Not What I Signed Up For
When my husband and I got married, we made lots of plans. I was finishing college, and he was starting seminary. The “plan” was that, when I graduated from the University of South Florida, we’d move to Dallas so he could complete his masters degree at Dallas Theological Seminary. I would teach English while Dave was finishing his program, and we’d live on campus. When he graduated, he’d get a job somewhere (hopefully back in Tampa!), and we’d settle down and start a family.
Here’s what really happened: As I was entering my senior year of college, at the ripe age of 23 (I spent two years at a bible school before beginning work on my bachelor’s degree), I discovered we were pregnant.
That was NOT part of the plan.
Dave and I had already determined that, when we did have children, I’d stay home with them. But that was supposed to happen AFTER he finished seminary and we were settled (preferably back in Tampa!). We had also already determined that we were moving to Texas right after I graduated. But now, right after I graduated, I’d have an infant. I did NOT want to move someplace where I knew NO ONE, not with an infant!
Dave was far more confident than I. He was thrilled we were pregnant, and he was sure God would work out all the details and give us what we needed in Texas. I doubted and struggled and fought to stay in Florida, where it was safe and comfortable, and where our baby would be surrounded by people who loved her. I questioned why God would change the plans that had seemed so solid.
In less than a year, I knew exactly why God changed those plans. He didn’t want me to work full-time while we lived in Texas. He didn’t want us to live in Dallas. He had a church for us south of Dallas, in Midlothian, where the people would accept us and our baby like family. A church that would help us grow in our relationship with Him and in our understanding of what Grace is. He had friends for me that were stay-at-home moms, friends I never would have had time to get to know if I were working. These friends taught me more about parenting than I could ever learn from books or videos. They saw me through two more pregnancies and supported us in every way as we sought the next chapter in the story God was writing in our lives.
Proverbs 19:21 tells us, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
While there is nothing wrong with making plans, it is important for us to remember that we need to hold those plans loosely. God’s purposes are far greater than our plans, far more fulfilling. As I have experienced, those purposes aren’t always immediately obvious. But his purposes are always for our good, to give us a future and a hope.