Friday, October 4, 2013

When Life Looks Different

It's true.  Life often doesn't turn out the way you might have thought it would.  That thing you once said would never happen happens.  The one thing you said you'd never do you did or you do.  That thing you thought would never get better does.  And the thing you thought would never hurt...well, it does and it did.  For me...

I always said I'd never marry a preacher, and I didn't.  But wouldn't you know?  The Lord called my husband to a ministry that often requires him to preach.  And although I never wanted to be a preacher's wife, my husband is an amazing speaker.  The Lord has taught me much being under his preaching.  I've never been more proud to be his wife (a some-what preacher's wife).

That very thing I loved to do - teaching...and that other thing I said I'd never do - stay at home...well, I did.  The very moment I finished my masters in education the Lord called me to quit my job as a teacher and to spend the next seven years as a stay-at-home mom.  I met the task with mixed emotions, but after a few months of adjusting I felt certain being home was where I was meant to be.  The gift of those seven priceless years...years I'll never get back with my small children...were the most difficult and beautiful years of my life.

That one traumatic event that took place in my life when I was kid happened again.  But this time it happened as an adult.  When I was a preteen my parents split up temporarily, but by the grace of God and through miraculous spiritual healing, the Lord put our family back together.  That very thing I never thought would happen again, happened.  When I was 27 my parents split again, but this time it was for good.  The pain was all too familiar but the coping mechanisms looked entirely different.  I was not prepared for the emotional impact the void left by my dad would have on my heart, my mind, my parenting, and my role as a wife.  That thing I never thought would happen that did happen brought on such heartbreak.  And that heartbreak that I never thought would heal did.  Through many tears and much pain, the Lord taught me how to fill voids in my life with Him - an invaluable skill many of us struggle to learn.

That thing I never thought the Lord would call me to do He did.  As a child, a teenager, a college kid, and a young adult, I NEVER sensed a desire to serve God with my life.  In fact, my decisions were based on what was in it for me.  My life was rooted deep in selfishness and self-gratification.  That is until God did something I never thought He would.  After asking God to give me a holy passion while also granting me His eyes and the ability for my heart to break for what breaks His, the Lord completely spun me around into a new way of living I never could have imagined for myself.  Suddenly I saw people differently.  Acts of injustice impacted me.  Other people's burdens became my burdens.  Groups I might have once looked down my nose upon now suddenly seemed a lot like me.  Their issues were my issues.  Their pain was my pain.  The only difference being that I had something I knew they needed...Jesus.  And since that moment the journey included and does include  a lot of Him, a lot less of me, and a mission-based lifestyle.  When God recently called me back to work, He said no to me returning to teaching and yes to an opportunity that includes loving on people, ministering to their needs, and serving them as Christ would.

It is true.  Life really doesn't turn out the way we might have once wished.  But all along God knew.  He knew what was best.  And not just what was best for me, but what was best for His Kingdom, His people, His plan for this world.  Despite the heartache and the change in plans, it has all been worth it to me.  Overwhelmingly, Romans 8:28 never has resounded more in my life than it does at this very moment...

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

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