Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. In other words as Woody Allen said, “want to make God smile, tell Him your plans”!
All of my life I knew that I wanted to find my life’s purpose, even as a little girl I can remember looking at people whether they passed me by or played a roll in my life and wondered.... what are they here for? Why are they in my life? Do they love me? What can I do to make them love me or notice me? I was always full of wonder, questions and concerns. I felt so different from everyone else and because I was so busy wondering the purpose of others, I guess you can say I lost sight of my own. I dare say I never really established my own concrete identity. I found myself influenced by so many and never fitting into my own mold. From going through emotional and physical abuse from someone I looked up to all of my childhood, someone that should have been a safe haven to me, turned out to be a person I would forever walk on eggshells around.
I was introduced to sex at the age of eight from someone I now know the enemy used as a port to get me into a downward sexual spiral. Rejected, abused, and exposed to lustful desires I was introduced to drugs (not recreational drugs but hardcore drugs) from my very own family member. Can a kid catch a break? At the time I blamed myself for a lot of my own choices. I thought that since I knew right from wrong, then I was the only one to blame for the consequences of my actions. I never looked at myself as a kid, I always saw myself as a person looking for purpose and identity. It was a scary childhood full of regrets; I found myself always looking over my shoulder and always longing for something real. Those closest to me were not close and those that should have been real with me weren’t real at all.
Did I mention anything about religion? No! That's because I was raised in a home full of faithful confusion and faithless beliefs. Everything was about chance! I was taught to pray to God (at times) but praise saints! I'm not talking about your typical St. Mary. I’m talking about gods or saints that you supposedly belong to and derive powers from. This included blood sacrifices and floral baths to mention a few. In layman's terms it is plain sorcery and witchcraft. Can I be candid? Although there were many distractions and assignments of the enemy thrown at me to annihilate my purpose in more ways than one can count, I knew someone greater thought highly of me. The word says in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope”.
Did I know this? No, but God did. He knew all in which He had designed for my life, even before it began. Ahhaa! No wonder the atmosphere had to be so heavy and attacks had to be on a conveyor belt of production. By default the enemy had to keep me from hearing God's voice. The enemy tried to be louder in my life so he could keep pulling me into darkness.
Flash forward to adulthood! At this point in life, I could no longer fathom anyone truly wanting or loving me because I had felt used, abused, rejected and deflected from goodness. I felt disgusted with myself (the one human being I was supposed to trust and confide in). God and I had some sort of relationship! One that was unbalanced like a salad with a soda on the side! It wasn't healthy. I was only running to Him when me, myself, and I had all failed. God worked so diligently to always speak to me and steer me from malice even though I always found my way back to the abusive life patterns. I always thought that if I could just “do this” and “move that” or “stop this “and “start that”, soon I’ll make it through.
One victorious day I finally received Jesus as my Lord and savior. Yet, I didn't start asking God to perform a hostile takeover of my life, until I was briefly married with 3 children, 11 years later. At that point in my life I thought I was doing things better. It was the best I had ever done “life”. I tried my best to give God as much as I could and live as set apart from evil as I could. But I couldn't get things quite right. It’s as if I would take 5 steps forward and 10 steps back. Right when I thought I was honoring God by trying to live like a decent human being and going to church, I received the biggest wake-up call of my life.
One beautiful day when the sun was shining the palm trees were especially green, I was surprisingly interrupted by a phone call from my husband Hochi (Hochi? Yes! It’s Vietnamese!). To my surprise he was very sweet and gentle as he greeted me. I guess it was his way of preparing me for the news he was about to give me via phone all while he was 778 miles away. The next sentence he said would change the course of my life all over again. “I went to the doctor for my follow up and the neurologist said I have fourteen months to live.” We were separated at the time and had been dealing with a slew of marital problems. I wanted to make things work and he regretted tying the knot.
We had only been married a few months before this news and the baby we shared was just a few months old at the time. At that moment we had to face our biggest fear as a family, that soon we would have to confront the face of death and the reality that the next year death would try its hardest to take away my husband and our children's father. It was a ride of emotions and my faith was going up and down like a seesaw. At times it seemed that the more I prayed, fasted, and read my bible, the less and less I would hear the Lord speak to me and give me some sort of resolve to the life and death situation my family was facing. I started to feel like I couldn't catch a break! Little did I know that God was allowing me to break in His sculpting hands, where I could let it all go and truly for the first time, submit to His plans and purpose for my life. You are never prepared for life when it happens so in reality there is no point in making your plans master over the purpose God has designed for you. Choose Him at all times and lean not on your own understanding.
As the Lord already knew, I would come to lose my husband sooner than the doctors had planned. I did not understand the reason behind this being the reality for my husband and my family, but now I look at our beautiful, healthy son Malachi James and he is the best version of my late husband that could have ever been created. For all the “what if’s” and “maybe’s” or “if only’s” that tried to fill my head and heart in the process of mourning my loss, I can now look at, hold, teach, nurture, feed, and bring a love to our son for a lifetime that I was not able to bring to my husband for obvious reasons. That is closure in itself for me. I laid down the plans I had for my life in exchange for a greater purpose the author of my story has for me. As soon as you choose to exchange your agenda for His, you will no longer go against the grain but you will begin to take huge leaps and strides into the road which is called “His perfect will”.