When we think of success these days, it usually involves something close to a picture that would fit well into a movie scene. We measure our lives and our story by what we accomplish and how well we do it, then we compare it to others to make sure it measures up. Story book lives are something we are supposed to be living….right? I’m learning that it’s not at all how God has planned things though. My 15/16 year old self had a picture of what I wanted my life to look like at the age of 24 or 25. I would have a college degree, successful job (that exactly matched my college education), handsome husband, a big ole house and a few kids. Then we would float happily ever after into “nothing ever goes wrong land”. I mean, isn’t that what we are supposed to do!? Now, at 28 years old, my life barely resembles that vision, and I’m learning that is ok! I didn’t finish college. I am not in the work force pursuing that photography career I aspired to. We had our first child before we were married. We don’t own a home (let alone the big white picket fence home I had in my mind). I do happen to have a seriously good looking husband and three little girls who call me mama, but that’s where the similarities to that story book life I thought I was supposed to have end.
You see though, I’m learning that we are supposed to be rewriting the definition of “story book”. We are supposed to be embracing the life that God has designed for us and let go of the life we so desperately think we need, deserve, want or feel we should have. We are getting so caught up in OUR goals and plans that we are completely missing HIS plans for our life. We are missing everything good in front of us while were busy looking for everything else…
While my life looks very little like that of my old vision, this version is one I like even better! I mean, I actually really like this story that God is writing in my life. I have a marriage I had only ever dreamed of. I am truly married to the man that God planned for me. It took us a pretty (ok really) rough road to get here, but God knew what He was doing with us, and if it’s this good now, I can’t wait to see what He has planned for us to come. We have three amazing daughters that I never in a million years thought I would be blessed with. I never had sisters, but desperately wanted them (mostly so I had someone to do girly things with instead of play WWE with my brother). I now get the privilege of watching our girls grow in their friendship with each other and have, between them, what I had always wished for. Each of them are so amazing in their own way, and I know God has a plan for them beyond what my tiny brain can comprehend. While I’m not working outside the home, I get the honor and privilege to stay home with our girls and watch them grow day after day. I never have to miss a moment, and I will forever be grateful for that opportunity! It’s better than any “job” I could have dreamt up. We don’t own a house yet, but we are extremely blessed with the home we currently live in. It’s a beautiful space, with more room than we need and feels more like home than any place before it.
So as you can see, my life looks a lot different than the typical “should be”. That doesn’t mean it’s value is diminished. It certainly doesn’t mean God can’t work through it or me, just because I don’t have every piece together and figured out. Life is still amazing while “life” happens. Somewhere along the way, I opened my eyes and saw all the good that was already around me instead of only what I hadn’t attained yet. It radically changed my perspective and allowed me to see things in a totally different way. I love this journey that we are on. Our own little story book, written by God instead of us. The script flipped and completely rewritten. We go through a lot of trials, bumps and storms on a daily basis…that’s for sure, but in the midst of it all, it’s still great. As we learn to let go of our own desires, we are learning of His desires for us, and learning how to not just appreciate, but truly love every part of His plans for us.
So my hope for this blog is that I can, in a small way, help you see that while life is not ever perfect, it can still be great. It can be great when it doesn’t go as you have planned. It can be great when you are going through the storm. It can be great when you don’t know where to go or what to do. It can be great, even when it looks nothing like you have pictured. God has a plan for you. Let go of your own and embrace His. I know you will find a kind of joy that is much better than where your own plans would have lead.
So here we are. This is our life. We are learning all of this as we go. It’s in no way perfect. It’s chaotic, entertaining (oh so entertaining), frustrating, messy, bumpy, and…beautiful. In a nutshell, I would call it crazy at times, but I’m right where God wants me and I’m thankful for every bit of it!
“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