Monday, May 2, 2016

HOPE Part II: When your life doesn't go as planned

I'm sure you've heard the saying, "If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans." Does that mean we shouldn't plan? I don't think so. But our desire to live life according to a plan not willed by God can lead to heartbreak, brokenness and defeat. When things don't go as planned, we sometimes ask ourselves, "why is this happening to me," or "what did I do to deserve this?" The truth is, God's word tell us that "all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purposes.” (Romans 8:28)

 We all have a unique calling on our life; a purpose that no one else can fulfill in the Kingdom. Most of us spend our whole lives searching for our purpose. Mark Twain once said, “the two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” But what if you're so driven to fulfilling your own plans that you leave no room for God to show you his will for your life? If you don't take time to sit, listen and seek, how will you ever be able to hear his voice and see his signs? 

That's what happened to me. Please read on for the second part of my current blog series. HOPE Part II: When your life doesn't go as planned.

My whole life I was raised to have goals. I was a first generation college student; my dad finally completed his degree when I was 16, but I was the first person in my family to graduate high school and immediately go onto a four-year university. Frankly, I felt a lot of pressure; I'd go on to be the only member of my family to take a traditional path to education. It was very important to my parents and became very important to me. I was so driven to get the next 'A,' plan for the next class and set myself up for success. Before long, I didn't need anyone else to hold me accountable. I knew what needed to be done.

That drive has taken me very far in life; so far that I believe it became an obstacle to seeing God's plan for my life. Thanks to all my hard work, I graduated college in 3.5 years. Because of an internship my senior year, I landed a full-time salaried position three months after graduation. I was on my way! Education, check. Job, check. In the middle of college I met my now husband. He proposed a month after I started my job. Fiancé , check! We got married 1.5 years later.

Life was grand! Now, I had a husband who liked plans, too. We decided before we got married we wanted to wait 5 years before trying to start a family. Seems reasonable, right? But what I didn't allow for in my life and marriage was for Jesus to truly take the wheel (thanks to Carrie Underwood I'm now singing that catchy song in my head). I always kept God at an arm's length. I only ever put enough trust in Him so I wouldn't be too disappointed when things didn't happen. I didn't fully understand God's grace and desire to bless us until much later.

Five short months into our marriage, I found myself suffering a miscarriage; it was the most traumatic thing I've ever experienced. I was in the middle of a stressful season at work and didn't even realize I was pregnant until I lost the baby. I was on the pill (plan) and had been taking antibiotics for a UTI. I just wasn't expecting it. But God was trying so desperately to reach me. I just didn't listen.

Flash forward over the next 4 years and two more miscarriage. I had begun to pray fervently. I was unhappy at work. I was stressed, exhausted and at the end of my rope. My husband was self-employed, working long hours. I had this nagging feeling to go see another doctor. It wasn't just intuition, God was pulling at me. See, he'd been trying to get my attention for years, ever since I gave my heart to him when I was 16 and confessed Jesus as my Lord and Savior. But I wasn't ready to SURRENDER my plans to God.

But guess what? I was on the verge of breakthrough.

It was nearly my five-year wedding anniversary. BABY TIME!!! I found a new gynecologist since I had this feeling (the Holy Spirit) to change doctors. I made an appointment and was ready to have a baby. At that visit in July 2012, my new doctor diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, an endocrine disorder that can cause ovarian cysts, making conception and pregnancy difficult (my miscarriages). Left untreated, it can lead to serious health problems including heart disease and diabetes. But, all I heard was an answer (thank you Jesus) to my miscarriages and for the first time had HOPE that motherhood may not be impossible.

Please join me next time for the continuation of this series. Thanks for reading!

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