Mine was a charmed life! My parents have stayed married for over 50 years now! Nothing to complain about with their parenting skills, they are my biggest fans, supporting and cheering me on to be all I can be with God’s help! They raised me to love, respect, and fear the Lord! They placed high value on seeking Him first in life, did all the right things that good people aspire towards in their parenting skills and honestly received GREAT results with their high expectations.
I had an amazing childhood and achieved many things in my high school & college years… Homecoming Queen, Head Cheerleader, Student Council Vice President, National Honor Society, Miss Congeniality, recruited for Kansas State University, joined a sorority that afforded me the opportunity to be Rush Chairman, Activities Chairman, & Social Chairman. I truly experienced all the things that girl’s dream of doing! Then life happened, as it does for all of us.
Eventually everyone hits a bump in the road of life, when you come to a point in time where your plans don’t pan out. The truth is life doesn’t always go like we plan it. Honestly, it was for my own good. At some point, God had to show me that even the most organized, goal setting, high achieving person would experience a time in life when things wouldn’t go as planned. It was only at this season in my life, that I began to realize that I wasn’t going to be perfect, that I would have to let go of my expectations to embrace God’s plan for my life. I thank God that He cared enough about me to teach me this valuable life lesson. As a result, I hope that I can help you embrace this truth on your life journey!
I think that God had to break my heart a little bit to get my attention. I wasn’t but 52 days after I married the love of my life, that he was burned in a gas grill explosion, spent 19 days in the hospital, and almost died at one point in his stay there. God had moved me away from everything that provided stability in my life. I grew up in Kansas, but had moved to Southern California to start a new adventure in marriage. I seriously don’t know how I got through the whole experience, but God was faithful to keep me strong for my husband and to love him through it all. It was a long road helping him to recover our very first year of marriage. God taught me many things through this experience, especially what it means to love someone in sickness and in health, as well as what commitment really looks like when the dreams for your marriage are shattered in an instant. I was beginning to realize that I needed to trust God’s plan even when it didn’t make perfect sense from my perspective.
Not too long after the accident and move to a new city, my career aspirations didn’t go as expected either. I had a degree in Human Resource Management, but discovered this career wasn’t a good fit with my husband’s busy corporate sales rep. position. I spent the next couple of years getting another degree and certification, so that I could become a teacher. After some hard work and persistence, God opened the door for me to teach kindergarten at a little country school. Life was beginning to come together for me. I had the marriage goal achieved, the career goal achieved. Now it was time to tackle the “becoming a Mom” goal. The road to having children was fraught with many struggles, multiple miscarriages, being diagnosed as hypothyroid, then experiencing infertility probably due to the stress of the miscarriages along with my health challenges.
As a little girl growing up, I dreamed of becoming a Mom, that was all I really wanted in life. So what’s a Girl to do when she struggles to achieve that goal? This was an area of life that I couldn’t control with even the best-laid plans. The 2 miscarriages and infertility due to my hypothyroid state were really taking a toll on our marriage and life in general. God had to help me reach a point where I was able to accept that He had a different path that He wanted me to take. I had to yield to His plan and not my own. I thank God that He took me down the Adoption Road because I am truly a better person having traveled it. When I finally fully trusted Him, He blessed me far more than I could have asked for or imagined. We adopted our daughter in February of 1998. I was actually in the delivery room with her birth-mother and I thank God that He was with us in that pivotal moment in time. What an incredible gift that she gave me so that I could welcome our daughter into the world as soon as she was born. God did amazing things and moved mountains to bring her into our life. Our friends & family were so excited! We actually had 4 baby showers because there were so many people that wanted to celebrate this milestone with us and to thank God for the amazing things He did! It was on the fourth baby shower, that we found out that I was pregnant with our son. He was due a year to the date from the time we found out that we were going to adopt our daughter. He was born Christmas Eve 1998! God had taken us from the deep valley to the Mountain Top all in one year! When I think back to that time, I am blown away with all the blessings God showered upon us after some really dark days!
God never stops teaching us that we need to yield to His Plan! After I had worked so hard to become a teacher and enjoyed another stint loving on Kindergartners in the public school. God encouraged me to ask a very different question about my life. Instead of asking, what do I want to do with my life, I asked God, what do you want me to do with my life for You? This answer led me to a very different place that has given me such peace and purpose. It turns out that for this season in my life God wants me to touch lives by teaching, training, and equipping people to follow their dreams. I also get to advance the gospel, by serving as a Small Group Leader at my church to encourage and inspire people to get on mission making God’s name famous!
In my 20’s & 30’s, God took me down a very different path than my high school and college years. I think we all have to reach a point in our lives where we let go of our own expectations to embrace God’s plan! Fortunately, I am in a position to thank God for my unanswered prayers, so that I can turn back and encourage you to Bravely Flourish in your life! This is my prayer now, that I can help others as they experience life’s disappointments to embrace God’s better plan. I pray that the Lord will help me to do this in some special way for You!