When you are older remind me to tell you about how one of the worst turn of events in my life transformed into one of the best–you.
Here’s a sneak preview.
I was eight years into my PhD and nearly done. I had given everything I had for two years to reach the point with my dissertation where the worst was behind me–about four months from graduation–or so I thought. It was then that my research site backed out. That meant two years of work was gone, irretrievably, forever.
Yes, I did cry. Yes, I did get angry. Yes, I did feel completely broken down. And then someone wise said to me: “How wonderful that God has removed this huge thing from your life so succinctly and with such finality. It’s as though He is saying to you ‘the time is now, go get that baby!’” Well, she was right, and so I did.
There will be times in life when you will feel broken. Times when your greatest hopes land shattered at your swollen, blistered, and weather worn feet. What I hope you can learn from me, your mommy, is that those times are not epic endings; they are only the beginning of God’s greater plan for your life taking shape.
Never, not for one single ounce of a moment, have I regretted all that I gave to that PhD. And never, not for one single second, have I regretted letting it go to open my arms to you.
And so I tell you this tale because you will likely grow up knowing me as your mom, who has her Masters and her EdS and who was never called “Dr.” Yet before you became a part of me there was another version of me, and that version would never, ever have been nearly as brilliant, wise, loving, and fulfilled as I am as your mom. Never.
Sometimes we need to thank the disappointments; most times we need to thank the disappointments. Because they are not only our greatest teachers, they are our rudder in the water during life’s turbulent storms. It is those let downs that keep us true to our charted course and prevent us from washing up on the wrong shore–stranded on a deserted island where we don’t belong.