My husband and I had a plan. But the year we were supposed to go overseas, we gave birth to beautiful twin girls. And although I had looked forward to becoming a mother my whole life, I was not initially very excited about them. I felt afraid, anxious and uncertain of who I was and how to care for my babies. But the biggest shock was my change in heart about living overseas. I no longer wanted to live outside our community. And once we learned what postpartum depression was all about… the door to the overseas life closed.
And this led me to the life of Joseph.
The next time you open up your Bible, take time to read Genesis 37-50. (That seems like quite a chunk, but take it from me, it reads like a fast-paced novel.) You’ll encounter a man who has a clear vision for his life. So clear, in fact, he brags about it to his ten older brothers. (Which in my family with 3 older brothers would have meant I was ‘cruisin for a bruisin’!)
Joseph had no plans to become a falsely accused inmate or a slave. It all turned out very different from what he had pictured and dreamed. I was like Joseph. My dream fell apart. I didn’t want to be on the sidelines supporting people living overseas, I wanted to be the one living overseas. Maybe you are like Joseph, too. Maybe life has you someplace not at all where you thought you’d be.
He could have gotten “hung up.” It’s easy to do that when life goes painfully off course. When my path changed, I struggled with guilt. Guilt that I had “lost it.” Guilt that I was not strong enough to “deny myself.” But Joseph didn’t let job titles stop him from trusting God and doing the very best he could. He took the responsibility he was given and worked at it, and eventually, “he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did” (Gen. 39:22-23).
In addition to broken dreams, here’s one more thing we have in common with Joseph – the Lord is with us, whether we live in our parent’s basement or in a trendy New York City high-rise. He has given you and me this place in life to trust Him fully and to be the best we can be. We can start today.