It’s strange how our plans and God’s unfold in ways we least expect. Seventeen years ago, I made the difficult decision to resign as a reporter for The Times Record. I was three years out of college, married, and a new mom who wanted to work from home.
Having hoped to freelance while raising kids, I left a job and colleagues I loved for the uncertainties of making it on my own. My husband, Dana, encouraged me to go for it. When else would I try? So, I quit, planning to return to full-time employment when our youngest child started kindergarten. Our youngest recently learned to walk, and our oldest is a high school senior, with three others in between.
Yet last week I launched a new column for the same paper where I’d once worked as a reporter. Delays and unexpected detours are often God’s way of shaping our dreams.
I never imagined freelancing so long, but working from home has allowed me to contribute to regional magazines and newspapers while spending time with my family. I also wrote a series about the adoption of our daughter Ruth, who had cerebral palsy and was born in Uganda.
After reading about our trip, strangers stopped me in the grocery store or at the library to ask how Ruth was doing.
“Great!” I said.
Our family cherished Ruth, driving her to therapies, celebrating her accomplishments, and treasuring her deeply. Yet, this dream also held a painful twist when Ruth died unexpectedly in her sleep just before turning eight. Not my plan. Our family was devastated. How could God allow this when we loved Ruth so much and had worked so hard to bring her home?
I still don’t know, but I am actively working to support other kids like Ruth by publishing her story.
“For now we see through a glass, darkly,” the apostle Paul says in I Corinthians 13:12. As a Christian, I believe that God is working for my good — and the good of all those who love him — even when his plan differs from mine.
While waiting to see what that is, faith means moving forward anyway. That’s what I hope to do by sharing my blog “Faith Notes” in print as a local column. In some ways, writing for my own community feels more public than posting my words on the Internet for anyone to read. Oddly, what may be seen by anonymous millions feels less vulnerable than sharing within my own close community.
What if people don’t understand? What if I’m judged?
Then I thought of Christ, who began ministering not to unknown masses but in his hometown. Talk about vulnerable! Yet, recognizing this gave me courage to make the phone call I’d been putting off all year, the call to a former editor asking whether he’d print my blog.
When I picked up Friday’s edition, which contained the first copy of my column, I smiled, glad for a chance to share God’s work in a larger way. Beginning this week, my blog will switch to Fridays, when it will also appear on the Worship Page of The Times Record. If you’re local, pick it up at the grocery store. If not, I’ll be here sharing about God’s ongoing work as always.
What is God calling you to do?