17 February 2010

Unexpected Journeys

My life's Journey has not been what I expected at all.

My teenage plan for my life was to be married young (say 19?) with a couple of well-behaved children... I pictured myself in the year 2000, standing on a balcony overlooking the Millenium celebrations (I would be thirty i.e. old.) I imagined my thirty-year-old self cuddling up to my (faceless) husband while my well behaved children slept peacefully; I would be content and satisfied with life, observing the fireworks in a kind of warm glow.

I was the last one of my sisters to be married and have children. I am the eldest; my sisters both married at age 19. I didn't meet Mr Right until I was 30.

I thought getting married was the icing on the cake, the reward for all my years of service and sacrifice. I never expected to break down and spend the first few years of marriage in an emotional hell.

I thought I knew what it took to be a great parent. I said to myself, "No child of mine will ever do this that and the other..." I hadn't reckoned on children having minds of their own.

My twenty-something plan for my life was to be New Zealand's answer to Jackie Pullinger or Donna Crouch (two women I admired). I would single-handedly work miracles in the lives of teenage down-and-outs. I would throw myself completely into youth work and serving God, whatever the cost. I would be a pastor and community leader, I would travel round the place speaking and inspiring people; my life would make a difference. I would be significant.

I was sure I was going to do big amazing world-changing things. I did manage to do some good things which helped other people... but I never reckoned on the price being so high.

I thought I would always be strong and dependable, a doer, a leader. I never reckoned on Depression and Anxiety ankle-tapping me.

I thought I knew what God had planned for me. I was a pastor, a leader, a person of influence. And so it would always be... I thought.

But God had other ideas.
Since He knows me so much better than I know myself, He saw below the surface of my skill and my ability. He saw past my "noble" aspirations and into the core of my insecurity. He understood that I based my value on Doing. He knew that I struggled with Just Being.

He didn't want me to live my life on the treadmill of People Pleasing, the tightrope of Fear of Failing; the rollercoaster of Insecurity.

So He stripped me. 
He peeled away all the things I had relied on to give me a sense of Mattering.
It hurt. Oh how it hurt. But in his kindness, He made sure I would survive by bringing Mr Right along just in time.

How many years had I cried lonely tears waiting for The One? Not a minute too soon he arrived.
My Mr Right believed in me and fought for me and refused to let me give up on myself.
"If I love you, (me, the Great Mr G who could have had his pick) if I think you're worthy, who are you to say otherwise?"

God knew that I couldn't reach up to heaven; I couldn't hear or receive His divine Words because I was hiding from Him (I didn't want to hear what He might ask of me). So He sent me this man who would be Love to me.

If I thought this Unexpected Journey was a brief detour, a mere sidetrip, I was mistaken. I am forever changed and can never go back to where or who I once was.

The old dreams have been let go of. New ones are slowly emerging; small seeds only, but still they are there. Once not too long ago I thought I would never want to dream again.

The old ways are in their death throes. People Pleasing raises its head from time to time: that one is hard to kill. But Just Being has taken precedence over Doing.

I know I am worth more than just what I can Do: I am valuable because I am Loved. I am Worthy because I am His child. Mothering has taught me this. Pain has taught me this.

I'm not in any rush; I know I'm a work in progress. When I've learnt all I'm meant to learn, and become all I'm meant to be, only then will my journey be complete.

This Journey will take my whole life.

FOLLOW ME ON Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin //


PaisleyJade said...

Wow - beautiful Simone. In a way I have had a few things like this in my life that didn't seem to work out like I had 'planned'... reading the story of Joseph and others in the Bible have helped me learn that often God's perfect plan can seem like failure or nothing in the worlds eyes... but He is doing His perfect plan.

You are amazing!

Sammy said...

Such lovely words Simoney. And I love you much more now than when I met you, just dating Mr G. You are graceful and sensitive and kind and loyal and all round fabulous!

Morgan said...

"I thought I knew what it took to be a great parent. I said to myself, "No child of mine will ever do this that and the other..." I hadn't reckoned on children having minds of their own."


It's a good thing to be able to look back and say we're not who we once were. It's a beautiful thing that God has been working in you. May He never stop working in any of us.

Unknown said...

This is so beautiful Simone. Thank God that He knows us better than we know ourselves. Thank God that He is so merciful that even when He has to take the scalpel to us and do some surgery He does it with a gentle hand.

Widge said...

speaks lots to me. awesome write simone xo

Anna said...

Hi Simone,

Thanks for your honesty and your beautiful words. I have struggled with depression myself and life has taken different turns for me too, so I understand where you are coming from on that part of the journey. So spesh to have you know me and my journey from when I was a teenager til now. Love u.

Anonymous said...


Amy said...

A lovely post Simone, it's a funny thing when the reality of where we are at dawns on us and we pry our grip away from expectations. I can empathize with the shock of life going a different way to the way imagined. It such a great place to be though, it remodels our identity and perhaps that will be worth everything.

Anonymous said...

Wow Simoney, beautiful, beautiful post. I can really relate to so much of what you have written here. The line that really ministers to me is "He peeled away all the things I had relied on to give me a sense of Mattering." When we packed up our things and moved here, leaving everything familiar behind, it was very much with a sense of exactly what you describe here. Thanks for the gentle reminder, that God is with us on our journey - not that I didn't know, but my heart needed to hear it in this way.

All the very best to you as you continue on your journey. I am right here with you.

Meeks said...

What a beautiful and honest post. Thank you so much for sharing.

Jen said...

Hi Im a regular reader of Widges :)
and others whom I see keep up with you too :) :)

wow I LOVE what you wrote :)
Isnt God awesome
knowing whats best for us :)

you reminded me of when I was a young Christian and was a bit afraid God would send me away from my family into the mission field. I was afraid then - then a few years later he planted a seed in my mind and one day Id like to work with the orphans in China or somewhere

banban said...

Wow what a powerful story you have and are continuing. I love how you write, you are inspiring and honest. You are an awesome chick to know!

Elizabeth said...

You have such a beautiful way of writing, I am so enjoying reading through your story... it is inspiring, and really gives me hope!

Post a Comment