I had a horrible thought this morning.

I wished, for just a moment, that my wife had decided she didn’t want to be my wife before we had children. So it would be less messy. So it would be less widespread in its impact. So I could spare the hearts of these four young Cosands that I love so much.

And then I realized how foolish that thought is. How narrow and wrong it is.

There are six choices I have made in my life about which I have no regrets. Six moments of living and moving and breathing when everything came together perfectly and I know I acted in obedience to the will of the God who shaped me.

Four of those choices walk around with my last name and have the same color eyes as mine. One of those choices was a response to an eternal love from a merciful Savior. The last of the six choices was made official on August 1, 1992 in a small chapel in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

As ugly as this season of marriage I’m stranded in feels, it could never be worth uninventing my children so they could avoid it. They are the blessing of God in my life, reminding me of the goodness and grace that has come from my relationship with my wife.

I have never been promised a pain-free life. None of us has. I’d love one…for myself and for my kids…but it ain’t in the contract.

What I was promised, however, is a peace that goes beyond anything that makes sense or seems possible. As much as I wish my children didn’t have to go through this experience with me, the beauty that can rise from the ashes is the opportunity to see God’s peace poured out on us in a real and enduring way.

Incidentally, I still stand by that sixth choice I mentioned earlier. I love my wife and I don’t regret marrying her in any way. I wish things were different at the moment, but I’d never go back and change that decision either.


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