Sometimes life doesn’t go as expected. As much as we might want to hate that, it can actually be the best thing to happen to us.
I recently turned thirty. Right now, my life is nothing like what I ever expected or thought I wanted. If twenty-year-old me could have seen how the past decade would unfold, she would have dug her heels into the ground and said, “Nope. I refuse.”
I’m going to go ahead and be blunt here: ten years ago, all I wanted was marriage. In fact, it was my only dream and my only goal for my adult life from the time I was in high school until my mid-twenties. Maybe some of you have had a dream like that, one desire around which everything else revolves. In my late teens, I actually scoffed at the idea of being unmarried at twenty-one, or at least twenty-four. I knew that wasn’t going to happen to me. I was fiercely determined it wouldn’t. Being unmarried at thirty was beyond unthinkable.
Sometimes dreams don’t unfold how we think they should. We end up waiting, sometimes for years. We end up with failed attempts. We battle discouragement, anger, and hopelessness. Sometimes we rebel.
I’ll be honest, the whole “marriage” process has been hard. I have gotten into some pretty bad places, and I’ve experienced the kind of heartbreak that leaves you unsure if you’ll ever really be able to breathe again.
But you know what else? I’ve also grown. I’ve learned who I am–who I really am. I’ve learned how to do things I never would have imagined and found desires and callings I never knew I had. I’ve travelled, adventured, and discovered a passion for people. I’ve finished my undergraduate degree and started my master’s. I’ve found a career path I am genuinely excited about, and I regularly take on new challenges. My vision has grown far beyond the life twenty-year-old me was so determined to live, and it’s because of this process.
We all go through our struggles. As much as we sometimes hate the process–the uncertainty, the waiting, the discomfort–that’s where we grow and where we are equipped for what’s to come.
I still have highs and lows–that’s human–but I’ve chosen to abandon myself to the glorious adventure of discovering God’s best for me. You and I may have dreams that are still unfulfilled, but God will faithfully use the process to enlarge our vision. If we are willing, he will meet us in the midst of difficulty and give us a glimpse of his vision for us that outshines our own a million to one. 1 Corinthians 2:9 says “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” He is a good, good Father who works everything for our good (Romans 8:28), so when life doesn’t go how we want, maybe we just need a bigger vision. ☺