Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Loving the Journey, No Matter Where God Leads You by Susan Tolles, Guest Blogger and Life Purpose Coach® Student Founder, Flourish Over 50 Certified Dream Coach and Professional Speaker "We can make our plans, but the final outcome is in God’s hands." Prov 16:1 There has been no time in my life when this verse has been more evident. You see, recently a 22-year journey searching for my birth mother came to an end in a very unexpected way. My quest to find my roots and discover my medical history began in 1991. As a young mother, I also wanted to thank my mother for the painful decision she made, one that I knew must have broken her heart. My search took many twists and turns over the years, hitting dead-ends and involving many volunteer helpers called “search angels.” Knowing that God's timing was obviously different than mine, I waited patiently for a big break, accepting that His plan for my life might not include connecting with the mother who had given me up for adoption when I was 10 days old. With my vivid imagination, different scenarios played out in my mind--would she be there with a loving embrace, or would she reject me? Would she still be alive? Would I have brothers and sisters to bless my life? Of course, I preferred the fairy-tale ending, when I would live happily ever after in a close relationship with my birth mother and several half-siblings. October, 2013 was the time God had chosen for "the big reveal." DNA testing I had done in the spring finally connected me with several cousins, and I began tracing them to a woman who I had considered a possible match over 20 years earlier. So many emotions ran through my heart and mind as I thanked God in awe for what He was doing. Why now? What was His plan? Would this be the fairy tale ending I'd dreamed of? As the clues rapidly opened up, what I found left me speechless. My birth parents had married, and I had three full siblings--two brothers and a sister. God's blessing: my sister's faith in Christ is strong like mine, and one of my brothers is also a Believer. God's challenge for me: my mother and oldest brother have turned from God. My mother says she does not want to meet me, so I count it as her loss, not mine. The new journey has begun, and I am anxiously awaiting what God has planned. The unexpected outcome has brought joys beyond my greatest expectations, and has taught me lessons about myself, my faith and the way I look at the future. Our lives take us on many journeys, often taking us to places we never imagine. What is important is to love the journey God has lays out before us, embracing the highs and lows and occasional unexpected detours, anxiously awaiting what is around the next bend. No matter where you are on your current path, remember these things: • Love the life God gives you, and be content knowing that He loves you--that's all that really matters. Discover the purpose He has for you, fulfill it with gusto, and live a life that is pleasing to Him with joy and dedication. You never know what He has in store, farther on down the road. As Paul said in Philippians 4, "I have learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances....Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am." Personally, I never thought I was inadequate or incomplete. Though there was a "puzzle piece" missing from my life, I knew I didn't need to be anything more in God's eyes. If I never found that missing piece, I would still be content in being His child. • Love the timing He has for you. After searching for several years, I acknowledged God had a different plan, and was able to let go of the obsession that had developed through my hours of research. Surrendering to His timing erased the frustration and disappointment that I felt over and over, every time I hit a dead end. For your journey, remember that God has a plan, and He has the end in sight from the very start. Be obedient, seek His guidance, and wait patiently. His timing is perfect, no matter how long it takes. • Love the outcome He provides for you, no matter what it is. I never imagined that I would have full siblings, and my fantasy stories certainly never included a mother who rejects God. However, I am thrilled to have a sister to share the rest of my life with, and a brother who has welcomed his new "big sister" into his family with open arms. Even if I never meet my birth mother face to face, I now have the answers I sought for over 22 years. This is how God wanted it to be right now, for His plan. I am blessed beyond measure at this destination I have reached. This is a new beginning, with joys already celebrated, and surprises yet revealed. Now, more than ever, I am open to where God is leading me, and how He will use me to affect the lives of others. It is all part of His plan, and I am ready for the ride. What about you and your current path and learnings? Would love to hear from you, so leave a Comment for me and others to enjoy!