I had an amazing 4th of July. It was one of those aha moments for me and I could totally see the wisdom in our Heavenly Fathers plan for us. People were growing up, moving on and changing their stations in life right before my eyes.
I attended a BBQ and party of a friend and I saw a lovely new mother. It was her first baby and he was only a couple of weeks old. The last time that I saw her, was Memorial Day and she was more than ready to let that baby out. It made me think of my wife and our own kids. How we are physically prepared for parenting. In the last months of pregnancy I have never met a mother who could sleep well. They have to get up every little while to use the restroom, move roll over or get something to drink. When the baby comes she has already been conditioned to get up every few hours which is perfort for nursing, diapers and the like, hopefully with the help of a loving husband.
Over the last 6 years as Bishop I watched lots of kids grow up. The group of kids that graduated this year are especially close to my heart. All of them were either in Primary or just turned 12 when I was called. We literally spent their entire youth program experience together. Because of my calling I was privy to many personal struggles, difficulties and one of the first to find out when they had growing and spiritual experiences. They have all graduated and are no longer part of the youth program and I am no longer their Bishop. We are moving into a relationship as peers and no longer advisor and follower. Listening and learning about their life plans and the optimistic outlook was refreshing. Seeing them move into the realm of adult relationships and developing friendships with people outside of their high school and ward circles is a very powerful time in our lives. We talked about it for years that from 16 to 23 or so is probably the most fun time of your life. You have abilities, resources and not a lot of responsibility. You can take off for the weekend or drive 80 miles to see a movie …use the movie as an excuse to see a girl.
As I sat there watching this take place I have to admit I was a bit jealous. Knowing what lies ahead between college, mission life and post mission singles life it was truly a great time in my life I will always treasure. I would not want to do it again but it is fun thinking about it.
These growing an learning opportunities are the things that shape us give us character and points of reference. I truly love and care for my wife. I don’t think however I would truly appriciatte how much so if I did not have the experience of falling for a girl before mission and see her get married while I was gone. Or after my mission think I had found the right girls and have it go sideways. The hurt and sick feeling you suffer through in a breakup really helps make the sweetness of marriage comparable to nothing else. Life is good especially when you are surrounded with the right people.