|Me in the kitchen from the other day|
Over those years, God made me see that His will was to be my ultimate ambition. His love would satisfy me beyond any person's ability to give, and His redemptive power would heal the wounds of my past.
Those lessons were not easily learned, and I would struggle throughout the years to put God first. I learned how to do well in school without making my academic success become an idol. I sort of learned how to get along with the college dudes without chasing - oh wait, I had a new crush every year. Never mind! Ok, yes, I totally had eyes for different guys in my college youth group (and guys outside my group sometimes), But every time I was friend-zoned by a guy, I learned to ask God to fill the void of love and of status (hey, this girl was smart and attractive and a strong enough Christian to have a guy) that I wanted said earthly guy to fill. Every time one of my friends got asked out by her crush, or just out by some random guy in the college group she barely knew, I learned what it meant to truly be happy for her and not let envy get in the way of our friendship because I knew we were both sisters in Christ.
God is still working on the healing the trauma bit. He led me to a university which had a good student-counseling program, and yes, I was in the counselor's office every single year at CSU. This includes grad school. Every time I learned something about child development that made me realize I learned some skill late, or that made me realize that I struggled in some area because of some event or absence of care during my childhood, my wounds of childhood would open up again. I had tried to cover those by doing well in school and being a 'normal kid,' but I realized I had been through a lot. My friends would remind me that God saved me and my story was His story that He was working for good.
As I volunteered at church with the single mom's ministry and as I mentored a little girl adopted from China, I began to see how my past was informing how I helped others and telling my story helped them realize they weren't alone. I began to see God's redemptive work, and I still do.
Of course, these lessons continued after I left college. I learned to trust God as my provider in the Great Recession when I just couldn't get a job in my field, but I was still able to land some jobs that paid rent. I was a bit more content in my singleness and sometimes even shared what God taught me about Him being enough as I sat with younger girls as they pined after guys they liked. Though sometimes was just said, "God is sovereign and ultimately good, but singleness still sucks sometimes. Let's just eat through this pint of ice cream." God continued working with me through my past trauma as well.
Back to the present:
This morning, I was holding Matthew and swaying with him to "Enough." Today, I'm a paralegal, wife, step-mom, and mom. Are all my dreams from my college life fulfilled? Partially. I'm not a doctor, but I have a satisfying career. I married a sweet (dorky) cute Christian guy, and I hope I am a decent step-mom and mentor to his 7th grade son. And baby Matthew is right on track developmentally, according to his pediatrician. Life is going well.
Yet, I still need God to re-teach me the lessons of contentment and "Enough" just as much as I did in college. I sometimes wish we had a house instead of renting an apartment. I wish I had not just a good job, but a flexible job so I could spend time with my baby during the week. As my stepson enters his teenage years, and as Matthew continues to grow, I will need to trust God with their lives.
Throughout these fifteen years, and for the rest of my life, I will continue to learn that blessings and accomplishments in my life are not to us, and that in blessing or trial, God is enough.