For as long as I can remember, I had my life completely planned out. From who I was going to date, to when I was going to get married, to where I was going to live. And for a while, my plans seemed to be perfectly on track. Another part of my plan was to travel the world as a missionary. So when I met this good-looking French major with an accent to boot, it didn’t take long for me to be completely hooked.
We’d been dating about nine months when we spent a summer in Africa on a mission trip. While we weren’t a part of the same group, we both were convicted that summer that God was calling us back to Africa—together. My future husband proposed a couple months later and the next summer we married in a beautiful ceremony in Colorado.
I couldn’t have been happier, and things continued to go according to my plan. We moved overseas to work as missionaries. I learned French, taught Bible classes, and loved our life. It didn’t take long, though, for me to discover that the control I thought I had over my life was simply an illusion.
One of the things I wanted more than anything else was a child. But year after year went by and that long-awaited child didn’t come. We tried infertility treatments, but doctors couldn’t find anything wrong. Finally, after several years of marriage the pregnancy test came back positive. I was ecstatic. But at three months, we lost the baby, and I was left devastated, wondering where God was.
Looking back, it’s still amazing to me at how God can take grief and pain and turn it into strength and renewal. Which is exactly what He began to do with my life. It was a long process that took many years, but He took me from the depths and taught me to trust Him. He taught me that I couldn’t rely on my own strength, but only on His. And that my plans were rarely His plans, but if I allowed Him to, He would be my strength.
Is it always easy? No, and there are still times when I try to take the reigns back. In the process, though, I’ve stopped (for the most part) planning out my life moment-by-moment, allowing instead Him to lead. His time, His way. His purpose.
we’ve traveled the world and served side-by-side on the mission
field through the good and the not so good. We have three lovely
children, two by adoption, and a third ‘surprise’ gift from God.
The future might be unknown, but when things get tough, I can look
back and remember that He is always faithful.
“Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will
help you.” Psalm 37:5 (NLT)
Thank you, Lisa. Be sure to read her fascinating website and blog
LISA HARRISStep Away From the Ordinary