When God Directs Your Path
If you would have asked me 20 years ago where I thought I’d be today, I wouldn’t have told you that I’d be living my life abundantly in the Lord.
Having one child was exactly enough for me, because I envisioned a fulfilling career in computer programming that would sustain the big house on the hill and all our material possessions that were contained within those walls. I daydreamed about vacations with my husband to faraway lands that we had only seen on TV. I thought about taking my only child to see all the sights and hear all the sounds the world had to offer and he’d grow up to be a successful business man who went to some ridiculously expensive college.
That is what living abundantly meant to me.
I’m not a computer programmer, I have seven of the most amazing children God put on this earth, with the same man that I met in the hallway at our Vo-Tech school 24 years ago. I’m far from being financially stable and my only regret is that I did not bend the knee 17 years ago when He called to me the first time.
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— 1 Corinthians 2:9
Up until a year ago, I imagined that I was lying in that boat with the disciples, being tossed back and forth among the waves and fearing that at any moment the waves would overtake the boat and I’d surely sink. But then, just like Jesus calmed the storm in Mark 4:39, He calmed the storm that had been raging in my life.
I was so exhausted from trying to steady that boat myself. Every ounce of me screamed for rest and restoration and God answered those screams. See, I didn’t enjoy the “things” I had been doing before. The goals I had laid out for myself, were only my ways to fit in with the crowd, to gain acceptance for myself and to receive acknowledgment and praise from those around me. I didn’t acknowledge Jesus in all my ways and as a result, I was thrown around like a rag doll.
See the truth is, I never wanted to be a computer programmer, or have an expensive house or only have one child. I wanted those things because it was the life that was expected of me by those who surrounded me. That set the pattern for just about every decision I’ve made since. Every step I took through adulthood, every decision I made, I made on the pretense of, “What would (fill in the blank) want me to do.”
A few months ago my husband and I were discussing what I was going to do with myself once the kiddos went to school. I had been a housewife and a mama for a long time and I had no idea what I wanted to do with myself. I thought maybe I’d pour all my passion and drive into my blog. After all, I enjoyed helping and encouraging others, chatting with others about their own journey and I had been blessed with a platform to write about all things homesteading, homemaking, and preparedness.
Truth is, I didn’t really want to write about those things, at least not as my only focus. There are soooo many amazing homesteading, preparedness and homemaking blogs out there, that I knew there was no way I could say it better. They had covered all that needed to be covered. Plus, I really didn’t believe in my heart that God brought us here to homestead. No, God had bigger, better plans for us.
After my husband I had our little discussion, I knew I needed some insight from someone who could see what I couldn’t see.
The next morning, God and I were sitting at my dining room table drinking coffee together when He said to me, “Becca, you’ve been a people pleaser your whole life. You’re trying to please and gain the acknowledgement from the wrong people. What about pleasing and acknowledging Me?”
I wanted to, I really, really wanted to. But leaving the preparedness and homesteading platform, would mean that my time and investment in this blog over the last year was going to be all for nothing. That the following I had built would surely fall away. The traffic to my blog would not be what it once was. I would have to start all over, make new connections and friendships. Build something brand new and search for a new audience of readers.
He and I argued about that for a long time, but once I bent the knee and said, “Yes Lord!”, He opened a world of opportunity for me that I never could have imagined.
I was frustrated, but I knew what God wanted me to do and I needed to just take a deep breath and step out in faith and obey Him. I began looking into Women’s Ministries online, but what I was looking for, I couldn’t find, at least not easily. In my search, Liberty University kept popping up in my search results and each time I would just scroll past it and giggle to myself and once again found myself arguing with God.
Me: “I’m 39 years old God, I don’t have anything more than my G.E.D.”
God: “I will give you wisdom” (Ecclesiastes 2:26)
Me: “But God, I’ve been out of the workforce for 12 years. I don’t have any financial means to pay for college.”
God: “I’ll take care of you.” (Philippians 4:19)
Me: “They will never accept me.”
God: “I accept you.” (Romans 10:9-13)
Praise God that He is so patient with us and He doesn’t get tired of us. Liberty University’s program intrigued me, but Friends, I don’t live in Virginia and I was certain that Financial Aid wouldn’t pay for online courses. But I felt this tug on my heart to contact them for more information.
Of course I prayed about it first and God just shook His head at me and said, “Woman! You need to trust me!” So, I filled out the form and waited. I was sure there would be an application fee, which I didn’t have, so I gave up before I even got the telephone call from them.
But, there was no application fee, financial aid did cover online courses and I was accepted into the program, contingent on my approval for financial aid, which I was sure was going to fall through. A few days later, I received an email from Liberty with the breakdown of what I would have to pay each semester in order to obtain my Associates Degree in Christian Women’s Ministry. That total came out to $0.00!
Oh ye of so little faith!
As I fell to my knees apologizing for not believing Him and praising Him for all He’s done in my life when I don’t deserve it, this is what He said to me, with His hands holding a neatly, wrapped gift.
“Becca, you went through hell. I know, because I was there with you. I saw it all happen, you were never alone in the darkness Becca. It wasn’t for nothing my child, there was a purpose and you have a purpose. There are so many wives and moms out there that are going through exactly what you went through. Encourage them, lift them up in prayer and let’s show them that there is peace and hope. Help them see, that I will calm their storm, just like I calmed yours. Bring them to Me.” I wept and humbly answered, “Yes Lord.”
It was as if God was handing me a gift, just a little something extra on top of the blessing of Him just simply being present in my life through all the suffering I had experienced. On top of being blessed with a husband who seeks after Christ’s heart, and seven amazing children who have been entrusted to me to raise along side of God and my husband. The blessing of life, day after day. The forgiveness and grace that is poured out on me when I fall short. The acknowledgement and the acceptance that I so earnestly sought to receive, He has gifted to me.
September 25th is the start of my online courses. The Lord scaled me back when I wanted to take more courses than what was suggested my first time around. He knows my desire to learn as much as possible about Him and how to work for Him effectively. He also knows my bad habit of taking on a little too much at one time. He wants me to succeed and I want to succeed for Him, so I will listen to Him.
Isn’t it amazing how we end up in a completely different place than we had imaged and somehow we look back over our lives and think, “Wow! I’m exactly where I’ve always wanted and needed to be?”
Share with me in the comments below how God is directing your paths! I want to Praise Him with you!