Have you ever thought about where you are today? What if you made one decision differently, how would it have changed your life?
When I was a senior in high school, I wanted to go to college “E”. It was in a bigger city, and I really thought I would like being there. I sent in applications to two schools, “E” and “W”. I really wanted to go to “E”, and didn’t care much for “W”. It turns out I got scholarship money to “W”, but not to “E”. I pouted and whined and said I didn’t care how much it cost, come heck or high water, I still wanted to go to “E”.
But “W” was the more logical choice: more affordable, good school, and it had the degree I was interested in. Don’t you hate the logical choice? I prayed. I felt God leading me to “W”. No matter how hard I pushed away from it, “W” seemed like the route I should go. So off to “W” I went. I met this big-haired surfer-boy at orientation. Five years later, I became his wife. And a year and a half later, we had our son.
A little over 3 years ago, I was in grad school (at “E”, coincidentally) and I landed my dream internship. Literally, since I was a wee one, I said I wanted to work for this organization. So in the summer of ’08, I loaded up and moved 5 hours away for a couple of months. It was like sending one of the Clampetts to the big city. I’d never seen that much pavement and concrete in my life. It was a major learning experience for me, and it was a really incredible internship. Before I left, I interviewed for 3 different jobs at the organization. I would have taken any one of them, but interview # 3 was for my dream job. It was a total long shot. I’d be working in Washington, D.C, the pay was great, benefits were exceptional, and my opportunities would be limitless. On the last day of the internship, I got the call that I had gotten the job from interview # 3. On paper, it looked great. It was my dream job, afterall. I prayed. God had other plans for me. And then I turned it down.
I thought about that one day last week. It was 7 a.m., and the sun was rising and peeking through our curtains. Ben was still snoring, and PB was sleeping sweetly in his room. I got up and walked out on the front porch. It was chilly. The leaves were starting to turn colors. It was so quiet. I looked around and saw mountains, cows, tractors, and wild, open land. My papaw was on a tractor. My dogs were just coming back up the hill from their morning hunt. Someone had a fire going. The air smelled like fall. Good, crisp, clean air.
And in that moment, I teared up. I was overwhelmed with gratitude. And shame. I thanked God for His plans for my life. And prayed for forgiveness for my lack of faith. Sometimes, I haven’t agreed with His plans initially. I resist and fight against His will for me. But in the long run, it all works out perfectly. I think about what I would have missed if I’d resisted His plans for college. There would be no big-haired surfer boy sleeping next to me, and no sweet little PB in the room next to us. I can’t imagine my life without them. And then I think about what it would be like waking up in the big city. No mountains, cows, tractors, or wild, open land. I would miss the peace and quiet. I would miss the country. It’s such a big part of me.
In the midst of decisions, I have a tendency to have a lack of faith in God’s plans. Sometimes, they sound downright crazy to me (turn down a great job to move back home with no job), and other times I resist because its not something “I” want. Yet when I’m standing on my little old front porch, in the middle of the country, surrounded by the family that I love, I know that His plan is always perfect. Every path that God has directed me on has led me to this life that I live. And love.
‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’. (Jeremiah 29:11).
Have a blessed Thursday 🙂