The Life I Never Planned

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I can’t even count the number of times that question has been asked of me. I was never one of those kids who struggled with an answer. I had my entire life figured out by the time I was eight. I was going to be a missionary and a mother. Eventually my writing dream slipped in there too, and by the time I left home, I was set in my plans.

It’s funny how plans change. How the life I once dreamed of is not the life I am currently living. Right now, I’m a missionary drop-out, soon-to-be-published author of the kind of books I never wanted to write with no husband in the foreseeable future. Sometimes I roll my eyes and say that God mocks me, but honestly… Honestly I’m coming to terms with the fact that God knows best.

That He sees the dreams I never dreamed.

That His dreams are better than my dreams.

If you look at people throughout history – people who are famous for doing extraordinary things – I’m willing to bet they didn’t set out to accomplish those things in the beginning. I’m willing to bet that God interrupted their lives with a purpose that was greater than their imaginings.

Take Mary in the Bible, for instance. I’ll bet all Mary really wanted was to marry Joseph and live happily ever after in her comfortable little life. Then came the angel that declared she would give birth to the Son of God. Say what?

God gave Mary a task that was way, WAY beyond anything she could have ever asked or imagined. And it wasn’t easy. Her community scorned her for what they assumed to be an illegitimate pregnancy, her fiance nearly kicked her to the curb (and who could blame him?), and the last Mary sighting in the Bible is at the foot of the cross where she watched her son suffer a horrible death.

Following God’s call on her life cost Mary everything. It hurt. It hurt so much worse than her comfortable dreams of happily ever after ever could. But I’m willing to bet that if you asked Mary if she wished she had done things differently, she would say no. She wouldn’t have it any other way. She had traded her old dreams for a new promise.

And the miracle was worth the price she paid.

As I find myself thinking things like, “This isn’t how I thought my life would turn out,” and “I never asked for this ~ wouldn’t have chosen this,” I think of Mary. And I ask myself if this miracle will be worth the price I paid. Though sometimes it’s hard to imagine, I trust that my final answer will be yes. Yes, it was so worth it. I’m trading my old dreams for a new promise.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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