This past week, we had Vacation Bible School at our church. On my Facebook memories, I found out that I posted an article about Vacation Bible School, Escuela Biblica de Verano, when I went to Spain four years ago. It was a beautiful eye-opener to see how God has taken my life and brought me on this interesting detour.
You see, I started this blog with a five-year plan. My plan was to get my TESOL certification, go to South Korea for two years and teach English (to pay off my loans), get my Masters in Intercultural Studies/TESOL, meet my husband in seminary, get married, and go back to Spain! It’s almost been five years since I made this plan, and let me tell you: I’m nowhere near where I would have been today if God had not thrown me a curveball.
It all started with a text message. On a Sunday.
I came home from a meeting at church to find a text message on my cell phone from my Bible study leader. She said that the church was looking to hire an Administrative Assistant that basically fit everything I did in college (working with Publisher, editing, writing, answering phone calls, and basically being nice to people). I told the staff up front that I wanted to go to South Korea, but I would come in for an interview.
Little did I know that accepting that job would literally change the course of my life.
I got hired in December, then met my husband in February. Do you know how I met him? I wrote about our college-age Bible study in the church’s bulletin. His aunt read about our upcoming meeting and told him to check it out. Then I answered the phone when his mother just happened to be calling about the Bible study. I probably would have stayed home that day, because I was so tired, if I hadn’t gotten the call that someone new would be coming to the group. My would-be husband fell in love with me instantly (graciously accepts all applause with a humble curtsy) and continued to come to Bible study because he wanted to meet me, and he eventually made friends with the other attendees of the group as well.
I want to point out that while marrying my husband was one of the best blessings I’ve gotten from God, this is not the only blessing that came out of being in the United States as opposed to overseas. You see, my husband was going to church and had been a believer for most of his life, but he wasn’t taking his faith seriously. God used me and the other people at the Bible study to encourage him to get more into the Word. Now, he’s doing the same for others at the same Bible study.
In addition to the growth I’ve seen in my husband, I’ve seen so many blessings come out of working at a church. The way I met my husband gives you an idea of how something as simple as answering the phone or printing out the church bulletin could alter my life in some way. I’ve seen a pamphlet that I’ve printed, data that I entered in our database, and even speaking nicely to someone who comes into the office, make a difference in others’ lives. I also see a change in my own life, as I’ve learned to love others more fully and to forgive and be forgiven by those with whom I thought I had burned bridges.
As much as I want to be in Spain, ministering to the family I met that is so close to trusting in Jesus, I have a ministry field here. God loves the people in Spain much more than I do, and He has a plan to speak to them in a way that only He can. As a matter of fact, my friend from Spain is working on becoming a missionary in her own country. Instead of God sending me over there to do the work, He is leading me to encourage her and my other Spanish friends to be His instrument in their native land.
God is growing me and shaping me into the woman He wants me to be, but ultimately, it is for His glory. He has a plan for this world, and as much as I think I know what’s best for me, God knows a plan even better than that. I’m not on my schedule at all, but I’m right on time when I follow God’s will for my life.
I say this all not to build me up (as much as I need to hear this encouragement sometimes!). I say this to hopefully encourage you to trust God’s plan for your life. You may be single and wonder when God is going to bring that special someone. You may be in a dead-end job and you’re looking for a way to your dream career. You may be scrolling through social media and you see people doing exactly what you want to do. You may be a missionary in one country, but your heart is in another. You may have a five-year plan and God is throwing you a curveball.
At the restroom at Trader Joe’s (of all places!), I saw a sign that had the words that captured my heart: “Life takes us to unexpected places, but love takes us home.” God knows what is best for us, and what is best for His creation. We may only see what is right in front of us, but God can see an aerial view of everything in the universe, throughout all time. He is concerned with growing our character more than making us feel good. God has brought me home by surrounding me with love, encouragement, and accountability. Who knows what life would’ve given me? All I know is that my life is now in God’s hands.