I’m starting to see how the pieces of my life come together into a complete tapestry when I reflect back and simultaneously look at my present situation. For so long I wanted certain things to happen at a certain time. Isn’t that what we all do? We dream, we plan and then we execute. But, what happens when the dream never materializes? We are disappointed, insecure about what the future may bring now that our “plan” isn’t coming to fruition. If only we could fast forward, and see how it all works out, perhaps then we could let go of our need to control. But, alas this is not possible- until time travel becomes a reality- and we need to exercise patience and faith that there is a greater plan. This sort of patience never came easily to me but today I can honestly say that I see how “disappointments” can sometimes turn out to ultimately be transformed for the better.
When my husband and I got engaged over 9 years ago (I cannot believe its been that long), we had dreams. Our biggest dream is perfectly reflected in the location in which we got engaged. On a beautiful sunny afternoon during the festive holiday of Succot, my husband proposed to me overlooking the famous Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. What better location then right next to where the former Holy Jewish Temple once stood? Our hearts and souls were both so connected to our homeland, Israel. This was where we planned to move as soon as the time was right, and we saw no other option. But, as we settled into married life, and then our first son was born we began to have “reasons” for not making the move. Every time we would sit down to discuss it we both still had that deep burning love and longing for Israel, but for one reason or another there was something holding us back. It broke our hearts that this dream was not happening, but we chose to focus on our family and our current lives, and hoped things would one day change.
Years later, we decided that moving to the suburb I grew up in was the best place for us, if we couldn’t be in Israel. Here was a small, growing community of people with a real sense of commitment to Judaism and to each other. We also longed for a safer place with more nature. We felt connected to the community, and we felt we could contribute and thrive in a real way. But, after crunching numbers we saw this was not a financial reality. We had to sit tight for another few years. In the meantime, we had thank G-d filled our 3 bedroom apartment and were in need of more space, and we were also lacking a sense of real community in our current city.
Today, I see that this was all for the best. Just two months ago we received a life changing diagnosis for our oldest son. He has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. His muscles do not produce the protein dystrophin, thus there is a steady progression of loss of muscle strength overtime. Thank G-d he is doing well and there is a lot of hope for treatments, but we have had to adjust our lives in a profound way. Our son will need to see a team of specialists in the Muscular Dystrophy clinic every 3 months as well as ongoing physical therapy and a daily regimen of medication. How could we have possibly navigated his treatment in a foreign county in a language we are not totally comfortable speaking? And now we know that buying a home without stairs is best for our son, and we may have bought the wrong type of home earlier. More than all this, right at the time we received the diagnosis major accomplishments were beginning to happen in the treatment of Duchenne. If we had found out earlier about his diagnosis (this could have been possible since it was something he was born with, but that story if for another time), there would not have been the same amount of hope as there is currently is today.
It has all become clear why things didn’t happen the way we had wanted. There was a bigger plan. My level of patience for when things aren’t budging is forever altered. Today, our dreams may not be coming to fruition, but if we are patient we may one day see the bigger picture.