the story said she expected all the struggles she faced on the field, and yet she struggled. And so do we. But she had one expectation that was more than met, and it was the one she needed most. God was faithful. More than expected.

Each time someone asks how we’re doing I give some version of this answer. It’s not easy, but God is in all the details. God is exceeding our expectations.

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