18 years ago, I thought I was on the brink of being a young woman. I was coming up on a big birthday, and thought I knew exactly what I wanted. I was no longer a baby, a toddler, a preschooler, even a child. I was growing up, and 12 seemed a significant age.
I was a fairly typical (for West Bloomfield) 12 year old girl, and I wanted whatever most of my friends were getting for their birthdays (I think it was a cell phone) Instead, I opened a birthday card from my dad a few weeks early, and saw a gift certificate for a vacation. A vacation. Not what I had asked for. In fact, we went on vacations fairly frequently and truly, I wasn't all that impressed. Never mind that I had an amazing time. Never mind that I learned to surf, and sail, and met people I never would have met otherwise. Never mind that it was WAY better than what I had asked for. I still really wanted that cell phone.
Fast forward 10 years. I'm 21, on the brink of adulthood, and I know exactly what I want (and yes, I already had a cell phone.) I want success, a fulfilling career, money, adventure. But, I was young, and spoiled, and when I read the results of the only test I had ever feared taking, I received a way different life. I saw my present going up in smoke. The long hours studying, the money, the dreams, replaced by diapers and exhaustion and thankless hours of laundry and dishes. I could see nothing beyond my shame, frustration, and anger that life wasn't turning out the way that I wanted.
In my hurt, in my fear, and in one of my darkest hours, I couldn't dream that God could do anything with the mistake that I had made.
But in God's Infinite Wisdom, He turned a mistake into a blessing. He turned the worst decision I could have made into the most life changing, amazing gift I could have received.
I am a mother to three really amazing, loving and funny children (REALLY funny.) I am a wife to a man who is honorable and generous and forgiving (SO forgiving.) I'm homeschooling D, and loving it. But these seven years haven't come without a lot of grumbling, a lot of pain, a lot of still really wanting that cell phone.
Last year, I went through a really dark year. A year of resentment. Towards God, my husband, my children, which I'm ashamed to admit. But in the moment that God opened the door to move to Alexandria, I felt God telling me to leave. To start over, and I really didn't want to. I wanted to hold on to that horrible frustrated feeling of a 12 year old girl, angry about a present she didn't want.
I have learned this year that I really have to lean on and be obedient to God in every moment. I have died to myself so many times in the last 12 months, I have lost count. I have stopped fighting for "what I want" and tried to live my life more generously towards my children and husband. And a funny thing happened, when I stopped fighting for myself, God stepped in. He brought me peace, and joy, and contentment.
And today, I accepted a position to be the director of The Windmill Project, a small nonprofit organization that connects and supports families of children with disabilities, that will allow me to work part time, from my own home. I am shocked by the opportunity and faith the community has in me, and know that it has been God's hand *alone* that has brought me here. I didn't go out searching for this job, I didn't fight my husband's wishes to accept this job, I didn't fight against God because I wanted this job, rather I kept stepping out in faith, praying continually, and found myself hired despite my stumbling.
I am telling this story to tell you. Whatever you are going through, whatever you have went through. God has such a better story to write for you than you can imagine for yourself, if you only let Him.
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you" 1 Peter 5:6