A Journey Not My Own

“A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.”

Proverbs 16:9

The Path Less Traveled

A Journey Not My Own. The name says it all. My entire life, especially the past six years, have been a journey I neither designed nor could have imagined all on my own.

For so long I lived my life as if I was headed to a destination; a place where I could arrive safely and live out my years in peace, harmony and happiness.

Get real, right? After all, life is hard; real hard. But you see, I’m a perfectionist, well, a recovering one now, at least. For quite some time, my GPS had one destination on it: Utopia. It was a place where all my striving-for-perfect efforts and best laid plans would come to a crossroads and I could step out of the car and breathe the fresh air of safe and easy and perfect, at last!

Then life happened and my past caught up with me. The road seemed to detour and I careened into a demolition zone. God was there and He graciously rescued me again from myself by leading me into several years of intense redemption and restoration. Don’t be fooled, that may sound all sweet and Christian-y but it wasn’t. It was hard and at times it was dark, but it was worth every agonizing step we took together.

Walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, taught me to allow God to have His way in me. I learned to stop fighting against Him so much and rest in His plan. Choosing to live in utter authenticity, the ghosts of my past were silenced and I learned to be an overcomer instead of being overcome.

Then China happened. God took me there and taught me great and mighty things I did not know. He opened my eyes and gave me a glimpse into suffering and pain I could never have imagined. He emblazoned and tattooed their faces and their pain on my heart. I’ve never gotten over it, and I hope I never will. When I returned home, He left a piece of my heart there.

Then He took a life-long dream of mine and made a calling out of it. My desire to adopt became a calling upon our entire family to enter into a lifestyle of missional living. Because half my heart was in China, He graciously allowed me and my family to go back and bring a piece of it home. That little piece of China is now our daughter and her name is Hope.

The past three years since Hope has been home have been utterly and completely life changing for me, for us. The ideas we had to be young grandparents, get in our RV and travel the country, then the world, have now been replaced with diapers, preschool, Hello Kitty and Princesses. Growing old together is going to look way different than what we had planned, but I have come to realize that I truly like God’s plans best. They are not only a great adventure, but in a funny way, when you stop fighting Him, His plans are exactly what your heart longs for in its quietest places and its purest moments.

My plans are many, His plans are best.

And with that, we head off to China again in the next year to adopt again. Yes, again! We now have a son who is going to college, a daughter going to Kindergarten, a son in high school and one on the way. Definitely not the norm, but a kind of crazy that I find wonderful.

Since Hope has been home it has been beautiful yes, but I would be less than honest if I left it there. It has not been easy. That dream of perfect, peaceful and quiet?  Yeah, we sent that packing moons ago.

Through the experience of adoption and restructuring our family, I have come to the very end of myself on more than one humbling occasion. Perfection has literally been pried out of my clutching fists. God has taken all my “wisdom” and brought it to nothing. Not once, but over and over again. And it is exactly what needed to happen in my life.

The journey is not over, it’s just begun. It’s not mine, it’s His. Many are the plans in my heart for sure, but He is directing my journey and after all these years, I’ve found that is the safest place I can be.

Wanna join me Friend? You can find out about my life, His story and our journey by clicking on the navigation bar at the top. Whether you want to know more about my story, my journey of faith and family, my passion for anti-trafficking advocacy or special needs orphan care and adoption, my prayer is that everything you read will captivate your heart to see His as He continually, graciously and lavishly rescues, redeems and restores us.

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