I was going to be a teacher.
When I was in high school and in college, if you would have asked me what I wanted to do with my life I would have told you just that, without hesitation. I had always loved working with children and felt in my heart that it was my life’s calling.
When I was a Senior at Grace Bible College, I did my student teaching at Fountain Elementary with a beautiful teacher named Barb Kohn, now Quist. I worked in her classroom and absolutely loved it. She was a wonderful and inspired teacher in an inner city school setting and I learned so much from her. And I loved being in the classroom. Besides the students, one of my favorite things to do was to put together bulletin boards and this was one of them.
At the time, I had a plan, and it was a good one. Jeremy and I had just gotten married and spent six months serving for his Pastoral Intership at Eastport Bible Church. At the end of our six months, we came back to Grand Rapids to finish school. He finished his last semester of classes and I spent the winter into spring teaching a wonderful class of second and third graders.
I remember playing out my ten year plan in my mind. Jeremy and I would find a church to serve in, and I would find a school to teach at. I wanted to be able to work in the public school system, loving students and having a great ministry in the classroom. I distinctly remember having a conversation with Jeremy about how I should teach about ten years or so, and then in our mid thirties, we would plan to have our children.
But just because you make a life plan, it doesn’t mean that that is how life is going to go. And it doesn’t mean that your plan was going to be the best one for you.
My plans quickly changed the second I found out I was going to be a mom. I had to admit, it was hard. I had to get used to a new plan, and a new journey. And I did. It may have taken all of those 9 months, but when I had Christian, and in the years that would follow, I would slowly realize that God’s plans are the perfect ones.
And just over ten years later, I’m happy to say that God’s plans were absolutely best for my life. I did get my teaching degree, but I never ended up teaching in a classroom. I knew when we had our kids that I had wanted to stay at home with them, and be with them, and that, that was where I was supposed to be. Over the years, God’s plan for my life has slowly unraveled into being a wife to my best friend and a mom to our two amazing kids. I also get to be a very involved pastor’s wife and through our church ministries, God has given me my hearts desires as I work with the teens and the children in our programs. Every week, I get to tell them all how much God loves them, and I can’t really think of anything better that I could ever teach. Oh, and much to my delight, God also gave me a photography business. Something that was never even on my radar, but something that I love and get to earn a good wage from as well. And that surprise baby? He and his awesome friend Chris shoveled the sidewalk for me today. He’s been amazing, and challenging and wonderful and I couldn’t imagine how my life would be without him.
I suppose all this has come from the fact that I keep thinking of my sister Sarah. When I talked to her yesterday, we cried as I did my best to remind her that her life and plans were still good, but that they would just look a little bit different than what she had thought.
New roads and new plans aren’t always easy. And it’s hard at times to see that everything will be okay. But I know that for me and definitely for my family we believe that God’s way is perfect (Psalm 18:30). That His plans are best. It may take some adjusting, but in the end, there is life and beauty and sometimes wonderful things that we would have never imagined and this is exactly what I pray for my sister tonight.
(By the way… the latest update from my Mom tonight is that Sarah had a blood transfusion and has gotten rest and is doing a little bit better today, which is a huge answer to our prayers. Thank you, by the way, to everyone who reached out with support and prayers. It means so much to my family. Sarah is still in the hospital and hopefully will be until she gets enough rest and is able to regain her strength and go home to her family.)