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When we trust our lives to the unseen but ever-present God. He will write our lives into His story and every last one of them will turn out to be a great read. With a grand ending.
– Beth Moore, Esther study

It wasn’t supposed to be this way you know….I had plans for my life.  Plans, I tell you.  Good ones! GREAT ones even!!

By this point in my life I was going to have made it.  I was going to be the next great thing in Christian music, have a couple of Dove Award nominations and maybe even wins under my belt. (I had winning speeches ready by the time I was 17.)  I was going to be married to this incredibly handsome man (who could sing, play guitar and dance – probably not all at the same time….but maybe).  I wasn’t sure on kids, but I’d have some great pets.  I’d have amazing friends like Sandi Patty, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith.  I’d have a house on a beach and one in Nashville, and would travel around the world and back again as often as possible.  I.HAD.PLANS!

And God laughed.

“Oh, sweet child,” God said, as He looked on with the look that only an amused parent that knows better can give to a child. “I’ve got plans too and the dreams I’ve got for you are so much bigger and so much greater than your little Dove award.  I’ve placed dreams deep in the heart of you that if you will just stop thinking of your own fame and fortune for a second; you will see are so rich and so rewarding that 1,000 dove awards and a million speeches could not compare to the greatness of them.”

But I held on to my little visions.  I was crushed when they didn’t come to pass and allowed myself a lot of self pity, bitterness and anger in the process.  These were my plans and how could a God who loved me not give me the “desires of my heart”?

Little by litte (much slower than I should have, were I not so stubborn) I began to allow the God given dreams of my heart to take hold and overcome the minute dreams I had for myself.  WOW! What a life I have! Looking at it now I see where God has intertwined my dreams with His and made them so much better.

So nope, I’m not the next great thing in Christian music.  In fact, I don’t remember the last time I sang on a stage.  I miss it. A lot. But I found that I can sing just as loudly and worship Him more openly while singing in the car, in my apartment or in the seat at the front of the church.  No one cares if I miss a note, or if things aren’t perfect; because it’s just me…singing my songs.

I’m not yet married, and at this point there isn’t really a potential candidate to fill the role of husband.  But that is ok.  When he comes along, it will be at the right time and it will be good….very good.  And it will be ok if he doesn’t sing or play the guitar…I am holding out for him to be able to dance…just a little…a two step now and then, perhaps.  Until then, I’ve got freedom to be who I need to be right now.

I do have great pets.   They keep me laughing with their antics.  And while I don’t have children of my own, I have a host full of adopted nieces and nephews and the children of friends who fill my heart with gladness, who I can love on and help nurture and raise and who make my days more whole than I could ever have imagined.

I have traveled around the world and back again. Not on the stage I thought I would be on;  better – of my own accord, visiting places and people I love and having the most grand of adventures.

And friends, I have amazing friends. All across the planet, I have friends.  There are days when I hear the lies that say that I don’t.  Then I have little pity parties and pout because I’m feeling alone.  But about that time I get a phone call, or a text or I call someone and those lies are extinguished and exposed by the light of the truth.  As for Sandi, Amy & Michael….I still believe that we will be friends one day…I just know it!

I don’t have a beach house, or one in Nashville….but I’ve got friends that do….and their homes and arms are open to me whenever I need them.  That is  more than enough – better than my little plans could have ever wished for.

This morning as I started into a study series on the Book of Esther, I began to think about this young Jewish woman and how she probably had plans too.  She had plans of a future, a handsome husband, a house on a hill somewhere perhaps, dreams of children and a life that was typical of the culture and ways of her time. She had plans. I’m pretty sure her plans for her life did not include her marrying a king, exposing a traitor, saving her people and having an entire book of the Bible written about her story….but God’s plans for her life did. She let go of her plans, was obedient and look at the story that unfolded. Oh, how much I have to learn.

As I sit here on this Sunday morning, drinking a cup of Kenya’s finest, watching my animals wrestle like the brothers they are, look at my reading assignments for the school work that I am loving, looking forward to traveling to a favorite place to see favorite people and thinking of all that I get to do this week….I realize this is not how it is supposed to be, it is not how I planned it, this is not what I had in mind….it’s better.