Have you ever heard that song, “Sometimes I Thank God for Unanswered Prayers?” by Garth Brooks? Are you like me and seem to have this little scenario of how things are SUPPOSED to go and what is SUPPOSED to happen in your life? Is it just me or does NOTHING EVER go the way you pictured and then you get peeved and moody and maybe even a little pouty? The last few years when I go through these moments I usually end up laughing at myself because I KNOW I AM NOT THE ONE IN CHARGE. Then I reflect and see how if it had gone my way I would have missed out on A LOT of personal growth.
When we first got married, Marvel and I had a five year plan that included building our own home in rural Idaho, both of us finishing our second degrees, him moving forward in his steady and stable job, me moving forward with my teaching in public schools, and various other goals that mostly involved our own personal growth.
Instead, we had our first child six days after our 1st anniversary, he finished his second degree while I BARELY finished my first, and then he got an opportunity to move his career into an international scene. It wasn’t OUR plan, but we felt almost as if we were being led by angels. Once we gave up OUR plans everything fell into place and we moved forward into an experience that continues to teach and stretch us beyond anything OUR plans had imagined.
Another example was when we set up our “family plan” of having our children with two years between each one. After Engineer was born, we used no forms of birth control. 2 ½ years later we looked at each other and our one child and thought, is this it? I became almost obsessed with the idea that I needed to be pregnant and felt like I had done something wrong.
When I finally poured out my heart to my Heavenly Father and felt his assurances that HIS plan would be best, I let go. Fiesta was born a little over a year later and looking back I can see how HIS plan was indeed the best and I was able to grow and help Engineer get a head-start on academic skills that he has to work harder on than most, to master. It was during this time that we decided to homeschool.
Then there are smaller examples. This past week we had a family vacation planned. It was highly anticipated because we have been saving up for it and waiting for my Mom and Step-Dad to come visit so we could all go together. We had the place, the dates, the activities and the excitement all ready to go.
Well, then our van broke down, we fixed it and decided on a shorter trip. The van broke down ¾ of the way there, at night. BUT, we broke down in a town (not in the middle of a Mexican highway where towns are scattered like those in Montana). We broke down RIGHT IN FRONT AND 10 MINUTES BEFORE CLOSING TIME of a mechanic’s shop. There was a nearby safe hotel and restaurant and a bus station to take us the rest of the way to the beach while the car was fixed. There were about a MILLION inconveniences and I still feel like I’m recuperating from our “vacation” but you know what? We were safe, the kids still had a great time (mom doesn’t let me jump on my bed but the hotel bed…hahaha), we still got to see the ocean, and both Marvel and I had plenty of time to catch up with my parents. PLUS, since we had to shorten the trip Marvel and I got back in time to fix some emergencies with his business and an ESL program we help with, that could have become disastrous in our absence. I don’t believe in coincidences.
All I’m saying is that God is OUR FATHER. He ALWAYS watches out for us and guides us. Is it easy? I know that my life, even with the change in plans is a walk in the park compared to many. I needed to write this to remind MYSELF that MY PLANS aren’t always what’s best for me and my family. So, maybe MY PLAN of by now already having been in the full throws of my “Life Cleanse” for 2014 isn’t the best for me….I’m guessing that because now my kids all came down with the stomach flu in the middle of the night….;)