There were many occasions shortly after getting engaged where I would be talking to coworkers or people out and about and get the question, “wait, how old are you?!” It always made me chuckle a little – I never thought I was “too young” to be getting married when I was 20, but I learned that it was quite shocking to some people. The question of my age would often be followed by “that’s a big commitment!” or “don’t you want to experience life first?” (After almost a year of this marriage thing, I can tell you we sure are experiencing life to the fullest and I have never once felt like I am missing out!)
I think the reason that many people are shocked when you get married young is because we’ve built up this expectation for “the order you do things in life.” You graduate high school. You go to post secondary, get your bachelors degree, have your fun, find a well paying job and then you start to think about settling down. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s certainly not the way things have to be done, and it certainly doesn’t qualify you any more for the roles of being a wife or a mother or a husband or a father if you check all of those things off the list first.
Four months after getting married, we received the greatest blessing – two little pink lines, and the beauty of a new life. Our newest family member will make his or her appearance in just a couple of months, and I am so excited. I have wanted to be a mama for as long as I can remember.
But if I’m being honest, those first few days after we found out were hard for me. We were both so excited, but at the same time I started to dwell on thoughts like “what will people say?” I remembered the way some people had reacted to our engagement, and surely this was an even bigger life transition. While most people were incredibly supportive and happy for us, there was the occasional “already?!”, “were you trying to get pregnant?”, and my personal favourite, “are you even ready for that?” (Is anyone ever really ready to become parents for the first time?!)
What I have learned is that often people will make assumptions either by how they were raised, or what they were like at a certain age, or what they see as the proper order to go through life. There will be people who think you got married too young at twenty. But on the other hand, if you wait to get married until your late 20’s/30’s, there will always be people who think you should have gotten married younger. There will be people who tell you to wait until you’re older to have children, and there will be people who tell you that having kids young is the greatest. You can choose to let the opinions of others bother you, or instead you can choose to see the Lord’s timing as perfect.
I was laying in bed the other night, with my husband sleeping peacefully beside me and our little babe kicking away happily in my belly, and I was just overwhelmed with gratitude for these two blessings in my life. I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I am thankful that the Lord gives us exactly what we need in His timing, and not in ours. If I had waited until I thought was ready, there would be so many experiences and blessings that I would have already missed out on. But it is God who ordains every day of our lives. It is Him who decides when we are ready for each step of life. It is Him who will carry us, sustain us, and lead us as we walk through each new chapter. I knew I was ready to be a wife when God gave me Alex. And I knew we were ready to be parents when God gave us our baby. And whatever the next thing is, we’ll be ready for it because our God has already perfectly orchestrated every detail.
So if anyone ever tells you that you are too young for something, please don’t take it to heart. Don’t let it discourage you. And don’t let it give you an attitude to “prove them wrong.” Age doesn’t qualify us. For if God gives us what we need when He knows that we are ready to take it on, who are we to say otherwise? He will ultimately use everything to His glory. He will equip us for every day. All that’s left for us to do is face each blessing with a posture of gratitude and to allow Him to work through us.