Dear Woman Who’d Like to Change the Past

If I could go back to college I’d pick a different major.
I took an art class my freshman year and my teacher strongly encouraged me to at least pursue an art minor. Did I? No. I had an English teacher who invited me to several higher level classes she was teaching but I declined those opportunities as well.  (My biology teacher also wanted me to major in biology but I think everyone’s glad I turned that down.)
I had a major. I had a plan. That plan involved finishing school and getting married.
So I graduated a semester early with a double major in Public Health and Secondary Education. I had no intentions of teaching, although I did finish student teaching. I was considering a graduate degree like the one at I found at the Universitiy of Tennessee at the time combining Nutrition and Public Administration.

What actually happened? I subbed for a semester, did some work at a local university, and then had a baby.
We had a baby that has a rare disease that requires attentive care and a restricted diet. And now that he’s six we’re homeschooling him for a variety of reasons, some related to his disease and some not.
 boys in closet
While I would go back and change my college plans God knew what He was doing. He knew that the classes I was taking and the experiences I was having would be foundational in preparing for the life I live now. He knew how much easier transititioning into motherhood was going to be because I at least knew the basics of nutrition and could understand Micah’s disease.
He knew. What I would consider wasted- what I would change- He planned on purpose to prepare me for where I am right now almost ten years later.
Sometimes I get frustrated with where I am now or where the past few years have taken me. I see what I intended to do and I see what didn’t happen and I’m discouraged.
I’m discouraged because I discount the work that God is doing in my heart and life right now. Right in August 2016 God is preparing me for tomorrow, December 2016 and December 2025. He can see the path ahead and I cannot. Instead I must trust His sovereignty.
Chances are you have those regrets too. You see all the years that you’ve tried to serve God. Or maybe you see the years that you didn’t care and now you regret those. You lay awake at nights sometimes and wonder what would have happened if? If you had gone to college? If you had waited longer to get married? If you had had kids earlier or later? If a job had panned out instead of falling through?
You forget too. It’s not just my life that God is working in. God sees and cares about every detail of your life just as He does mine. And when you feel like a part of your past is wasted in your present, when you feel like what you’re doing now has no bearing on your future, when you question where this road will take you I want you to remember that. God is perfectly capable of guiding your life how He wants it. He needs our help much less than we think He does.
Leave the “what ifs.” Leave the “if only I had’s.” Walk forward today believing that God is working, working in where you were five years ago and where you are today.
Nothing is wasted. Nothing is lost.