The life I planned…

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is awaiting us.” — Joseph Campbell

Wow. That’s a really powerful statement. Go back and read that again.  The first time I read it, I didn’t really like it. It seemed a bit too arbitrary to me—and I’m someone who likes to be in control. The longer I thought about it, however, I knew that the statement was true. I’m a planner. (Surprise, surprise!)  Even before I entered high school–where I was voted “Girl Most Likely to Succeed” by my classmates–I had a plan for my life. It included years of higher education, leaving my home town in rural Mississippi for a career in a major city and, eventually, a husband and then later (about 5 years later to be precise), children.

Well. Some of that happened. Some of it didn’t.

I got the years of higher education.

I left Mississippi.

I got the great career in a major city of another state.

I got the husband. (and by that, I mean I got THE one that God told me to marry…MAJOR story to be told later)

We got busy having lots of fun and enjoying our life together.  We had 2 great careers, a home out in the country with lots of privacy and yet easy access to a major metropolitan city with all the arts, sports and entertainment options that are available there. We had it made.

And now…GIGANTIC flash forward past my husband’s battle with cancer, a down-sizing, a new job for him, the move BACK to my hometown (God’s own little joke just for me!), no job for me in my profession, painful infertility issues, the inability to adopt as a result of previous medical issues, multiple smaller jobs for me—some paid and some not …here I am.

Still educated (and getting smarter every day, thank you very much!  LOL), but a stay-at-home/work-from-home-maker/artist person with no regular paycheck in her name.

Living in my hometown in Mississippi.  (seriously, I’m telling you that God is still laughing out loud about this right now.)

Still married—we’ll celebrate our 20th anniversary in 2013!

No kids of our own…just incredible nephews and the ‘heart-adopted’ children of our many friends who give our lives such amazing joy.

Nowhere NEAR what I planned.  Still a great life.

Here’s my point:  Hanging on the old plans or the old life means you can’t have both of your hands and your heart free for the current life—the one GOD planned.  If I had been determined to hold on to my plans I would have missed so much freedom and so much joy!  Anger and regrets bog you down and leave precious little room for anything good in life.  I know me—there would have a lot of bitterness and anger if I were still hanging on to the plans I made.  Yes, there have been tears (and multiple necessary progressions of the 5 stages of grief over different issues!), but who’s to say that the life I have now is less?  It is different.  Completely different in most areas, but not for anything in the world would I categorize it as less.  It is the life GOD chose for me…and that’s one worth living.

Is there some part of you that’s still hanging on to old plans and the disappointments that came from not seeing them fulfilled?  Maybe it’s time to free up some room for some joy and the life that’s still awaiting you.

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