Five years ago this month I pulled into the city of Phoenix with my parents. My dad was driving the rental truck and my mom and I (in my silver Elantra) had spent the majority of New Mexico and Arizona listening to a book on CD about the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. It’s crazy what the brain chooses to remember…
As I look back I can’t help but be thankful for the odd and winding road that brought me where I am today: sitting at a kitchen table in Arizona, writing and speaking for a living, and looking forward to giving thanks with my husband and his family tomorrow.
How did this happen?
Today I’m thankful for:
-A breakup that caused me to finally hear You say, “It’s time to move on.”
, whose own brave steps encouraged me to follow her lead!
-Parents who not only encouraged my dreams, but literally helped me to move them across the country.
-A job that allowed creative freedom and challenged me to develop all sorts of skills.
-Uncomfortable first steps that led to great relationships in unexpected places.
-Days of loneliness that taught me there was only One place to turn.
-Strict studies at BSF that brought wonderful friendships.
-Rejection that taught me to question whether I believed that God really loved me and if His love was enough.
-Broken cell phones, dead car batteries, fender benders, and broken appliances that reminded me that stuff doesn’t matter.
-Challenging work experiences that forced me to confront situations rather than run from them.
-Texas connections in the middle of Arizona.
-A no letter regarding an internship in Uganda.
-Two months in a really uncomfortable housing situation.
-Things that I wanted and asked for that never came to fruition.
-Trials that drove co-workers and friends even closer together.
-Visitors who flew in just to remind me they cared.
-Countless bouquets, plants, letters, packages, and phone calls so that home never felt too far away.
-Experiences I wouldn’t have chosen.
-Painfully difficult conversations.
-Countless “firsts” (auditioning for local theatre, on-line dating, moving everything into storage, writing a musical, running a 10k, eating Indian, Thai, and Ethiopian food, travels…)
-That nothing happened in my timing.
-The lesson to get out of the car even when I felt like driving home.
-Opportunities to try new things.
-The huge addition to my family.
-Lots and lots of tears.
-Lots and lots of love.
-The gracious provision of a Heavenly Father who writes the best life stories.
I’m thankful for all of the things I might not have chosen.
“So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.” James 1:16-18, The Message