When my kids were growing up, I found myself often answering their questions with a phrase that would not fully commit me to an outcome, yet not close the door to one either. “We’ll see…” came to rub the hopeful ire of “Can I have a sleepover Friday night?” “Can we go the beach this summer?” “Can I get a dog, too?” So many, many questions that a well-worn mom could only offer as a buffer between possibly and probably not.
There were always so many moving parts to life with a thriving, growing family. Trying to get ends to meet, a chicken in the oven, hurts to soothe, dreams to stoke, and everyone to church on time was a challenge that we moms learn somehow to master. The rest comes labeled as extra. The rest gets answered with “We’ll see.”
My kids are well on their way now, and I find that I rarely say this phrase anymore. Odd as it is to admit, when I say it now, it bothers me. I realize how open-ended it is. I hate that it was my go-to when I honestly didn’t know on what side of possibility things would fall. I didn’t want to disappoint my kids when I knew deep in my heart that resources were thin, but expectation was heavy. I wanted to give to them their hearts’ desire, but it was not always reasonable or practical. It was not always for their good.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but “we’ll see” came to represent “that’s life.”
If I had given in to all that my heart wanted to give but our wallets could not, I would have been setting them up for failure. They would have come to believe that life is like a big vending machine. Wishes go in, and what they want comes dropped down a golden chute like magic. They would have grown up believing that all those commercials for toys and new dolls and creepy crawly doo dads were just what every normal kid has — a smorgasbord of indulgences. It’s not.
Instead, I tried to offer what money couldn’t buy. I wanted my kids to know that they were loved unconditionally, that I would be here to bandage their knees and their hearts, that mistakes teach us lessons, and that doing what is right is always the best policy. I wanted them to cultivate their minds and their faith. These things didn’t require a “we’ll see.”
Life takes so many twists and turns, doesn’t it? So many things that we don’t anticipate seem to catch us off guard, change our focus, reroute our progress. We think our circumstances are heading one way, and then something happens outside of our control and we find ourselves in a season we are not prepared for. We flounder at times, unsure of where our lives are heading.
I know for me, it can be so discouraging when I feel I am doing all that I can — when I’m praying, speaking my faith, standing in doing right, and God seems to say “We’ll see.”
Oh, how I want to know now that everything will turn out. How I want to know that hearts will mend and jobs will provide and good health will sustain us. I want to know that God is benevolent, and though He’s not like a golden vending machine, He does have good things for me, my family, and my future.
What I absolutely do know, is that God is a good father. He knows what we cannot. He knows how to watch out for us, how to give to us what we need though not always what we want. He guides us onto the right paths even when we do not understand that there is a purpose for it. He soothes our hurts and fortifies our spirits to somehow carry on in them.
There are prayers that I still pray, asking Him to do in this life what would seem impossible. There are still things that my heart longs for, things that only He can know and do. And in the deepest parts of my yearning, I know that He understands. More than this, I know that His answers come with my best interest attached to it.
It’s not always easy to wait, to persevere in the unknowing of how things will turn out. It’s hard at times to walk by faith and not by sight. But we are called to trust our Father, just as we would ask our children to trust us. He knows what is best even when it comes cloaked in delay or disappointment.
God isn’t saying “we’ll see…” to your prayers or your yearnings. He’s saying “I know…. Trust Me.” He already knows the outcome. He’s committed.
Keep praying, keep believing, and keep the faith. God’s got you. You’ll see.