When the Future Gets Cancelled

P1120425Looking back at my high school year book, I notice my “FP” (future prediction) hasn’t come true (yet).  Beside my graduation picture, my FP says, “singing missionary in Africa.”  Believe it or not, I still have that dream.  Maybe not a “singing missionary”, but I’ve always had the dream to live and work in Africa, bringing love and encouragement to those who may not know about Jesus.

I also noticed my “KF”(known for) includes “her domestic abilities.”  Well, those abilities sure are coming in handy now.  Being domestic at home is what I’m known for today. Yet, I still have big dreams of doing big things away from home.

This has been a hard week.  A very hard week.  Illness hit our house with a vengeance.  Having a large family means it takes a long time for illness to filter its way through every member of the family.  I’ve had to religiously document when medications are dispensed and for whom or I won’t even remember who is sick that day.

I don’t quite know how to describe what happened here this week.  All I know is that it was a struggle for me to stay positive.  My attitude of “I’ve got this” started to take a nose dive.  I told a friend over Facebook on Wednesday that I had baby snot in my hair.  I don’t know how it got there, but once I glanced in the mirror at the glistening nasal mucus on my already greasy hair, I knew I had reached an all time low.

If I go on and on and describe some of the things that happened, I fear I’d be entering into “complaining” territory and I don’t want to do that.  What I can say is I went to bed at 9:00pm several nights in a row, falling into bed with complete exhaustion.  Waking up in the morning, I still felt tired and I had to do another taxing day all over again.

I was waiting for the end of the round of sickness so I could write a nice blog post about the tough time I had and how it resolved.  Well, I realize now that that resolution may never come.  The illness is still here and I’m still tired and house bound.  I continue to cancel visits with friends and social events.  I continue to feel disappointment every time I send an email saying, “I can’t do it, the kids are sick.”

I guess this really is a true picture of what life is like.  We can’t always find the silver lining in every situation.  We might never know why a loved one had to die or why we never got to take that career path we thought we were supposed to go down.

I wonder if these detours on the road, the change in direction, is God gently guiding us on the path he wants us to take.

I’ve often been a bit confused by Proverbs 3:6, “in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”   I have to tell you, I don’t feel like my path is very straight.  But I do know in these hard times, the times when my appointments on the calendar are crossed off because I have to deal with ceaseless crying and runny noses, I have to rely on him for understanding and I can begin to see a new course ahead with God in the lead.

Now that I’m in my thirties and I have had some life experiences under my belt, I’m realizing that life is very unpredictable.  While making life plans in high school seemed very important at the time, I realize now life isn’t something you can plan and package with nice paper and a pretty bow.  We often desperately try to organize our lives so things all make sense.  We like to keep lists, pin boards on Pinterest, place appointments on calendars, plan vacations in advance, and hold dreams that we hope to one day fulfill.  When life takes a slight turn or even a drastic bend, we struggle with understanding what went wrong in our plan.

I’ll never forget the time I look at my mom’s calendar the week after she died.  She had written appointments and special P1070049edgecelebrations and trips she had always wanted to make onto the next year’s dates.   It felt so disconcerting knowing she would never fulfill those plans.

As for my FP?  I don’t know what my future holds.  Being at home gives me an opportunity to dream about the possibilities of things I could do in the outside world.  Sometimes I think of an idea and spend an hour researching how I could make it happen.  But every time I think of a brilliant idea of what I’d like to do in my future, I feel God reeling me back to my family here at home.

Having sick kids orders me to stay home.  I guess I’m getting the message I need to be here right now.  As much as I’d like to be out saving the world by singing in Africa, I’m here, serving my family and most importantly, my God.

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3 thoughts on “When the Future Gets Cancelled

  1. Oh my gosh! I felt like I could relate to almost everything in this post (except for the singing missionary thing… that is a very original dream!). Shanti told me about your method of tracking medicine… don’t know why I never thought of that. We were all sick this past week too, and it feels like it will never leave. I tell Joel, sometimes, that I feel like a high school kid… still daydreaming about what I want to do with my life. But God, also, keeps reeling me back to my home and my family right now, and I’m grateful for that too. Still fun to wonder what might happen when the kids are a bit older, though. Oh, and if “PP” means pet peeves and you answered “cheery morning people” then I am more convinced than ever that we are soul sisters:)

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  2. Hi Julie – I love reading your blogs. Sounds like the missionary thing in Africa must be in the genes. Anyway, I used this blog post for teacher devotions this afternoon. It went over really well. Blessings. Aunt Cathy

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