When I was nineteen I had my life figured out. I was perhaps slightly behind since I had not locked down a plan when I was eighteen. Still better late than never. Everything was in place: I would go off to college, eventually earn a master's degree in counseling and then move back to the beautiful state of Alaska. I would fall in love, marry a man who was in alignment with my plan and eventually have kids — preferably two. I would build a successful counseling practice, impact my community, and, in general, change the world.
I was full of confidence as I headed to college in Oregon. I put posters all over my dorm room of Alaskan mountains and wild life, determined not to go a day without seeing a glimpse of the Great Land. This strange new state sure didn't feel like home.
But then half way through my sophomore year Oregon did feel like home and my well laid plan fell to pieces.
That summer when I went back to Alaska nothing had changed about the glorious mountains or the pristine air. But I had changed on the inside and my sense of belonging to this ancient land was gone.
I panicked. Not only was Alaska no longer my home but I no longer wanted to be a professional counselor. Oh and it became clear that the guy I had been crushing on since week two of my freshman year was not going to be my future husband. I was having a mid-college crises before I had even archived the second step of my master plan.
Have you ever had God pull a course correction on you? The life trajectory you were on needed a nudge and He happily obliged? For a planner this is not fun or at least it wasn't fun the first, second and third time He has done this to me. I grieve in the process but after the fact I am grateful He cares enough to step in. Always His story turns out better than if I had been leading.
I graduated with just a bachelor's degree, and fell in love twice before the right man asked me to marry him. I've traveled to Asia and back and learned that no matter what people group I find myself in I end up adoring them. Several months ago I looked back and realize a full decade has passed since I moved to Oregon. And I am still in this incredible place. I talked to my husband as the date of my ten year anniversary approached and asked his thoughts on buying something to celebrate. No “celebrate” is not the right word. “Commemorate” is a better fit.
I want to remember that God had me stay a decade in a land I never expected to live in. I need to remember how much I don't know the plan He has and that He wants to bless me with the unexpected. The people I have met down here are amazing, and if I had not stayed I probably would not be married to my wonderful husband. The opportunities for adventure and impact over the past decade have fed the desire of my heart that was initially kindled when I was nineteen.
And so I went out and bought a necklace. A compass pendant. It's a reminder of a decade well spent and that sometimes God changes the sails of your ship. I have come to trust that He knows what He is doing.
What's something in your life that you are grateful for and want to remember?
I like to write as well as paint. Often times the story behind a piece brings more life to the work. - Jessica Broich