Many years ago, I would sit and dream: what would my future hold? As a little girl, I didn’t have the maturity to look across the years. So, I dreamed a storybook life for myself. I was always the beautiful princess, and I could spin gold . . . . I could fly! I imagined soaring above the trees. I also envisioned being invisible and living in castles. I wanted to champion a great cause. I was the great Nancy Drew detective girl. My life was an adventure!
And so it has been . . . . No, I’ve never spun gold, but I have soared above the trees and visited castles and places I never even dared to dream about. My life is dedicated to the greatest Cause—honoring Jesus Christ.
Our lives can take turns we never expected:
- A child with special needs
- Moving with your job or the loss of your job
- The death of a loved one
- An accident
We look to the sky and ask God why. Why, Lord? Why me, Lord? How am I going to deal with this?
Think with me about the many people with disabilities, cancer, and other sicknesses who have risen to the challenge. Some of them, with their families, have started support groups, funded research, raised money, and encouraged others suffering in the same way. They’re an inspiration! If they’d never had the problem, they would never have dedicated time and money to help others in this way.
Parents of autistic children, children with Down’s syndrome, visual and hearing-impaired, speech issues, and other challenges get together with other parents. They encourage each other. They develop programs and curricula that will help their children learn and grow and socialize. They understand the challenges, but their children have blessed their lives, and they in turn, bless others.
An automobile accident wipes out a car and maims its victim. Months of rehabilitation follow. It wasn’t expected, yet it happened. Now, this person is stretching and working—along with a room full of others—so that he can walk again. He never would have met those people otherwise. He would never have understood all the work that goes into rehab if he had never had the accident.
A job change means moving to another state—or another country. This means adjustments on everyone’s part: a new school for the children, finding a new church, selling the old house and finding a new one, meeting the neighbors. It may mean learning a new language and culture.
When God changes your direction, when He moves you, how do you react? Of course, if there’s loss or sickness, you’ll go through grieving, pain, and whatever trial is involved in sickness or disability. How will you react to your new situation, your new path? I don’t think anyone knows before he gets there. But, a Christian is prepared when it happens, even though he might not be aware of it.
I know people who are using their personal challenges in these ways:
- A cancer survivor keeps up with other people in her hospital cancer group.
- A man who is in a wheelchair invented a machine for storing a wheelchair in a van.
- Mothers with special needs children write about their experiences and share information and educational helps with other moms.
- A cancer survivor runs 5Ks to raise money for cancer research.
- A victim of a life-changing automobile accident shares her testimony by blogging.
- A couple that lost several babies are writing a book to help other parents who have suffered a similar loss.
- A friend with cancer constantly witnesses to doctors and nurses who are treating him.
- A mother who lost a child speaks to groups and has written a book about how to keep going after such tragedy.
Where are you? Has God altered your path?
Ask Him to help you turn your personal hurt into comfort and blessing for others. Ask God to use you in and through your life situation.
Trust the Lord to lead you:
- For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me (Psalm 31:3).
- Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness (Psalm 143:10).
- Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).
May God bless you as you seek to honor Him in your redirected path. You can make a difference in this world!