You are never 100 percent prepared for the biggest life changing moments that will occur in your life, even the ones that you know are about to happen. No matter how much you plan and prepare, there is no way to know every variable, obstacle, and challenge that will arrive. In any situation, all you can do is prepare for what you know will occur. The true beauty is that when you make up in your mind that you are ready, you also come to the resolve that you are going to make whatever you’re stepping into work. We do this with confidence in some areas of our lives, but yet are very hesitant to do it in others.
There is no way that you can be 100 percent prepared for marriage. On May 6, 2013, I said I do to the most beautiful woman in the world, Amy. Yes, I was ready to spend the rest of my life with her. Our separate lives had just become one. Just the dynamic of two people living together is life changing and there is no way to prepare for that. To each their own, but Amy and I are old fashioned and we chose not to live together before we were married. And besides, she was not going to come home to my amazing home cooking of chicken breast on the George Foreman grill with brown rice on the side without putting a ring on it first. It took some time to adjust to just living together, especially when it came to sharing closet space. I was not prepared to leave my family and friends behind in Alabama to move to Texas 2 years into our marriage. All I knew is that I was willing to do what it took to make the best decisions for us. No matter how much counseling you had or how many books you read, you are not fully prepared for what all is to come. But that’s the beauty of it. You face whatever challenge comes your way and you conquer it. There was another huge moment I was ready for, but wasn’t nearly as prepared as I thought would be.
The day my daughter was born changed my life. I wasn’t prepared for the emotional overload of just seeing and hearing her for the first time. Then came the day to day life. I was fully responsible for another human being who only knew how to communicate through crying and screaming. They say that a mother knows her child’s different cries. Why doesn’t that apply to the dads as well? The crazy thing about being a parent is that once you master one stage of a child’s life, they begin to enter another one. I mastered how to change Allie’s diapers, then it was time for her to be potty trained and stop wearing them. Those skills were no longer needed and I had to learn new ones. Now she has gone from being a toddler to be being a little kid with the personality of a teenager. Daddy is in the midst of learning. At the moment, I am in no way, shape, or form for her to be a teenager. But when that day comes, I may not be fully prepared, but I will be ready to do what is necessary to be successful in that season.
I used marriage and having a child as two examples because those are things that a lot of people can relate to. We embark on major life events not knowing everything that can and will occur. We go into it with a resolve that we are going to make it work. Now imagine if we put this same energy into our hopes and dreams. We do not have all the information in the beginning and that immediately stops us. The truth is, you will not need to know everything to make it through the entire journey at first. You do not even know what questions to ask. As you make progress, you will reach an obstacle that you are not prepared for. You will know the exact questions to ask that will help you in that season. This also shows the value of the people who have come before us. I say this as a side note, but if you are in the presence of an elder, put your phone down and be willing to engage in a conversation with them. The information they choose to share might prepare you for obstacles that you didn’t even know existed. Don’t neglect their wisdom. It is important to build relationships so that you are able to talk to the right individuals to obtain the on-time information that you need in that moment. Even if you do not have people you can reach out to, be willing to do research and find a book that has the information that you desire. The key is not having all of the information in the beginning, but being able to obtain what you need when you need it. I want to encourage you to embark on that next major step. Prepare as much as you can. Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to start, otherwise you will never do it. Be ready and have the mindset that you are going to succeed no matter what. Learn and grow from the mistakes. When the time comes, be willing to teach others. Some of the most rewarding things in life have come from me making these moves. Don’t miss out.