Lately I’ve been thinking about the direction my life has taken in the past few years. Like many, I’m not exactly where I thought I’d be at this stage in my life. I had such a life planned for myself. At 28,*insert dream sequence here* I should have had my Master’s in Counseling, worked in the school system as a high school guidance counselor for a few years and be well on my way to starting my own center focusing on Christian counseling. I’d get married around 22 and have my first child at 25. My husband would adore me and I him. We’d be vacationing somewhere awesomely (<– a Carla-ism, lol.) wonderful every year. We would be comfortable in our starter home just big enough for the 3 of us. REALITY CHECK. I have yet to finish the undergrad degree I started 11 years, 2 schools and $13k+ in student loans ago. I have 2 sons; the oldest was born when I was 20 years old, prior to my marriage. I have been in a job that has nothing to do with my career path for the last 7 years. And the one thing I certainly had not expected, I’m divorced. Even as I sit here typing all of this, I’m having issues seeing it on the screen. This is NOT the life I had planned.
“… I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11-13 NKJV
When I see my life for what it really is, I’m grateful. I have 2 of the most amazing, funny and caring sons a mother could ask for. I am and have been employed for 7 years without interruption with the same company, while others are loosing seemingly stable jobs. I only have a little more than a year left in my undergraduate studies. I have the best support system ever. My family and friends are worth far more than any material gain. Most importantly I know, understand and acknowledge that Jesus has been by my side through all of my hurt & disappointment, as well as my successes.
So what’s my point? Life isn’t always going to happen just as we plan. I’m actually learning to appreciate the rough times. They mold my character and build my strength. In fact, I’m sure I would not be the person I am today without them. If we use what has happened in our lives to shape our future, both good and bad, the possibilities are endless. I challenge you to take time out to learn from the struggles in your own life and appreciate who you’ve become as a result of them.