I think it's safe to say, that most of us have a dream for our lives. A house. A family. A couple cars. A career that you love. Vacations, trips, attractions, and memories of all the wonderful things you experience. Yeah, we have dreams. But what about when those dreams never materialize?
Let's just be honest, sometimes life's not what we expected. Through the ups and down, twists and turns, we sometimes find that our experiences lead us to places we never would thought we'd visit. And while we once held onto the dreams of what life should look like, too often we stare reality in the face as we deal with the life we now live.
Sure, maybe there are some who might say they're living their dreams, but for most of us we're just another twist or turn from where we thought we'd be. But even when life is less then you expected, there is plenty for you to reflect upon that will remind you of greater blessings.
For Amy and I, 2016 has already proven to be a year of unexpected change. Together we are facing some new experiences and life-changing decisions that we have never had to consider. For 19 years our family core values have kept us living in way that we come to know and love. But now we are stepping in life changes that are forcing us to make some major changes to our core values and our family structure. And honestly, I don't know if I'm ready for such changes.
Regardless, change is apart of life. And sometimes we have to take the changes and move forward. You see, I do have a dream, and part of that dream is maintaining our family values. So in the face of change, and life not being what I expected here is what I'm doing.
1. Reminding myself that God is still the author and creator of my life, and His plans, purposes and timing are always perfect. I once heard someone say that when we complain about our life situation, we actual communicate that what God is doing is wrong. I’m not sure I see it that way. You see, I’m not saying that God isn’t still in control of my life. All I’m saying is that right now, I might not be fully understanding what God’s doing. To state that public just makes me human. But I believe that God is big enough to handle my frustration. After all, doesn't David share his fears, frustrations and disappointments? Yet, David is a man after God’s own heart. Yes, I might not be thrilled with how things are now, it doesn’t change my view of God. I’m not walking out on Him. I’m not blaming Him. Instead, I am reminded of my great dependance on Him. God’s plans, purposes and timing ARE perfect. And I still trust Him.
2. I’m going to continue to chase my dreams. At the end of March I posted, Taking Control of What I Can Control, on my ministry blog. In it I shared how I did’t want to settle, and that I was taking control of what I want. I do have dreams for my family. There are things I want. I have career goals. And I don’t think that the things I want are bad or wrong. But too often, when you're in ministry and you chase your dreams, you ruffle feathers and people begin to question your heart and work. Truth is, I love working in student ministry. I don't want to stop doing student ministry. But I would still love to speak, train, and resource other youth workers. I would love to earn enough of a salary that Amy could continue to stay home and care for our children. And I'd love to be able to plan ahead a bit and think about what life might look like when Amy and I have a bunch of grandkids running around.
3. I'm going continue to make the most out of every moment I have with the family. One of the things we are learning right now is how to balance life as Amy picks up a couple part time jobs to help supplement our income. Suddenly family life has become more challenging as we navigate this new season of our marriage. But as we juggle schedules and responsibilities, I'm getting the opportunity to do things I've never had to do. This is creating time to be with the kids when it's always been Amy. When we are all together, that time is a bit sweeter. It makes me want to take that time and just enjoy it, even protect it. And after making the decision last year to be more intentional with our family time, that decision is only amplified.
Yes, life isn't always what we expected. But God is still in control and God is still working out His purpose and plan in our lives. Can He handle the occasional complaint or question from His children? Yes, He can. And it's okay.
So when life comes in ways that we least expect, or when things don't go quite how you had planned or dreamed, don't throw in the towel. Instead, remember God is still God, that your dreams can still be your dreams, and that life is now; enjoy the moments that you have now.
Thanks for taking the time to read The Higham Family Blog. Each week we try to share new content about something we are learning, something we love, or something to offer encouragement to the family. We love to hear from our readers, so please share your thought in the comment section of each post.