Married to the Empire

Thursday, September 6, 2007

It's funny how God works

Romans 8:28 (NASB)
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.

I've always liked that verse. It serves as a beautiful reminder that God can make good come from even the bad situations in our lives. And what's even more remarkable about that, to me, is that he can take the tiny things that may seem inconsequential in the grand scheme of life and use them to set you on a specific path for the future.

My personal example of this goes all the way back to the 4th grade. That was the year that I realized I desperately wanted to be a cheerleader. When my parents let me finally try out in junior high, I made the squad. But when we moved to Texas in the middle of my 8th grade year, I learned that to be a cheerleader in Texas, you have to tumble. I'd never taken gymnastics before, only dance, so my cheerleading career was cut short. I was devastated.

In high school, I opted to try out for the drill team. I wasn't all that enthusiastic about it, to be perfectly honest, because my heart was still with cheerleading. But I made the team, and I wound up loving it. Not only that, but I made some of my best friends on drill team. I realized that not only did I love to dance, but I was good at it.

Then we moved yet again. This time it was to Europe, where I attended a small international school. No cheerleading, no dance team, just sports. I opted to take private dance classes where I learned more technique and form, which is always helpful.

When I went off to college, I wasn't really interested in Greek life (sororities and such). In fact, I thought it was all a little silly. But when I went to All-University Sing, which is a big song-and-dance production that the sororities and fraternities do every spring at my university, I knew I had to be in it. So, I rushed and was accepted into the local Christian sorority. They were planning to participate in Sing for the first time that spring; I was in heaven.

By my senior year, I was elected Dance Chairman for my sorority, which meant that I was a Sing officer, and I was in charge of all dance-related portions of it. I choreographed our whole act and taught it to everyone. It was a blast.

When I graduated with my degree in English and teaching certification, I was looking for a job teaching high school or middle school. The high school that hired me also wanted me to be the junior varsity dance team director, due to my dance and choreography experience.

This school was the only one I'd applied to in this particular area of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. If it hadn't been for this job, I would never have wound up in that particular location. I found a local church, and that is where I met my husband.

It's pretty crazy if you look at the course that led up to all that. The fact that I couldn't do back-handsprings ended my cheerleading career and put me on the path of dance. It all seems so small and inconsequential when it's looked at individually. Sometimes I wonder if the little things, like making a team, really matter to God. But had that not happened, I would likely not have been hired by the school that put me in a location that enabled me to meet Ruf.

For me, it's a beautiful reminder that not only does God care, but the bad patches of life sometimes occur for a wonderful reason that won't be seen for many years to come. This is where trusting in God's wisdom and having patience (which is a very difficult virtue for me, I'll confess) is important.

Indeed, all things do work together for the good of those who love God.


Frugal Homemaker said...

That is so true. I love looking back at how things worked out and seeing how everything had a reason. I was happy for most of my rough patches- after they were over and I could see what they led to! Encouraging post!

Cathy VanPatten said...

It is fascinating to look back at all life's intersections and see how the choices made bring us to where we are now. One New Year's Day, Jeff and I discussed what, if anything, we'd do differently in our lives, knowing what we know up to this point. He said he'd have made some very different choices for himself. I said that I wouldn't change a thing--although some of my choices have brought heartache, there's been a lot of joy to go around too. And really, they all brought me right here, which is where I truly believe I ought to be.

Jeff's response? "Well, yeah. But I'd make sure I ended up meeting you, no matter what!"

He's a keeper!

AnneK said...

Beautiful post!

carrie said...


Enjoyed reading these stories--great reminder that His ways are not our own!

Anna S said...

Like everyone else, I'm sure, I had experiences that made me suffer horribly; but without them, I'd never be the person I am today, so I praise Him for sending me those trials.

Saph said...

So, so very true. And like you, I have a hard time with patience. Also, I have a hard time not asking God, "Why? Why did this happen to me???"
And thanks for visiting my blog!