Staring out over the sea of black graduation caps, my eyes filled with tears and my heart filled with joy. I realized God’s perfect will and timing brought me here–to this moment. Last year, on May 13th, I graduated from SNHU with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing. On that day, God truly gave me the desire of my heart (Psalm 37:4b). Please understand, I’m not sharing this with you in regard to worldly/prideful standards. This is a story of what God has done through me and in me.
Right after I graduated high school I had a ten-year plan: graduate college, start a “real” job, and then get married around thirty-ish. I had it all figured out. What I didn’t know that graduation night was how drastic my world was about to change.
Within two months of my high school graduation, my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Three months later, at the age of thirty-nine, she was gone. I had just started my first semester of college when she was diagnosed and, of my four classes, I was barely passing one of them. I was literally in survival mode at that time. Existing, but exhausted. Devastated, but putting one foot in front of the other.
God was with me. I knew it, but it felt like He was an arm’s length away. What I realize now is that He never moved. I will never leave you nor forsake you (Joshua 1:5b). I did.
Obviously that ten-year plan was a distant memory. At that point, I was on the day-to-day plan. The meaning of life had changed so much because of my mother’s death. Trivial, small things didn’t matter. Lasting, relational treasures were very important to me.
God knew what I needed in my life and five months after my mom died, I met my future husband Steve. Right from the moment I met him I knew there was something very special about him. Talking and hanging out with him was so easy, as though I had known him for a very long time. God answered my prayer for my future husband. Thank God, it was on His time frame and not my ten-year plan.
Two years after we met, Steve and I were married. Yes, we were very young. In fact, we were the same age our oldest daughter is now, 21. We settled into married life; working and moving to new places when my husband was promoted in his job. Still stuck in our old ways, of having it all figured out, we decided to give the eight year plan a try. We wanted to start a family, in several years, around the age of thirty. This way we have time to grow as a couple, travel, grow roots in a solid neighborhood…guess what?! God had His own plan for us.
Three years into our marriage, I came down with a flu that was lasting several weeks. I couldn’t shake it. Talking to my sister one day she asked, “Could you be pregnant?” “Nah, we decided to wait a few more years…remember?” Wait…I wasn’t feeling well. However, we were using every precaution known to man to not get pregnant. Could I be?
I was twenty-four when I was staring with disbelief and shock at the plus sign on my pregnancy test. My heart skipped a beat in delight for a moment until sheer terror took over as I thought of all the medicine I had consumed over the last week or two for my flu!! As soon as I could, I saw a doctor to confirm my wonderful news and settle my fears concerning the meds I had taken. God had indeed blessed us with a baby. Much to my surprise, I was a full two months pregnant with my daughter before I knew I was pregnant. God knew just what our family needed, and she was right on time. His time.
My college dreams moved to the back of my mind. I shared with my husband early on in our relationship of my desire to be a stay at home mom. Even before she was born, my husband started working a few extra hours a week at another job to make that happen. What a blessing and an amazing provider he is to our family. We scrimped, saved, and worked hard to make it happen. God provided everything to once again give me my heart’s desire. My legacy is my family, and experiencing my mother’s short time on this earth, I wanted to make the most of every moment!
Several years later, we decided to have another baby. Now. Our daughter had started kindergarten and we were READY! Cue the crickets chirping and silence…for two looonnngg years. Do you think we figured it out yet? Nope?! Let’s say it all together now, “it’s all in His timing.” We, finally, resigned it all to God and prayed. When our oldest daughter was eight and a half years old, God blessed our family with another daughter. Two blessings, straight from above, that I would not change in any way–especially God’s perfect timing.
God blessed us tremendously during those early years. Our days were filled with Him, volunteering in the classroom, and homework. As time went on, I fit in college classes here and there while my daughters were in school.
Several years into my studies, God placed the idea to write on my heart. This could only have come from him because I would never have come up with this idea myself. Like I mentioned in a previous blog, God slowly watered the seed of writing He had placed on my heart. Over the course of a few years, He encouraged me to keep a journal, write, and read. I devoured the Word, devotional’s, and Christian books. I also applied and got accepted into SNHU’s English and Creative Writing Bachelor’s degree program. Through hard work, perseverance, and a whole lot of Jesus’ I graduated in the class of 2017.
The beautiful thing is, I can see from my high school graduation night, He knew what the desires of my heart would be and He wove them through the tragedy and heartaches He knew I would be going through. I needed to be faithful to Him and He took care of me, in His perfect and beautiful timing.
Is there a specific time in your life where you can look back and see God’s perfect will and timing through all of it?