I had a random moment about a week ago where I got into a conversation with a friend. It was actually quite an interesting conversation about hometowns and what led me to come to Townsville. I didn’t see it a prying question really, if anything it made me actually think back to why I moved here in the first place: A naïve 17 year old desperate to get out of her town and willing to do what was necessary to do so. A Music degree seemed like a viable option at the time. After all I love music and especially loved listening to, performing, scaffolding, researching and analysing it! Truthfully, as a lot of teens and young adults will admit, I had a ‘plan’ of what I wanted: Get out of Tully, start my degree, find a husband while studying, graduate, get married (before 25), have two babies (before 30) and figure the rest out later. In hindsight, I guess the degree was something that could buy me some time until I figured out what I really wanted.
I remembered getting into the third year of my degree and realising with great disappointment that my plan really wasn’t panning out the way I had hoped. I dated the wrong men, I was on the verge of failing half of my 3rd year load, and I really had no idea how things were going to pan out when I was done. When I finally got to the last semester of my degree, the ‘future’ questions intensified from family and friends. So in order to buy myself more time (and this is another story in itself) I opted to do Education (although I NEVER had the desire to teach). In my mind I thought I could get the qualification, gain work until I figured out what I wanted.
Fast forward 7 years (an engagement, 1 pregnancy with miscarriage, another pregnancy, becoming a born again Christian, becoming a group fitness instructor/PT, leaving my ex-fiance, becoming a full-time teacher….) later, I am living my life in complete contrast to the plan I set for myself when I was 17. If you would have told me when I was 17 that I would become a single mother, still unmarried at 30, working as a group fitness instructor/ PT and Drama/HPE teacher and involved in a church, I would have probably laughed wildly at you and walked away. Although the life that I am living now is not what I thought it would be, I find happiness in the fact I was provided with more than I thought I was ever worthy of. Although there are some things that I am still figuring out in my life, I take so much comfort in the fact that God has my steps covered.
I still have my moments where I wish things turned out the way I wanted when I was 17, but when I weight up what I have now, I wouldn’t change things for the world. I also have my quotes, songs and verses that I continually turn to when I have those moments:
“So let go my soul and trust in Him. The waves and wind still know his name.” (“It Is Well”: Bethel)
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“There is no passion to be found in a life that is less than the one that you are capable of living.” (Nelson Mandela)
I admit there are days where I pinch myself and ask what I did to deserve what I have. I feel enormously grateful that the effort I put in is appreciated by others and that I am growing the wisdom to stray from ‘my plan’ and trust ‘His plan’. If this is the story I am telling now, who knows what story I will be telling 7 years from now? But for now I am going to walk each day and take in each precious moment and piece of the final plan that has been given to me.